ALERT: Enter Your Design in Our County Park T-Shirt Contest by April 30th Contest Rules
ALERT: Botna Bend's Newly Renovated South Campground is Now Open with Full Hookup Sites.
ALERT: Full hookup camping sites are now available at Hitchcock Nature Center for $30 per night.

April 23rd is Free Entry Fee Day at Pottawattamie Conservation Parks!

Celebrate Earth Day with Pottawattamie Conservation.

Please note that all other park fees, like camping, will remain in place.

In honor of Earth Day, we will be waiving park entry fees on Saturday, April 23rd. Bring your friends and family and enjoy all the beauty our county parks have to offer!

Have you been meaning to get out and enjoy the outdoors this year, but haven’t made time for it yet? Are you looking for a new spot to enjoy your favorite nature activities? Here’s your sign!

Pottawattamie Conservation parks offer that “get away from it all” feeling we all crave and truly have something for everyone. Plus, what better day is there for treating yourself to an adventure and exploring the natural world around you than Earth Day?

If you feel like going the extra mile, we also invite the public to join us for our park clean-up events. We’ll be sharing more details soon, so keep an eye on our website, social media pages, or sign up to receive our newsletters here. We know our visitors have the best intentions and do all they can to protect their natural areas. We appreciate anyone who is willing to help pick up litter along trails while they enjoy some quality time with mother nature!

So, pack up your friends and family and come out to see us on April 23rd. We can’t wait to meet you!

Free park entry will be allowed at all Pottawattamie Conservation parks, which are listed below with additional details.


Arrowhead Park

  • Location: Neola, IA (~45 mins from Omaha/Council Bluffs metro)
  • Park Hours: 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
  • Features: 17-acre fishing lake, canoe and paddleboat rental, playground, sand volleyball court, nature trails, tent and RV camping, modern and camping cabins, lodge rental
  • Fun Facts: Arrowhead is a great place to view Canada geese and participates in the Iowa DNR’s geese banding every year. The park also hosts an annual children’s fishing derby the first weekend in June, and regularly has trail-run events as well. Arrowhead trails are also equine-friendly, so feel free to giddy up!
  • Events: Join us for the park’s spring trail run event, also on April 23rd, and participate in a 5k run/walk, 10k, or endurance race through the park! Proceeds benefit the Pottawattamie County Trails Association.


Botna Bend Park

  • Location: Hancock, IA (~1 hour from Omaha/Council Bluffs metro)
  • Park Hours: 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
  • Features: Bison herd, elk herd, access to and views of the West Nishnabotna River Water Trail, nature trails, tent and RV camping, Rubber Duck Outfitters for river adventures, lodge rental, archery range, disc golf, sand volleyball court, playground
  • Fun Facts: Botna Bend offers a once-in-a-lifetime experience of seeing bison and elk herds roam as they once freely did before settlement. For the safety of our visitors and the animals, please stand 6 feet back from fencing and do not attempt to feed or touch the elk or bison (you may not realize it, but you are a predator!). The park also hosts an annual maple tree tapping event in the spring and then a pancake feed in the fall where visitors can taste the sweet syrup that is made by rangers in the park’s sugar shack!
  • Events: Do you have a 7th, 8th, or 9th grader who is looking for an overnight outdoor adventure opportunity? Sign them up for our Into the Wild Outdoor Adventure June 28th to 30th!


Hitchcock Nature Center

  • Location: Honey Creek, IA (~30 minutes from Omaha/Council Bluffs metro)
  • Park Hours: 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
  • Features: scenic views of the Loess Hills, the Loess Hills Lodge gallery and exhibit, nature trails, archery, tent and RV camping, camping cabins, playground, lodge rental, geo- and earthcaching, observation deck and tower, pond
  • Fun Facts: Tucked into the globally significant Loess Hills, Hitchcock Nature Center offers beautiful views of the rolling hills and Missouri River Flood Plain. Enjoy beautiful scenic hiking through the park’s 10-mile trail system and work up a sweat on the more difficult trails that feature inclines you might not expect in rural Iowa.
  • Events: Explore McIntosh Cemetery during the park’s May Hitch Hike where you’ll get to trek through an area of the park that’s not open to the public and learn about the history of the area and native plants.


Narrows River Park

  • Location: Council Bluffs, IA (~10 minutes from Omaha/Council Bluffs metro)
  • Park Hours: 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
  • Features: views of the Missouri River, boat access, playground, shelter rentals, archery range, access to the Iowa Riverfront Trail, seasonal hiking trail, native garden
  • Fun Facts: With two reservable riverside shelters, Narrows is a beautiful and affordable option for outdoor gatherings including graduation parties, family reunions, and birthdays. Make sure to think of Narrows on those perfect boating days with its easy river access and beautiful downtown Omaha and Council Bluffs views. Narrows can also be a fun spot to watch planes take off and land with curious kiddos because of its close proximity to Eppley Airport.


Old Town Park

  • Location: Macedonia, IA (~1 hour from Omaha/Council Bluffs metro)
  • Features: access to and views of the West Nishnabotna River Water Trail, playground, Rubber Duck Outfitters for river adventures, primitive camping

Fun Facts: Steeped in history this small park is located at the site of a rare limestone bottom river crossing where Mormon settlers would cross the West Nishnabotna River on their way west. Enjoy a feeling of being tucked away from the outside world while enjoying a picnic, river activities, camping, and play.


Next Blog
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by Kylie Jacott, Promotions & Outreach Coordinator

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Volunteer Spotlight: Ed & Cindy Are (Camp) Hosts with the Most (3/16/2022)
by Kylie Jacott, Promotions & Outreach Coordinator and Dana Kruse, Volunteer & Facilities Coordinator

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