Waubonsie State Park is a gem of the Iowa State Park system managed by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Located in the Loess Hills in the southwestern corner of the state, Waubonsie offers soft-surface trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding. The park also offers fishing in Lake Virginia, and is an excellent place for wildlife-watching, birding, nature photography, foraging, and other low-impact outdoor recreation. Tent and cabin camping is available. Educational programs and volunteer opportunities also abound at the park.
Waubonsie is located near Hamburg (pop. 1,090) and Sidney (pop. 1,140) in Fremont County. Although a rural part of the state, the park is located just five miles from I-29, within an hour's drive of Omaha-Council Bluffs (metro population 950,000) and Lincoln (pop. 300,000). Nebraska City (pop. 7,300) offers a variety of restaurants and amenities just 12 miles from the park.
Waubonsie is located along the Loess Hills National Scenic Byway the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail, and the recently signed Lewis & Clark Bike Trail.
In addition the the nearly 2,000 acres within Waubonsie State Park, thousands more acres nearby are protected wildlife and conservation areas with woodlands, oak savanna, prairies, and wetlands.
An exciting new addition to the area includes the Blackburn Unit of Waubonsie State Park, which covers 72 acres of Loess hills prairie and woodland ridge tops and valleys. Located about 16 miles north of Waubonsie and adjacent to nearly 500 acres of public wildlife area, this property makes a great place for bird and wildlife viewing. Amenities at Blackburn include a two-mile hiking trail, shelter, picnic tables, fire ring and pit latrine. Blackburn State Park Unit was donated in 2019 by William and Sara Blackburn.
Links & Resources
The Friends of Waubonsie State Park Group is excited to be one of ExtremeTerrain's Clean Trail Grant Award recipients! ExtremeTerrain is an online off-road outfitter for Jeeps and other vehicles. Although their specialty is accessories for motorized vehicles that use off-road trails, they know their customers use all types of trails and the Clean Trail Grant program has that in mind and they made this grant available to organizations that manage projects to clean up and maintain nature preserves, hiking trails and public parks.
"Here at ExtremeTerrain, we respect the integrity of the landscape we live, drive and play on, and strive to leave the trails we enjoy better than we found them...This program will provide eligible groups the opportunity to apply for a grant to fund their next trail improvement related project, which could range from trail clean-up, trail restoration, trail expansion, to name a few."
Stay tuned for an announcement about upcoming volunteer days where we will implement this funding at Waubonsie State Park! Thank you to ExtremeTerrain for this support! More information can be found at: https://www.extremeterrain.com/clean-trail-initiative-program.html