Recreation


 

Whether its deer or turkey, waterfowl or pheasants, wall-eye, muskie or the lowly catfish, opportunity for hunting and fishing are plentiful in and around Union County.  Union County’s High Lakes offer an array of outdoor recreational opportunities unmatched in southern Iowa.  Five Lakes including award winning 3-Mile Lake and Green Valley Lake State Park along with 2,500 acres of publicly owned woodland and prairie….all conveniently located within a 20-mile radius of each other can be found here.

Three great golf courses can also be found in Union County along with an expanding hiking and biking trail.

For more information on hunting, fishing or other activities in the area please call Union County Conservation at 641-782-1755. For free travel guides please call Creston/Union County Tourism at 641-782-7021

 

The following are a small sample of the wide range of amenities and  recreation that Union County has to offer.  

Disc Golf

Golf

Tennis

Feldhacker Family Fun Center

Aquatic Center/Pool

Southern Prairie YMCA

City/State Parks Lakes

Union County Trails

Skate Parks Baseball Fields

High Lakes Outdoor Alliance Shooting Range

Union County Fair

Union County Recreation Areas ……………

AFTON CITY PARK

park2

On the city square in Afton, this picturesque park offers a playground, historic band shell, picnic area, fenced recreation area and restrooms. During the summer enjoy Lawn Chair Nights. LEARN MORE

CEDAR PARK

Twelve acre Cedar Park is a favorite for family and community outings. It has a small pond, enclosed shelter with potable water, electricity and restrooms. A 1/4 mile trail, complete with footbridges leads to the butterfly garden, a relaxing spot to observe nature on a warm summer day. To reach Cedar Park, go east on Highway 34 to Iris Ave. then take Iris to 190 St. and go approximately 1 1/4 mile.

CRESTMOOR GOLF CLUB

This beautiful private 9-hole course is on Highway 25 north in Creston.  For information call 641-782-2771.

GARFIELD PARK

Located at the west edge of Afton, this 10-acre oak-hickory timbered park provides a beautiful picnic area with an enclosed shelter, water and electricity.  Primitive camping is available with electrical hook-ups. Contact the Union County Conservation Board for enclosed shelter reservations and keys at 641-347-5100.

GREEN VALLEY STATE PARK

Three miles north of Creston on Lincoln Street/Green Valley Road, this park and lake attracts campers with 100 newly renovated campsites – 83 with electrical hookups and 18 of these are full hookups with water and sewer -, seasonal cabins, playground located in the campground, swimmers, boaters and water skiers. The lake has a beach for swimming as well.  Green Valley also offers great bass and crappie fishing. Call 641-782-5131 for more information.LEARN MORE

GROSSBECK WILDLIFE AREA

This 112-acre area northeast of Afton offers almost everything a hunter could want, from timber to open grassland. The 4 acre pond with nesting island provides excellent fishing. To reach this area take US Highway 169 North to Lorimor then go west on the REA Road to Grand River Drive and go south for a 1 1/2 mile.

LAKESHORE GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB

This private 9-hole course is located on Highway 34 west near Afton.  The phone number is 641-347-5221.

LORIMOR CITY PARK

This park is located on the west edge of Lorimor, and provides a restful setting with an old-fashioned Gazebo and many shade trees, all in a peaceful, country setting. LEARN MORE

MCKINLEY PARK & TRAIL

This picturesque park, located six blocks north and west of Highway 34 on Adams Street, has an all purpose court, picnic and camping areas including Creston McKinley Campers Camp Ground with 38 electrical hook-ups and water, eight shelter houses, a band shell, 18 hole disc golf course and playground areas. Part of the park is beautiful McKinley Lake. Also at the park is a Leisure Pool featuring a wading pool, heated swimming pool, two diving boards and a large slide.  For information call 641-782-2000 ext.2.
McKinley Park is the beginning of the five plus mile paved trail that runs through west Creston and then north to Green Valley State Park. LEARN MORE

Park-To-Park Trail

The five plus mile paved walking/biking trail extends through McKinley Park in Creston to the south edge of Green Valley State Park north of Creston.  The trail then connects with the 9.5 miles of grass trails around Green Valley Lake.  Those trails are suitable for hiking or mountain biking.

PINE VALLEY GOLF

This public 9-hole course is on Highway 34 west in Creston.  Pine Valley also has one of the two bowling centers in Creston.  Call 641-782-4917 for more information.

RAINBOW PARK

Located in the 500 block of south Vine and south Birch in Creston, this park has two shelter houses, a beautifully restored fountain, playground, disc golf course, picnic area and gazebo band shell.

TALMAGE HILL NATURE PARK

With 36 acres of native timber, this area was acquired to preserve its natural beauty. A leisurely walk along the hiking trail and a watchful eye can usually find an abundance of wildlife as well as wildflowers in the spring. Located along the south side of Highway 34, 2 miles west of Thayer on Umbrella Ave., this area offers a shelter house, restrooms and picnic facilities.

TALMAGE HILL WILDLIFE AREA

This 210-acre area on the north side of Highway 34, 2 miles west of Thayer at 2965 US Highway 34, is one of the County’s most beautiful natural areas. It abounds with habitat diversity, from the pond, marsh and timbered areas to the upland game areas. It is used extensively by wildlife enthusiasts as well as for an outdoor classroom for environmental education.

THAYER LAKE

Located 1 mile southwest of Thayer, this 10-acre lake was built by the railroad in the 1850’s for water supply for steam engines. The 47 acre area includes excellent facilities for fishing as well as camping, hiking, and picnicking. Access is available via a rocked road parallel to Highway 34 just south of Thayer which leads to the entrance and a beautiful drive through pristine native timber. Take Hwy 34 to P64 then turn on to Thayer Lake for 1 mile. With two shelter houses, primitive camping and electric hook-ups, this area receives considerable usage throughout the spring, summer and fall months. It is one of the oldest recreation areas in the county.

