Nature & Outdoors
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. It features 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. A three-season off-grid cabin is available for rent.
- Big Hollow Lake is a no-wake 178 acre area for swimming and fishing.
- Target practice on one of the shooting ranges (must be certified).
- Witte Observatory is open for public viewing, weather permitting, every 1st and 3rd Friday of the month April through December.
Flint River Trail
The Flint River Trail system is a joint system between Des Moines County Conservation and the City of Burlington. Approximately twelve miles are complete, connecting Big Hollow Recreation Area to Starr’s Cave Park & Preserve. This section includes designated off-road trails consisting of a lime chip surface, with the remaining miles on existing roadways. Three miles of trail are also complete along the riverfront, beginning at the Port of Burlington and continuing behind CNH Industrial America.
12646 Hwy 61, Burlington
Open by appointment
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.
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, 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 the 600 foot lock. During the winter months, view large populations of bald eagles that 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 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 many scheduled activities throughout the year. 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 exploration.
Whitetail Country Estates
1843 Yellowpine Ave, Lockridge
The private and well-maintained land is prime whitetail and turkey habitat. The grounds include dense riverside forested terrain, numerous food plots, and river access - all key ingredients for a successful hunt. Miles of hiking trails cut through the landscape with tree stands and cameras tracking the game population. Whitetail Lodge or the rustic cabins provide comfortable lodging for your hunting party.
Wildlife Lakes Elk Farm
13852 Washington Rd, West Burlington
Open by appointment
Visitors can view the day-to-day operations of a working elk farm that produces a large variety of elk meat products which are available for purchase.
Crapo Park and Arboretum
2600 S Madison Ave, Burlington
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 or online. The park features shelter houses, a horseshoe area, a historic Curly-Q slide, walking trails and many beautiful gardens. Additional features include:
- Lake Starker, a 1.5 acre lake containing goldfish and frequented by Canadian geese.
- Pike Memorial is where Lt. Zebulon Pike stopped along the shore of the Mississippi River and unfurled the United States flag in 1805 while searching for defensible positions for forts.
- Black Hawk Cave commemorates Chief Black Hawk. One can crawl for more than 100 feet through a rock tube before the passage gets too small.
- The Band Shell overlooking the Mississippi River is the setting for regular outdoor concerts by the Municipal Band in the summer.
2400 S Madison Ave, Burlington
These 72 acres were given to the city of Burlington by Miss Lydia Dankwardt as a memorial to her family. This park, is directly north of and adjacent to Crapo Park, 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. Adventures in this park include camping, picnicking, boating, fishing, or exploring the extensive trails. The Geode State Park Lake is currently under construction.
N 3rd and Franklin St, Burlington
Situated high on a bluff, Mosquito Park offers a spectacular view of the Mississippi River. The park dates back to the earliest days of Burlington and is just the right size for sitting and relaxing. This is a popular spot in the winter months for watching the eagles soar overhead in search of their daily meals.
Pat Klein Park
205 Longmeadow St, West Burlington
Pat Klein Park features a walking path, basketball court, soccer fields, shelter houses, and playground equipment for all ages, including handicapped and wheelchair accessible equipment.
1700 Dill St, Burlington
The land was purchased by Charles Elliot Perkins, president of the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad, in 1867. An 18 acre tract of the Perkins estate was given to the City of Burlington to be used as a public park. It includes indoor and outdoor shelter houses, gazebo, playground, tennis courts, and attractive footbridges. This park is a favorite spot for winter sledding.