It’s that time of year again, we are all thinking about what we would like to improve upon or change about ourselves to make 2020 the best year possible.  Unfortunately, the resolutions that we set for ourselves tend to be unrealistic, overwhelming, and ultimately not any fun.


We all know that spending time outdoors has numerous physical and mental health benefits and can be very fun, so why not make your 2020 New Years Resolution to spend more time out in nature at our Pottawattamie county parks? Each park offers a unique experience and a wide range of recreational opportunities.


Admission to all of the Pottawattamie County Conservation parks and habitat areas is $3.00 per vehicle per day. Or better yet, become a member of the Pottawattamie Conservation Foundation for as little as $20 to enjoy a full year of access to all of the Pottawattamie County Conservation parks and habitats. For more information about annual memberships, visit Pottawattamie County Conservation’s website.



The park is situated on a 17-acre lake and offers camping, boating, fishing, and numerous other activities year-round. Stay in one of three rustic cabins, pitch a tent and rough it, or use one of the 65 campsites with electric service. Enjoy a hike along the trail or you can rent a canoe or paddleboat. If the temperature drops enough this year, you can head out to Arrowhead to enjoy ice fishing on the lake.  


Botna Bend

This 119-acre park is located on the West Nishnabotna Water Trail. Schedule a canoe trip down this meandering river and enjoy Iowa’s natural beauty. The park is equipped with a modern shower house and features 57 electrical sites and beautiful tent camping spots. The new kids Nature PlayScape and playground, archery range, hiking trails, and picnic shelters provide recreational opportunities to visitors of all ages. The winter season is a great time to check out the areas only bison and elk herds!


Hitchcock Nature Center

The 1,268 acres are open every day of the year for hiking, camping, picnicking, bird watching, and snowshoeing. A 22-acre modern campground is equipped with 18 RV sites, shower house, two group tent sites, three cabins, and overlook deck. The park is constantly offering seasonal recreational programs such as the New Year Night Hike taking place on January 4th, 2020. This event is an excellent way to start off the new year by joining park staff on a winter hike. Other times of the year the park has programs like monarch butterfly tagging, night sky viewing, HawkWatch programs, mushroom hunts, and many more.


Narrows River Park

The 36-acre county park is located adjacent to the Missouri River with a boat ramp, hiking trails, picnic shelters, and a playground. Archery and fishing are among the park's most popular activities.  The Narrows is an excellent place to go check out the river water levels and to watch the beautiful ice floats go by.


Old Town Park

Located on the historic Mormon Trail, Old Town Park offers primitive camping sites as well as Nishabotna river access. This 9.5-acre park is an excellent place to hop on the river, enjoy a picnic, or camp primitively.


Farm Creek Public Wildlife Area

Enjoy this 320-acre wildlife area with public hunting and fishing. The area includes 200 acres of native prairie reconstructions, two hardwood tree plantings, and two ponds.


In the Midwest, we are fortunate enough to experience the changing of the seasons and we have grown to appreciate the beauty that each season brings to the landscape. The Pottawattamie County Conservation parks are beautiful and fun places to visit year-round. There’s no need to wait around for the warmer weather to arrive, get outdoors and start your resolution today!

This post was originally published on December 23, 2019 on the Unleash Council Bluffs blog.