THREE MILE LAKE RECREATION AREA

Three Mile Lake is for you to enjoy. With critical upland watershed treatments in place and continuing today, you can enjoy your favorite outdoor activities in or near some of the cleanest lake waters in Iowa. LEARN MORE

 

Three-Mile Lake offers acres of underwater structures for some of the best fish habitat in Iowa. Bring your own boat, use one of the 10 fishing jetties and explore nearly 24 miles of shoreline. Three Mile Lake has already built a reputation for providing excellent fishing for largemouth bass, walleye, catfish, crappie and bluegill. Three-Mile Lake is also developing into Iowa’s newest Muskie hot spot.

The lower part of the lake is open to sailing, power boating and water skiing. No wake boating is permitted on the remainder of the lake. No Jet Ski’s or jet boats are allowed on the lake.

THREE MILE RECREATION AREA & CABIN INFORMATION
Eight attractive log camping cabins at the Three Mile Recreation Area are a perfect way to spend time in the great outdoors.

Reservations for cabins at Three-Mile Lake can be made by calling or writing:

THREE MILE LAKE
P.O. BOX 291
CRESTON, IOWA 50801
(641)347-5100
(Messages will be returned)
No reservations are needed for camping.
RENTAL FEE – $50.00 per night, Sunday-Thursday, $60.00 per night on Friday & Saturday. The Lakeshore Cabin rents for $65.00 a night Sunday through Thursday and is $75.00 per night on Friday and Saturday.
The cabins are available to rent by reservation only, year round, and may be reserved up to 12 months in advance.
Cabins are equipped with a Queen size sofa sleeper and 2 sets of bunk beds; a Table and 4 chairs; dorm sized refrigerator & microwave; Heat and air conditioning; Electricity/lights/outlets; Picnic table and grill (outside) Water hydrant (outside); Flush toilets/showers nearby available year round. Each cabin sleeps 6 comfortably and offers a gorgeous view of Three Mile Lake.
All you need to bring is your bedding, pillows, and a spirit of adventure.

FEES AND REGISTRATION:

  • Cabin fees for your entire stay must be paid in full upon day of arrival.
  • You may pay in cash, personal check or money order. No credit cards will be accepted.
  • Single night reservations will be accepted year round, except: A Friday or Saturday reservation during the peak camping season, i.e. Memorial   Day through Labor Day requires both Friday and Saturday reservation.
  • Minimum age to reserve a cabin is 18 years of age.
  • Maximum number of vehicles per cabin is two (2) standard. No tents, RV’s 5th wheels, campers, pickup campers, pop-ups, etc. allowed at the   cabin site.
  • Cabin keys may be picked up at the cabin site as stated on confirmation.
  • Returned keys are to be placed in locked key drop box at cabin site. Lost or stolen keys will result in a $20.00 replacement fee charge.

RULES:

  • CHECK IN – 4:00 p.m.
  • CHECK OUT – 2:00 p.m.
  • Cooking in cabins is prohibited except for coffee makers, crock pots and microwaves.
  • Smoking is prohibited inside cabins.
  • Pets are allowed at the cabin sites but must be contained to a portable kennel inside cabins or under control of owner outside cabins.
  • Cabin quite hours are 10:30 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.
  • Cabin curfew is 10:30 p.m. for non-registered guests.

THREE MILE RECREATION AREA CAMPING INFORMATION
Two campgrounds overlooking the lake have 80 sites to accommodate recreational vehicles, trailers and tent campers.  Each site has electrical hookups.  Water is available along with picnic sites, a fish cleaning station and dump station. Showers, sinks and flush toilets are available nearby at the year-around comfort station. Wireless Internet is available at the campgrounds.

THREE MILE RECREATION AREA CAMPING INFORMATION
Two campgrounds overlooking the lake have 80 sites to accommodate recreational vehicles, trailers and tent campers.  Each site has electrical hookups.  Water is available along with picnic sites, a fish cleaning station and dump station. Showers, sinks and flush toilets are available nearby at the year-around comfort station. Wireless Internet is available at the campgrounds.

CAMPER REGISTRATION INFORMATION :
Campground fees are $17.00 per night:

Tent Camping at non-electrical sites is $10 per night.

  1. Campground and shower house are open year round.
  2. All campers are asked to self register at campground entrance.
  3. Envelopes are located in top of registration tube.
  4. Fill in appropriate information on receipt and on envelope.
  5. Detach receipt from envelope and place on post next to campsite.
  6. Place $17.00 fee in envelope and put in drop slot in registration tube.

CAMPGROUND RULES:

  • All campers are asked to self register.
  • No reservations are accepted. Sites that are paid for must be occupied by a camper, tent or a vehicle to be considered valid.
  • Two tents are allowed per site or one tent and one camper per site.
  • Camping is restricted to designated sites only, and is limited to two consecutive weeks per unit.
  • One extra vehicle per camping site is allowed. All other vehicles including visitors should park in designated lots. Visiting hours are over at 10:00 p.m.
  • Check out time is 3:00 p.m.
  • Pets must be controlled at all times and may not be tied to trees or other county property that could cause damage.
  • The Union County Conservation Board reserves the right to refuse or rescind any or all privileges to anyone found in violation of these rules or any laws set by the state or federal government.

DIRECTIONS TO THREE MILE LAKE: From Highway 34 go just West of Afton and turn North on the Creamery Road (also marked County Road P53). Go North about 3 miles and turn West (left) on 150th Street. Go 1/2 mile West and turn South (left) at the Three-Mile Recreation Sign.

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