Northeast Iowa is great no matter what season for everyone. The nice weekend weather, along with the sun up earlier made it easier to get up and enjoy the outdoors Sunday! As the sun was peeking up I was walking by Decorah’s Winneshiek County Courthouse and was happily surprised to still see vibrant colors in Northeast Iowa.
I hope you do take time to walk, bike, golf, canoe yet this fall and enjoy the delights of our rolling hills and bluffs that give way to amazing scenic wonders, even in the downtown area.
My favorite park around Decorah is the historic Phelps Park with a stone pathway that leads to a very nice trail, then make sure you check out the Fish Hatchery and check to see if the bald eagles are readying the nests and see which nest they will use this time. Last year at this time I spent most of the day at the hatchery watching the two eagles gather sticks, inspect the old nest and after a few revisions began the tedious job of starting another. What an amazing time watching our Decorah eagles I had!And what can compare to walking in the Decorah Prairie? Birds, butterflies and each week new flowers bloom. I love that it is also handicap accessible through the butterfly garden and also works well for the parents pushing a stroller. These also are my favorite spots to take portrait photography of seniors, small children and families and now is a great time to take your photos with the holidays soon approaching, just in time to order holiday cards for family and friends.
Trout Run Trail in Decorah and Calmar’s Prairie Farmer Trail are both excellent walking and biking trails where you have a chance to see nature at its finest. Don’t forget to take along your binoculars or camera along for the ride, and of course make sure your cell phone is fully charge in just of injury or other mishaps. I love to see families biking by as I walk my black lab, Max who enjoys any kind of outing from car trips to walking. I bet your pets would love the smell and sound of damp leaves underneath their paws too! Pretty soon we can put on our snow shoes and walk around Lake Meyer by Calmar, go skiing or snowmobile. There are all kinds of ways to enjoy the great outdoors in Iowa at any season!
My favorite thing to do is to go birding. I can do this at any season and each season has some different birds to watch. On very cold days, I don’t want to venture outside for a long period of time, I can set up at the kitchen table with a cup of hot tea and watch the outside world as birds gather at the feeder. I can also tell if we are getting a storm by the activity. When I can be outside, I like to woodsy place to sit quiet and watch the world around be unfold. Sometimes this is a better idea than walking and making noise. Most hunters understand the concept, since sitting quiet the squirrels will go about collecting nuts for the winter, deer may slowly come closer as they graze, birds may come close and sit beside you if you do not move and you get a glimpse of the wildlife going about their business. Sometimes those photos are are moments you won’t forget, even without a photo of them. A big buck appearing out of the fog, deer sleeping under a big evergreen with hoar frost on them, this is what makes life special in our little slice of heaven here in Northeast Iowa.
Whatever method of outdoor fun and at any season, from fishing, boating, waterskiing to snowmobiles, birding, snowshoeing, to hunting-- Northeast Iowa has it all for you, just outside your door. Come on, get out there and enjoy, it doesn’t even cost anything and it’s good for not only the mind, but the soul at any season!