Nature & Outdoors
3500 Hillcrest, Burlington
Experience acres of uniquely designed beautiful gardens where more than 200 different trees and dozens of varieties of perennial and annual flowers can be found. Take time to walk through the moss garden to the 1.5 acre pond, explore the cactus garden, and see hundreds of hostas and shade plants. A variety of antique tractors and equipment can be viewed on the grounds. Call to learn more about setting up a tour of these beautiful gardens.
18853 152nd Ave, Sperry (8 miles North of Burlington, West off Hwy 61)
At 798 acres, Big Hollow is Des Moines County’s largest park, offering year-round recreational opportunities. Featured is an extensive trail system that progresses through woods, prairies, and around ponds. RV and primitive camping, cross-country skiing, and hunting are all permitted in this diverse park. A three-season off-grid cabin is available for rent. Visitors can try their luck fishing in the stocked, no-wake, 178-acre lake, target practice on the shooting range (must be certified), swim at the beach or stargaze at the observatory.
Flint River Trail
The Flint River Trail is approximately seven miles long and connects Flint Bottom Road north of Burlington to Big Hollow Recreation Area. This section of trail includes roughly six miles of designated off-road trail that consists of a lime chip surface, with the remaining mile utilizing existing roadways. Come enjoy the deep rugged woodlands, sheer limestone bluffs, numerous river outlooks, working Iowa farms, and interpretive sites as you travel along the trail corridor. Future construction is planned to connect this section to the paved portion of trail along the riverfront in the City of Burlington. The next phase of construction will head east from Flint Bottom Road, through Starr’s Cave Park & Preserve and end at Irish Ridge Road.
12646 Highway 61, Burlington
Lindon Wines produces wine from locally grown grape varieties - red, blush, and white - to pair with foods ranging from beef to seafood depending on your palate. Lindon Wines also features wines from dry to sweet and a cream sherry aperitif. Enjoy a tour by appointment.
Lock and Dam #18
Located four miles east of the Great River Bridge on U.S. Hwy 34, then four and a half miles north on Lock & Dam Rd,
Constructed between the years 1934 – 1937 at a cost of more than 9 million dollars, this lock and dam is one of 29 on the upper Mississippi River. See how barge traffic moves up and down the river as it passes through this 600 foot lock with a maximum lift of 10 feet. During the winter months, view large populations of bald eagles that migrate south and feed at the open water around the dam.
The Mighty Mississippi River
Greater Burlington is located on the bluffs overlooking the mighty Mississippi River. The river is valuable for leisure, recreation, and commerce. It is home to at least 260 species of fish, and 40 percent of the nation’s migratory waterfowl use the river corridor during their spring and fall migrations. The Mississippi River ranks as the fourth longest and tenth largest river in the world and either borders or cuts through ten different states.
Starr's Cave Nature Center & Preserve
11627 Starr’s Cave Rd, Burlington
Part of the State Preserves System, this forested area contains limestone bluffs, three caves, prairie remnants, and endangered plant species. The Nature Center offers hands-on displays and scheduled activities, including folk concerts and environmental education programs. Please note: Starr's Cave (the cave itself, not the park or nature center) is closed indefinitely in order to prevent the spread of white-nose syndrome within the bat population. The two remaining caves are open for public viewing.
Wildlife Lakes Elk Farm
13852 Washington Rd, West Burlington
Wildlife Lakes Elk Farm is home for some of Des Moines County’s most beautiful scenery, wildlife, and elk. Visitors can view the day-to-day operations of a working elk farm that has been raising and breeding elk for 20 years. A large variety of elk meat products are available at the farm at all times. A series of manmade ponds and lakes make this an ideal location for many animals and waterfowl to call home. Canadian geese return year after year to nest and raise their young ones, and the Trumpeter Swans offer many photographic opportunities. Visitors are always welcome; call for more information. Group tours welcome by appointment.
Crapo Park and Arboretum
2600 S Madison Ave, Burlington
Opened in 1895, this 85 acre park sits along the west bank of the Mississippi River and was established through the efforts of Philip Crapo, a local businessman and philanthropist. Enjoy a leisurely walk around the lake or settle in for a picnic under one of the many species of trees. A comprehensive listing of trees in this nationally known arboretum is available at the park office in Dankwardt Park or online. The park features four shelter houses, the Hawkeye Natives Log Cabin, band shell, horseshoe area, a historic Curly-Q slide, walking trails and a number of beautiful gardens and memorials.
2400 S Madison Ave, Burlington
These 72 acres were given to the city of Burlington in 1937 by Miss Lydia Dankwardt as a memorial to the members of her family. This park, which is directly north of and adjacent to Crapo Park, is an active park and includes tennis courts, ball diamonds, the municipal swimming pool, 18-hole disc golf course, skate park, archery range, playgrounds, shelter houses, walking trails, and a dog park.
Geode State Park
3333 Racine Ave, Danville (15 miles west of Burlington off Hwy 34)
Named after the beautiful state rock of Iowa, Geode State Park displays a collection of Keokuk geodes at the main campground. Quartz lines the inside of the Keokuk geode, which is formed in limestone and can only be found in the southeast Iowa, northeast Missouri and west central Illinois regions. Many amenities in this park include camping, picnicking, boating, fishing, or exploring the extensive trails.
N 3rd and Franklin St, Burlington
Situated high on a bluff, the park offers a spectacular view of the Mississippi River as it flows into the Burlington area. This is a popular spot for weddings and, in the winter months, for watching the eagles that soar overhead in search of their daily meals. The park dates back to the earliest days of Burlington and is just the right size for sitting and relaxing.
Pat Klein Park
205 Longmeadow St, West Burlington
Pat Klein Park features a walking path, basketball court, soccer fields, and two shelters - one small and one large with electric service, and playground equipment for all ages, including handicapped and wheelchair accessible equipment.
1700 Dill St, Burlington
An 18 acre tract, part of the Perkins estate, was given to the City of Burlington in 1927 to be used as a public park. The land was purchased by Charles Elliot Perkins (president of the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad) in 1867. This park includes indoor and outdoor shelter houses, gazebo, playground, tennis courts, and several attractive footbridges. It is also a favorite spot for winter sledding.