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 $2 can be made at any trail head.

Our trails include:

  • A double track trail running around the entire property

  • Views throughout the savanna and forest

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

Messages Along the Trails
Messages Along the Trails

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Whiterock Trails
Whiterock Trails

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Visitors
Visitors

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Messages Along the Trails
Messages Along the Trails

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Horseback Riding

Our professional trail team has constructed six miles of equestrian trails and fifteen miles of multi-use trails that 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 trail heads

  • 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

You can purchase year long trail pass for $50 here.

 
Equestrian Trails
Equestrian Trails

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Horses at Whiterock
Horses at Whiterock

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Among the Trees
Among the Trees

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Equestrian Trails
Equestrian Trails

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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 trail heads

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

You can purchase a year long trail pass for $25 here.

 
Mountain Bikers
Mountain Bikers

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Iowa Gravel Classic
Iowa Gravel Classic

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Bike Trails
Bike Trails

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Mountain Bikers
Mountain Bikers

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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 guestinfo@whiterockconservancy.org .

Kayaking Down the River
Kayaking Down the River

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Middle Raccoon River
Middle Raccoon River

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Water Sports
Water Sports

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Kayaking Down the River
Kayaking Down the River

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Fishing

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

Historic Garst Fishing Ponds
Historic Garst Fishing Ponds

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Garst Fishing Ponds
Garst Fishing Ponds

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Fishing Derby
Fishing Derby

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Historic Garst Fishing Ponds
Historic Garst Fishing Ponds

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Stargazing

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.

Star Trails Above 805 River Cabin
Star Trails Above 805 River Cabin

Jesus A Acosta-Camargo

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Star Party at Star Field Campground
Star Party at Star Field Campground

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Night Sky at Whiterock
Night Sky at Whiterock

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Star Trails Above 805 River Cabin
Star Trails Above 805 River Cabin

Jesus A Acosta-Camargo

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History

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 guestinfo@whiterockconservancy.org for more information.

Statue at Garst Farmhouse
Statue at Garst Farmhouse

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Coon Rapids
Coon Rapids

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Garst Family
Garst Family

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Statue at Garst Farmhouse
Statue at Garst Farmhouse

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Rent a UTV

Interested in exploring the grounds? Take one of our UTV's for a spin!

 

  • Rentals are $50 for the first hour

  • $10 for each additional hour

Contact guest services at (712)-790-8221 Ext. 5 or guestinfo@whiterockconservancy.org for more information and to make a reservation.

Special events, called Slow Sunday Drives, are also held each year when personal UTV's are invited to enjoy Whiterock.

Slow Sunday Drive
Slow Sunday Drive

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September Gator Rides
September Gator Rides

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Family Gator Rental
Family Gator Rental

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Slow Sunday Drive
Slow Sunday Drive

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