Online Cabin Rentals Begin October 24, 2016

If you’ve driven through Lake Iowa Park within the last year, you’ll be happy to hear that construction on the two 20ft x 30ft cabins has been completed. Online reservations for the new cabins are set to launch Monday October 24th at 8:00 a.m.

These cabins were built in the campground on the previous site of the warming shed above the old sledding hill. That building was eventually turned into a make-shift nature center before it was torn down in 2012 to make way for cabins.

The south cabin (or Lakeview Cabin) was constructed by the combined efforts of the HLV Tech IV shop class and the Iowa County Conservation Board staff. All of the work on the north cabin (or Timberview Cabin) was contracted out.

Each cabin is ADA compliant and will sleep up to 8 people. They have a full kitchen with misc. dinnerware, cookware, utensils, a toaster, coffee maker, microwave, stove, and a full-size refrigerator. The bathroom has a walk in shower and the living room boasts a full-size futon and large dining table with chairs. There are two bedrooms; one with a queen bed and one with unique “full” size bunk beds.

The Friends of Iowa County Conservation Foundation stepped in and made sure that each of them contained beautiful hand-made log furniture that really drives home that cabin feel.

Making cabins at Lake Iowa a reality has been in the works since the year 2000. Many cabins throughout Iowa have been toured, and with all that collaborative effort for more than a decade, the Iowa County Conservation Board and staff decided on a location and design that was believed to be the perfect fit. In 2014, the Iowa County Conservation Board received a donation of over $20,000 from the estate of Alice Williamson that immediately went to help get both cabin foundations poured and the rest is history.

The cabins will be rentable all year long. Renters will have to bring along linens (including pillows) for bedding along with toiletries and food.

There has already been tremendous interest in people wanting to rent the cabins. It’s the perfect place to stay when you want to go ice fishing, or a camper that wants to stay in their park during the “off season”, or to just get away and enjoy the outdoors.

The cabin will run $110 per night with typically a two night minimum stay. For more information or to reserve your cabin with a debit or credit card, please visit mycountyparks.com and select “Iowa County” under cabins. 20161017_081816 dining-for-webimg_4455 img_4456

Big Bend and the Iowa Valley Scenic Byway

 

Map of Big Bend Conservation Area

A new interpretive sign was installed along the Iowa Valley Scenic Byway at Big Bend Conservation Area, north of Marengo. The Iowa Valley Scenic Byway is a 77-mile state-designated route from Montour to the Amana Colonies. It travels through 14 communities. The new sign is one of many projects led by the Iowa Valley RC&D and the Iowa Valley Scenic Byway Board. The new colorful signs placed along the byway are intended to connect travelers with local resources.

The sign at Big Bend Conservation Area shares information about wetland restoration. Big Bend has around 360 acres: 100 acres of wetland, and the remainder in low-land timber with large silver maple trees. The property has typically been subject to littering, vandalism, and illegal harvesting of wildlife/timber. Iowa County Conservation has received a grant to get some extra help to clean up the property. Hopefully, with the watchful eye of civilians, and additional help from other law enforcement agencies, Big Bend Conservation Area will return to a thriving wetland that can be used by hikers, anglers, and responsible hunters.

If you see illegal activity, report it immediately, call 911.
If you want to report potential issues or have questions, call 319-655-8465.

 

Busy mixing cement Working hard moving cement
Leveling the cement for the sign Staff of Iowa County Conservation, NRCS, and RC&D at the dedication of the Scenic Byway Sign at Big Bend Conservation Area
The new wetland sign at Big Bend Conservation Area

 

Gateway Park and Preserve Fish Structure

Iowa County Conservation would like to thank Big G for donating Christmas trees, as they have done for many years now. Currently, Gateway Pond (the old sand pit) has a lack of structure; the sandy bottom is flat like a shelf, offering no protection or habitat for fish. The Iowa County Conservation staff put together structures with old pallets, mulberry trees, and the Christmas trees from Big G, sinking them with blocks from various park buildings that have been tore down over the years.

The fish habitat that was recently added by the staff is marked with a buoy in the northwest corner of pond. The structures aren’t quite close enough to cast to from shore, but even if you don’t have a boat or ice fish, it will still be helping with the overall fishing quality in the pond. Look for more buoys in the future, as we will be putting more fish structures in various locations around the pond.

Want to give your pond a little more structure? It is suggested to sink mulberry and osage orange/hedge apple trees to provide the desired habitat. These two tree species are some of the longest lasting under water and they are commonly found along fence rows where they typically need removed anyway!

Check out the pictures from the interesting couple days of adding fish structure to Gateway! Also, if you are interested in more ideas to help your pond habitat, check out the DNR’s website: http://www.iowadnr.gov/Fishing/About-Fishing-in-Iowa/Habitat-Lake-Projects.

Donation From Big G
Donation From Big G

A full trailer
A full trailer

Getting ready for the first trip
Getting ready for the first trip

Stuff putting together the structure
Stuff putting together the structure

Director at work
Director at work

First structure overload
First structure overload

Staff posed for a rainy picture of their completed structure
Staff posed for a rainy picture of their completed structure

Dropping off the first set
Dropping off the first set

 

Disc Golf Course at Lake Iowa Park

There have been some exciting changes happening with Iowa County Conservation. One of the latest being a new recreational opportunity – disc golf. The Lake Iowa Park Disc Golf course encompasses a few miles of great scenery that passes some hidden treasures and connects with the lakeside trail at times.

The course starts at the beach parking lot and loops around to end at the beach parking lot. There is a halfway point at the turnaround, the furthest point you can drive on the far side of the lake (note map).

If attempting only the first nine, we’d suggest dropping a vehicle off at the turnaround to save your group the walk back., this is an ideal option when facing time constraints. .

throwing

THINGS TO REMEMBER:
Bring water, there are no functional hydrants along the way.
– Pick up after yourself and be courteous of others.
– There are trash cans and pit toilets available at every shelter, the course goes by several.
– All dogs must be on a leash.
– Watch out for vehicles and other park goers, this course runs along roads and trails.
– There are a lot of hazards on this course, be careful of the water and tall grass/bushes.
– This course is several miles long, be sure to be prepared for the hike!