We are now open for walk-ins in all offices; Drivers license and Passports(located in Recorders Office) still appointment only. 

To schedule drivers license appointments online please go here

Sun, Jan 16, 2022
Benton County Iowa

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Get Outside!

NATURE CENTER :  Exhibits encompass the three major ecosystems of Iowa.  

Outdoor classroom 

Interpretive opportunities

Hiking & biking trails 

Wildlife viewing blind Observation deck

Staff offices

Picnic locations Exhibits for all ages Playgrounds

Nature Center hours of operation: (319) 472-4942

Indoors Outdoors
Monday: 8:30am - 3:30pm  5:30AM-10:30PM
Tuesday: By appointment  5:30AM-10:30PM
Wednesday: By appointment 5:30AM-10:30PM
Thursday:  By appointment 5:30AM-10:30PM
Friday:   8:30am - 3:00pm   5:30AM-10:30PM
Saturday: N/A     5:30AM-10:30PM
Sunday:   N/A 5:30AM-10:30PM



Karen Phelps-former Naturalist, programming for preschoolers

TRAILS OF BENTON  COUNTY   - (For a county-wide map click here.)

The Cedar Valley Nature Trail: (Urbana to Brandon)


The Cedar Valley Trail is a 51-mile trail that connects the metro areas of Cedar Rapids and Cedar Falls / Waterloo. Opportunities on this trail include: walking, biking, running, photography, nature study, and snowmobiling (allowed in the winter, north of County Home Rd). Established in 1977. Note: This trail is maintained by Linn County Conservation.

The Hannen Park Nature Trail: (Near Blairstown)

The Hannen Park Nature Trail has several miles of trail around the campground and lake.  Established in 1957.

The Old Creamery Nature Trail: (Vinton to Garrison to Dysart)  -Additional Trail information-

The Old Creamery Trail is an approximate 15 miles in length. This trail connects Vinton to Garrison, and Garrison to Dysart. The entire trail was resurfaced in 2016 with help from a federal recreation trails grant. The following activities are available on this trail: walking, biking, running, photography, nature study and snowmobiling(for members of the Tri County Snowmobile Club) Established in 1995.

The Rodgers Park Nature Trail: (Near Vinton)

The Rodgers Park Nature Trail has several miles of trail around the campground and lake.  This scenic trail shows ecological diversity and allows the hiker the ability to realize what type of damage can occur with straight line winds that hit during the summer of 2011. Trails are a mixture of mowed, mulch, packed lime, and seal coat. 

The Roundhouse Trail: (Near Atkins)

The historic Atkins roundhouse trail was originally a rail to trail like the OCNT & CVNT.  This trail held a large roundhouse, and helped to establish the city of Atkins.  Established in 1988.

The Winegar Equestrian Trail: (Near Brandon)

The Winegar equestrian trail is located at Winegar Park.  This 500 acre preserve is open to hunting and thus closes the horse trails during all deer shotgun seasons.  There are several miles of groomed trail that extend within Winegar Park from the Mt. Auburn boat ramp to the Tobin's Cabin area.  Established in 2014.

The Wildcat Bluff - Disc Golf 21 Hole Course: (Near Urbana)

If you are planning a road trip through Iowa, this is a must play. Wildcat Bluff is always ranked high or at the top of the state wide and national rankings for courses by the PDGA & DGA. 

We invite you to enjoy our quiet and serene natural areas, hiking and river trails, and campgrounds that offer outstanding recreational opportunities.  

For the benefit of the public, the Benton County Conservation Board manages:  22 park lands, over 40 miles of trails, 225 campsites, a growing nature center, and offers high-quality educational programming in and out of the schools for over 20,000 educational contacts annually.