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Lots to do outdoors in Emmet County

April 24, 2013
By Michael Tidemann - Staff Writer , Estherville Daily News

Tired of winter?

Have cabin fever?

Ready to break out of your cage?

Article Photos

Emmet County Conservation Board naturalist Jenna Pollock told Estherville Good Samaritan Society residents Wednesday about the many outdoor features and activities in Emmet County.
EDN photo by Michael Tidemann

If your answer to any of the above questions is yes, then there's plenty to do outdoors in Emmet County.

Emmet County Conservation Board naturalist Jenna Pollock told Estherville Good Samaritan Society residents Wednesday about all the things there are to see and do outdoors in Emmet County.

And it's all about the natural environment. That includes things like restoration for the soul, inspiration, progress, stewardship and freedom. Not to mention the limitless feeling a person will get in the outdoors, along with solitude, camaraderie, dreams and recreation.

"We are here to care for the environment and the environment in turn cares for us," Pollock said of stewardship.

And then there's limitlessness.

"No matter what we do, the environment keeps thriving and surviving," she said.

At Tuttle Lake, there's camping, outdoor cooking, lake access, boating, fishing, paddling, a swimming beach and scientific inquiry. Iowa Lake has a lot of the same features.

At Lake Okamanpedan State Park, there are hiking trails, a picnic shelter, paddling and boating. Then there's Ringham Habitat where there are Native American burial mounds, a hiking trail, public hunting, bird watching and access to the west fork of the Des Moines River.

Fort Defiance State Park has camping, several hiking trails, equestrian trails and the lodge.

Jim Hall Habitat off Highway 4 and just north of the Palo Alto County line has fishing, a hiking trail and picnic area.

Pappy's, former site of a resort, has a picnic shelter, playground equipment, swimming, fishing, wetland exploration and a waterfowl watch station.

Wolden Recreation Area has High Lake access, a large campground, arboretum, sand volleyball, basketball court, hiking trails, woodland exploration, picnic shelter and fishing.

At Emmet County Nature Center, there's an environmental education center, live aviary viewing, an outdoor fire pit and the Emmet County Conservation Board headquarters.

Peterson Point Historic Farmstead has hiking trails, the 1895 homestead which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, farmstead buildings, antique machinery, agricultural lessons, a spring rendezvous, Pioneer Days and Christmas on the Farm.

At Swan Lake, there's wetland exploration, public hunting, waterfowl viewing, a goose refuge and fishing.

Pollock, president of the Emmet County Water Trails Association, noted a number of water trails in Emmet County, including both the west and east forks of the Des Moines River, Tuttle lake, Iowa Lake, High Lake, Ingham Lake, Swan Lake, Cheever Lake and Eagle Lake.

Pollock said the state water trails program is a project the Iowa Department of Natural Resources established in 2005. An evolving process, it promotes water quality awareness through recreational opportunities.

Pollock said the Emmet County Water Trails Association is identifying public access and using natural areas to create experiential learning, shared knowledge and appreciation and respect for natural resources. The local water trails group is also striving for environmental education on water quality, wetland habitat and watershed awareness.



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