Westport Park, located in the southwest corner of Dickinson County, is a little hidden gem for those looking to spend some time outdoors.

Let's take a look at five activities you can do at one of the county's pristine parks:

  1. Fish
    Westport Park was once home to a state record bass. Even if you don't catch one that huge, it's still a great place to shore fish for those who don't have a boat to go out onto the big Iowa Great Lakes or who want a secluded spot. There are a variety of spots you can fish from around the 10-acre pond.Photo of person fishing
  2. Bird watch
    Home to nesting bald eagles, a favorite stop for migrating waterfowl, wonderful habitat for songbirds --- Westport Park is a great place to get out and check some birds off your list.
  3. Picnic
    Westport Park is a nice, quiet place to take the family on a picnic. There are charcoal grills available as well as wooden picnic tables, so you're set for a hot or cold meal together.Photo of picnic table
  4. Play Frisbee
    Spread out in some of the open space and throw around a Frisbee, or grab your mitts and a ball to play catch. There are fun, simple ways to enjoy the outdoors that sometimes get overlooked!
  5. Wildlife photography
    Last time we stopped by, a beaver was quite busy at Westport Park, and his handywork was evident on many trees lining the shore.Try your hand at wildlife photography, from beavers to amphibians to all the avian creatures flying overhead, you're sure to get some great shots.

    Photo of goose eggs

Boredom Busters: Horseshoe Bend edition

Horseshoe Bend Wildlife Area has a myriad of offerings for those looking to recreate outdoors, but we wanted to share five of our favorite, including some ideas that are out of the ordinary. 1.Challenge someone to a race. The tubing hill at Horseshoe Bend is fun in the winter, but it can offer fun even…

Read More

Top 10 activities to do outside when social distancing

Tired of being stuck in the house but want to make sure you’re following COVID-19 guidelines and not gathering with others? Then head out to a wild area and try out these awesome activities. They will work your body and brain, and hopefully being outside will help boost your immune system too! 1. Shape Walk…

Read More

Westport Park: An Iowa Great Lakes gem

In June 1981, Dickinson County Conservation Board entered into a maintenance agreement to refresh an exhausted county gravel pit into a county park. It started as only six acres, so small it looks like only a dot on a map of the Iowa Great Lakes area. The original document included on a 10-year agreement, but…

Read More

Top 10 winter activities in our county parks

We live in Iowa because we like seasons. If we didn’t like seeing leaves bud in the spring and fall in autumn, if we didn’t like to see snowflakes dust the ground, if we didn’t like to a warm fire outside on a cool evening, we would all live in the tropics. This winter has…

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