There are over 50 different parks located all over Winneshiek County with 20 of them located in the Decorah area alone. (Map) A few stand out to be exceptional and are featured below.
Decorah Area Featured Parks
Found on 120 Acres just north of Ice Cave Road. The park contains a fresh water spring, 8 acres of tall prairie grass, and in combination with the adjacent parks, over 15 miles of trails for hiking, mountain biking and cross-county skiing. The park is a Natural Wildlife area and therefore not developed for picnicking or camping.
- City Prairie
34 acres along the Upper Iowa river south of Ohio Street (Near Aase Haugen Home). The park consists of mowed trails for walking, running, hiking, biking, and cross-country skiing. Also has a beautiful butterfly garden and benches to sit and enjoy the scenery.
- Dunning Springs and Ice Cave Hill
115 acres in the northern part of Decorah. This park presents a scenic 200 ft natural waterfall and stream, ice cave, trails for hiking, mountain biking and cross-county skiing as well as being a historical marker. It also provides picnic tables and grills for cooking out and bonfires.
- Malanaphy Springs
Located northwest of Decorah, the park provides a canoe and inner-tube landing, hiking and cross-country skiing trails, as well as a spring feed waterfall.
Found on 105 acres between Decorah and Freeport. Park has a scenic overlook, trails for hiking, mountain biking and cross-country skiing. Also provides picnic tables, benches and grills for cooking out.
56 acres located on the southwest part of Decorah at the intersections of Hwy 52 and Hwy 9 (Upper Broadway). It features several picnic tables and benches, electrical outlets, grills for cooking out and bonfires, drinking fountains as well as restrooms. There are also three playground areas, a playground diamond, a sand volleyball court and excellent hiking trails. Other interesting features are its bandshell, scenic overlooks, Whalen Cabin, and Schulze Brick Kiln.
- Trout Hatchery
Found south of Decorah off of Hwy 9 on Trout Run Rd. The station upholds all sizes of trout tanks where trout are reared before release to streams. Fish food is available; open daily. Also contains picnic tables and playground equipment. For more information: 563-382-8324
- Twin Springs
48 acres west of Decorah on Twin Springs Rd. The park contains a stocked trout stream with a children’s fishing pond, as well as trails for hiking, mountain biking and cross-country skiing. Also has picnic tables and grills for cooking out and bonfires.
- Will Baker and Pulpit Rock
Will Baker Park is 11 acres just east of Hwy 52 and adjacent to Decorah Municipal Campground. It provides canoe and inner-tube landing along the Upper Iowa River, a lookout over the river valley, playground equipment, a picnic shelter, and opportunities for hiking.
Regional Parks in Winneshiek County
- Cardinal Marsh
1200 acres located northwest of Ridgeway off of Hwy 9 on Madison Road along the Turkey River. Considered to be one of the best places for bird watching in all of Winneshiek County especially when enjoying the migrating waterfowl in the spring and fall. Contains four wetland ponds with hiking trails that surrounding them and go through the woods. The wildlife area also provides a good place for duck hunting. No facilities are located in area.
- Lake Meyer
Located 3 miles southwest of Calmar, this 120 acre piece of land contains primitive camping as well electrical hookup. Also provides picnic areas, a bathroom, shower, fire pits, grills and firewood. The park also presents a lake with boat landing and doc, fishing, trails for hiking, mountain biking and cross-country skiing, playground equipment, bird watching, nature learning center and a conservation prairie. For more information call 563-534-7145.
Regional Parks Outside of Winneshiek County
- Backbone State Park
Iowa’s first and notably best state park located 3 miles south of Strawberry Point. The park offers a variety of things including numerous camping areas, trails for hiking, mountain biking, and cross-country skiing, a scenic waterfall, playground equipment, and cliffs for climbing. The Backbone Lake provides area for swimming, boating, and fishing. Also available are picnic shelters and tables, electrical hookups, and shower houses. For further information, visit this link or this link!
- Effigy Mounds
A vast 2,526 acres located 4 miles north of Marquette off of Hwy 76. The acreage is split by the Yellow River into north and south units. Located with-in the park are 206 known prehistoric American Indian mounds. Walking trails are provided to view the different mounds. Guided tours are available year round. For more information call (563) 873-3491 or visit the Effigy Mounds website.
- Goeken County Park
Located 5 miles north of West Union along Hwy 150 near Eldorado. The park is a roadside park stretching 6.5 acres. Provides a remarkable view of the Turkey River Valley and the village of Eldorado. Also has four electrical hookups, camping areas, two shelters, picnic tables, pit toilets, water, and a playground.
- Pikes Peak State Park
Located 1.5 miles south of McGregor just east of Hwy 340. The park is considered to comprise the highest bluff along the Mississippi and be located in the "Paleozoic Plateau" region of Iowa. The park contains several overlook structures, shelters and picnic tables, playground equipment and a concession location. There are also camping areas, shower buildings, restrooms, electrical hookups and trails throughout for hiking and mountain biking. For more information click here!
- Volga River State Recreation Area
5420 acre park located north of Fayette just east off of Hwy 150 on Ivy Rd. Offers a variety of things including 49 non-modern camping areas, water, hiking, mountain biking, cross-country skiing and equestrian trails. Provides excellent habitat for a variety of different species animals. Hunting and fishing opportunities are available. For more information: Contact Scot Michelson at 563-425-4161 or visit the Volga River website.
- Yellow River State Forest
8,500 acres located near Waterville on 729 State Forest Road, forest entrance via Harpers Ferry or State Highway 76. Exhibits unique terrain and a variety of plant and animal life. Offers year round camping, trails for hiking, equestrians, and cross-country skiing. Hunting and fishing is also available. (Free Admission) For more information, contact the Area Forester at (563) 586-2254.