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Things To Do

Things To Do

Hiking & Running

Hikers, runners, and walkers are welcome on any of Whiterock's trails. There is no use fee, but a suggested donation of $5 can be made at any trailhead.


  • Double track trail running around the entire property

  • Views throughout the savanna and forest

  • Interpretive signs featuring natural, agricultural, archeological, and cultural points of interest

Horseback Riding

Six miles of equestrian trails and fifteen miles of multi-use trails provide some of the best vistas in Whiterock!


Other details:

  • Many parts of the horse trails will have a covering of fine gravel for reinforcement

  • Trail use is $10 per horse per day, which can be paid at any of the trailheads

  • Parking for horse trailers is available at the River campground and at the Oak Ridge RV Campground

  • Trails close when they are wet, updates are posted on the homepage and on our Facebook group Whiterock Conservancy Equestrian Trails

Purchase yearly trail passes for $50 or $150.

Horseback Riding

Mountain Biking

With 16 miles of bike optimized single track trails and 12 miles of shared used trails, there is plenty of room to find new adventures!


  • Trail use is $5 per day and can be paid at any of the trailheads

  • Trails close when they are wet, updates will be posted on the homepage and on our Facebook group Whiterock Conservancy SingleTrack

Purchase yearly trail passs for $25 or $100.


Canoeing & Kayaking

​An eight mile Middle Raccoon River water trail starts at Riverside Park in Coon Rapids and ends at our River Campground.


  • Float past views of sandstone outcroppings, prairies, and savannas

  • Takes approximately 2-5 hours to float

  • For a shorter trip, you can start at Roadside Park in Coon Rapids


Whiterock Conservancy rents canoes and kayaks, along with shuttle service, everyday by reservation. Paddling is dependent on the river’s water level and staff will make the final determination on the safety of the float.


For more information about rentals, visit our rentals webpage or contact Guest Services at (712)-790-8221 Ext. 5  or .



We offer access to 12 fishing ponds around the property, free of charge. The Garst Family invited local residents to fish on these ponds in the 1950s and Whiterock is proud to continue this tradition. Pond 5 on the map, locally known as Anthofer Pond is closed due to low water levels.


A map of all the ponds can be downloaded here.


  • It's against the law to dump bait in Iowa lakes, rivers, or streams, please dispose of unwanted bait in the trash

  • You cannot stock or introduce any live fish, except for hooked bait, into waters without permission

  • Iowa requires fishing licenses for anyone 16 years or older



Whiterock Conservancy has some of the darkest skies in Iowa, and the local community continually works to control light pollution to keep it that way. Whether you have a telescope or not, the Milky Way can be seen most nights.

Each year the Ames Area Amateur Astronomers hold at Star Party at Whiterock, and the public is invited to join in the fun one night. After a short astronomy talk, astronomer participants welcome everyone to take a look through their various telescopes at everything the dark Iowa skies have to offer. If the weather is clear, visitors will have the chance to see different galaxies, nebulas, and stars millions of light years away.



From statues to murals, public art can be seen at the River House, the roadside park on Highway 141, and throughout the community of Coon Rapids.


The hybrid icons on Hwy. 141 are based on the history and technology of hybridized corn and the Cold War Era visit of Nikita Khrushchev. In addition, a collection of painting of Whiterock’s land by Nancy Thompson can be seen in the Bur Oak Visitors Center during office hours.

  • We have brochures describing various memorabilia and artifacts in the farmhouse!

  • There are interpretive signs throughout the property describing historical events and current day practices

  • Guided tours and history talks can be arranged for groups


Contact guest services at (712)-790-8221 Ext. 1 or for more information.


Slow Sunday Drive

Interested in exploring the grounds? Join our guided tour on one of our  Slow Sunday Drives.

  • $30 per UTV

  • Must have proof of insurance and a valid drivers license.

Contact guest services at (712)-790-8221 Ext. 1 or for more information.

Dates can be found on our Events Calendar

And More!
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