Sometimes on our journeys looking for beautiful gardens or landscapes, we come across a place with a view and all the recreation you could ask for. It's a time to put down the hoe in the garden and get in some fun on these late summer days of planning ahead for fall. Our family recently found the perfect place for some relaxation, only ten minutes north of Decorah.
We were way off the beaten track, and our GPS or MapQuest was of no help. It was, in fact, totally incorrect. When you go, be sure to check their website for directions, because Scenic River Road spans quite a distance.
Hutchinson's Family Farm Campground is a working beef/quarter horse farm with a campground catering to families and outdoor enthusiasts. Their riverside campsites and open spaces encourage family-centered activities in the quiet countryside.
We were initially met by Vinnie and Bear, a black and a yellow lab at the driveway of the Dixie and Tim Hutchinson, right before sunset. Not long after, Dixie rode up on her horse after having taking her evening mediation on the trails. Located on the banks of the Upper Iowa River, the Hutchinson Family Farm definitely offers a unique outdoor experience for both campers and non-campers. There are horses to ride or canoes/kayaks to paddle down the river. You can also ust sit by the campfire and enjoy the peaceful serenity of the bluffs and Upper Iowa River. This quiet, peaceful place out in the middle of nowhere, draws people from all over. The 100 year old bridge beside the campground was even in Our Iowa Magazine, and is travelled by visitors from places like Connecticut when they vacation at the campground.
Hutchinson Family Farms has spacious, natural riverside campsites. They have electrical and primitive camp sites available for campers. They also have cabins. Besides camping with a beautiful view, this place draws people with their kayak and canoe rental and shuttle services, making it convenient and hassle-free to enjoy the river.
Dixie says, "The water level is perfect this year for a float down the river. Just set up camp, rent a canoe or kayak and we shuttle you upstream to drop off points of two, four or six hours paddle time. When you reach the campground, just pull your boat onto the beach. There, your campsite is ready and/or so is your vehicle. You will have paddled the most scenic part of the Upper Iowa River, and there is no waiting for shuttle pick-up. If fishing is your sport, the Upper Iowa is one of the Midwest's finest rivers. Walleyes and Trout are frequently reeled in. However, small mouth bass fishing is the best (just ask our grandsons). Wildlife flourishes in the river valley. Pheasant, turkey, and deer make for abundant fall hunting. Hunt for a day or a week, you and your dog are always welcome."
My family travels all over, and yes, this area is the prettiest place around! This is Upper Iowa River camping at its finest, complete with on site canoe and kayak rental. It may be just ten minutes from Decorah, but feels like a lifetime away. Give them a call at 563-382-3054, and as they say,: "Come listen to the quiet."