The Source 2019 - Page 34

natural resources & recreation COUNTY PARKS WAPELLO COUNTY CONSERVATION MANAGES 11 CONSERVATION AREAS. 1. Pioneer Ridge Nature Area, 1339 Highway 63, Bloomfield, IA 52537 (641-682-3091). Pioneer Ridge consists of 995 acres of land located just north of the Davis and Wapello County lines on Highway 63. The rolling topography mature oak and hickory timber and open grass ridge tops. Pioneer Ridge Nature Center offers visitors inter- pretive displays and programing. Primitive and electric campsites are available in a small campground. Two fully furnished modern log cabins and two camping cabins are available for rent all year long. An extensive trail system allows users to cover the area on foot, bike or horseback. The area has a half-mile paved handicapped trail, two open shelters with picnic tables, grills, water and restrooms, four fishing ponds and a bird observation blind. Available activities include pic- nicking, hiking, biking, horseback riding and fishing. Shelter rental is available for special events like reunions, meetings and social gatherings. 2. Bluewing Marsh is located in eastern Wapello County one mile north of Highway 34 on 20th Avenue and one-half mile east of 85th Street one-half mile west of the Wapello and Jefferson County line. The nature area is 40 acres of grassland that includes six acres of wetland at its north end. The area is located along a dirt road, and access is somewhat limited. Bluewing Marsh offers upland and water- fowl hunting, wildlife viewing and photography. For over 20 years, Vista Woods Care Center has been providing Health and Happiness to their residents. With the convenience of Vista Woods, residents find comfort in their skilled nursing services, dietary services, on site beauty shop, cable TV and wi-fi. Resident of 13 years said, “Good people, good room, and good food. The people make it worth it.” Vista Woods Care Center #3 Pennsylvania Pl Ottumwa, IA 641-683-3372 34 The Source. 2019 3. Cardinal Wildlife Area is lo- cated two miles north of Eldon just off Highway 16 on 35th Avenue. The area is a refuge for grassland wildlife. A majority of it has been restored to native prairie. At the east end of the park is an oak grove. Rock Creek flows along most of the northern border. The wildlife area has no amenities but offers hunting and wildlife viewing. 4. DeVol Wildlife Area is four miles north of Ottumwa off High- way 149 at 170th Street. It has just over 40 acres of land restored to na- tive prairie. About 37 acres on the west end is leased for agricultural production. There are no amenities on site. Wildlife viewing, photogra- phy and hiking are allowed. Pheas- ant, rabbit and deer are abundant. 5. Eddyville Sand Dunes Prairie is located one mile east of Ed- dyville. The route to the nature area takes G77 east to the first gravel road (232nd Avenue), then south onto 182nd street, and west to a road closure gate. The 225 acres have a 1.4-mile rock hiking trail. The land is a patchwork of wind-blown sand and wetlands. The plants and animals at the site represent the most complete prairie community in Iowa. It is open to bow hunting for deer and turkey only. Picnic tables are on site, and wildlife viewing and photography are encouraged. 6. Garrison Rock Resource Management Unit is located about two miles southeast of Ottumwa on Cliffland Road. The rolling terrain consists primarily of high quality oak and hickory timber and open ridge tops. Prairie restoration is un- derway at the site. Garrison Rock is a large sandstone outcrop overlook- ing the Des Moines River valley, a former Native American gathering site and one of the first places Eu- ropean settlers occupied in Wapello County. The Pioneer Cemetery occupies a bluff top overlooking the Des Moines River. Recreational Activities include wildlife viewing, photography, hunting, picnicking and hiking. 7. Gray Eagle Wildlife Preserve is located at the south edge of Ottum- wa immediately south of Highway 34 and Iowa Avenue Intersection. Adjacent to the Des Moines River, Gray Eagle is a series of seasonally flooded wetlands. During spring and fall migrations diverse wa- terfowl, shorebirds and migratory songbirds can be found in this area. A large deposition of sand and gravel provide a place for riparian wildlife species. The 142 acre-site offers parking and walk-in area for hiking, wildlife viewing, photogra- phy and fishing. 8. The Johnson/Noel Buckeye Wildlife Area is about seven miles northeast of Agency. Take county road V43 north to Bladensburg, then go east on Bladensberg Road (Highway 31) about 2.5 miles. The area is 114 acres with oak and hickory timber. At one time it held the state record swamp white oak. Some of the wildlife area is located in the Cedar Creek floodplain. The area has good deer and turkey habi- tat, and hunting is allowed. 9. McNeese Wildlife Area is a small wildlife area located between County Road H21 and the Alliant Energy Power Plant. The area con- sists of mixed hardwoods, red cedar and a large open roadside area. The site has 14 acres that are excellent for bird watching. Public hunting is also allowed. 10. Rock Bluff Park is located north and west of Highway 34 on Rock Bluff Road (H21). The 32 acres of land are divided by Rock Bluff Road. The west side of the park is undeveloped oak and hickory timber open to public hunting. The east side consists of a lower area on the banks of the Des Moines river with excellent banks for fishing, and an upper area that offers great hiking along the river bluff. The site has picnic tables and fire rings available for picnickers.