I sat in the county’s Ford Escape writing this, because I had some time on my hands that I didn’t want to waste.

Photo of snowy plain

The view outside the window is quite nice. Dried prairie grasses, sticking out above the pure white snow, billow in the breeze. The bright sun shines down, its rays bouncing off the crystalline blanket on the ground.

The off-the-beaten path park is beautiful, with hills rolling up from the lowland and meeting the bright blue sky in the distance. The breeze is cool, but it is refreshing to get outside as the seasons change.

Photo of snowy plain

I was surprised when I pulled into the parking lot on 130th Street today that I wasn’t the first one there since Friday’s snow. Tire tracks led into the small lot, and footprints took off into the park. The snow wasn’t too deep — a pair of boots and you’d be just fine.

Photo of boot tracks in the snow

Even on the north side of the park, more tire tracks and footprints showed other people have been enjoying time outside in the beginning-of-winter weather.

Cars drive by every once in a while, but at the moment all I can hear is the pen scratching on paper, my jacket sleeve rubbing against the page as the writing moves across and the wind blowing past the window.

Photo of grass blowing in the breeze

Sometimes you don’t even have to get out of the car for long to enjoy a park and a good view. Which is a good thing, because as I write this I can’t leave. I got overzealous with what the county vehicle could do and got stuck in the snow…

So head out and enjoy Superior Marsh, but if you pull off to the north side of the property instead of going to the main entrance, I would recommend four-wheel drive.

(Jahn Wildlife Area is another park off the beaten path.)

Four types of wetlands

Bog, marsh, swamp, fen. Often these words are used interchangeably, but in reality, each is its own type of wetland, which is a word used to refer to water-saturated landscapes. (Watch: What is a wetland?) A marsh is a wetland that is continually full of water. If you have been to the Florida Everglades, then…

Read More

Superior Marsh — Get off the beaten track

Read More

Take a stroll through Horseshoe Bend Wildlife Area

Crunch, slide, pant. Crunch, slide, pant. Crunch, crunch, pant. Those were about the only sounds interrupting the peaceful stillness at Horseshoe Bend Wildlife Area just south of Milford Tuesday. The snow crunched beneath my feet as I walked, and about every other step partially slid down the first hill I was traversing. The uphill portion…

Read More

A stroll through Westport Park

I hate to admit this publicly, but I had not been to Dickinson County Conservation’s Westport Park until yesterday. We are always a little surprised when people come into the nature center and have lived in the area for years without ever visiting before. However, it’s the same way with county parks. Some of our…

Read More

A stroll through Judd Wildlife Area

At the end of summer, Snapchat had a feed where users from Iowa could post videos to share with the rest of the world. My husband and I took our dog on a walk through the Dickinson County Conservation Board’s Judd Wildlife Area south of Milford, and we took a short video of us walking…

Read More

A stroll through the Little Sioux Savanna

The Dickinson County Conservation Board has two new parcels of land on 195th Avenue, south of County Road A-34 in Milford. We worked hard this summer at the Little Foote Forest parcel, attempting to eradicate some of the invasive garlic mustard on the plot, but I had yet to walk through the Little Sioux Savanna parcel…

Read More

A stroll through Kenue Park

The scent of fall is in the air. To me the scent of fall means dry leaves, wood smoke and a hint of chill to the air. Take a breath and it awakens the spirit. My eyes open wider and search for the beautiful change of colors. My lungs take in the sweet aroma. On…

Read More

Leave a Comment