Take a Hike: Jay Carlson Wildlife Area

I love getting lost in nature. Exploring. Wandering. Discovering. It feeds the mind, body, and soul. It’s one of my favorite ways to unwind and relax. Nature doesn’t judge you and it doesn’t talk back. It’s peaceful and calming, which sometimes, after being cooped up in an office for eight hours a day, is just what I need.

My goal for the summer is to explore some new hiking trails. So far, I’ve checked four off of my list (which is barely a dent if you’re wondering). This one, proved itself to be a hidden gem. The Jay Carlson Wildlife Area, located on Old Lincoln Highway in Boone County, Iowa, is a charming little spot that consists of reconstructed prairie lands, a 22 acre lake, and trails that follow the edge of the lake. It’s tucked just far enough off the road that the drive is easy to miss (yes, I had to turn around). I had the place to myself the day I explored and was taken back by the peacefulness of it considering it’s proximity to the highway. If I didn’t know where I was, I’m not sure I’d have noticed. The sounds of the bees, birds, and bullfrogs drowned out that of vehicle traffic.

With the wildflowers in full bloom, I spent most of my time getting up close and personal with the blooms and the bees that were buzzing around them.

It’s safe to say I may have found a new favorite spot! Don’t be surprised if you see more of this area pop up in a post from time to time.

JCWA lake watermarkedwildflowers and lake view watermarkedJCWA pano watermarkedCattails at JCWA watermarkedPink Wildflowers at JCWA watermarkedpink wildflower watermarkedorange and yellow lily watermarkedpurple wildflower watermarkedbee on purple coneflower watermarkedOrange Wildflowers watermarkedOrange Wildflowers with bee watermarked

Big boulder 1 watermarkedBig boulder 2 watermarkedBig boulder horiziontal BWB watermarked

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