Hiking

If you need a simple escape from your day-to-day busy life, come and explore one of our many natural areas. Hardin County Conservation's natural areas provide the perfect opportunity for dog walking, birding, nature photography, hiking, exploring, and so much more. Bring a pal and enjoy beautiful the beautiful landscapes of Hardin County, its all around you!

Paved Trails

Tower Rock

Length: 1.21 Miles

Features:

  • Hiking, biking, bird watching. Fishing
  • Views of the Iowa River
  • Benches, Picnic Tables, Grills
  • View our Hickory and Oak cabins
  • Ties into the River’s Edge Trail System at Steamboat Rock


Mowed Regularly Paved Trails

Bates Trail

Length: 1 mile

 Features:

  • Access to the Iowa River and overlooks
  • Benches
  • Connects Daisy Long to David Bates Memorial Park

Sac & Fox and Sand Springs

Length: over 6.5 miles

Features:

  • Mowed fire breaks
  • Overlooking the Iowa River
  • Access to the Pond
  • Overlook
  • Birding, hiking
  • Vault Restroom

Pine Ridge Park

Length: +/- 3.15 miles (varies depending on creation of new burn breaks)

 Features:

  • Fishing, hiking, bird watching
  • Views of the Iowa River and scenic overlooks
  • Picnic areas
  •  Access to the pond

Headquarters

Length: +1.5 miles

Features:

  • Small timber meadows and views of hardwood timber
  •  Bird watching, hiking

Calkins Nature Center


Mowed After Nesting Season

Both of these areas have maintained firebreaks that go around the exterior of the area, as well as cutting through the area to create smaller units.

Ander Wildlife Area

Hilker Wildlife Area


Unmaintained single-track trails

Most areas have unmaintained paths or wildlife trails that are still excellent for hiking and exploring. Fall, winter, and spring are all ideal months to hike off the beaten path, because its easy to see where you are going and many plants that grow in the understory of the forest don’t have there leaves or have gone dormant until the next growing season.