Pack a basket and find one of the many picnic spot located throughout the property. Discover the perfect, quiet, and scenic site to while away the afternoon. You may use our picnic tables or spread a blanket at a site of your choosing.
Anchoring the Raccoon River Savanna Bird Conservation Area, Whiterock Conservancy is visited annually by over 165 bird species. The river corridor is a migratory route for songbirds; wetlands provide habitat for waterfowl; and owls, hawks and eagles cruise the woodlands. A wildlife viewing platform will be placed along the trail and moved with the season to provide improved viewing opportunities.
Rent a John Deere Gator™
Riding a Gator is an excellent way to go fishing, explore the uplands along the river or find a private picnic spot. If you don’t have the time, energy or ability to hike to your favorite spots, you can rent a Gator and explore the shared use double track trails. Gator rental is $10 per hour plus $4 for each 1/10 of an engine hour (if you do not stop and drive constantly the rate is thus $50/hour) Contact guest services at (712) 684-2697 Ext. 102 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to make a reservation. No private motorized vehicles are allowed on the trails.
Tour Historic Facilities
Explore the Roswell and Elizabeth Garst Farm Historic District on your own. We have brochures available describing various memorabilia and artifacts in the farmhouse. There are interpretive signs throughout the property describing historical events and current day practices. Subject to occupancy, guests may visit the Garst farmhouse individual rooms, which are full of antiques and historical photographs. Guided tours and history talks can be arranged for groups. Contact guest services at (712) 684-2697 Ext. 102 or email@example.com for more information.
Bison once roamed Iowa’s landscape in large numbers. As European settlers arrived and began hunting them for their plentiful meat and useful hides, bison herds began to dwindle. By the 1860’s bison were a rare sight in Iowa. Now a few captive herds are once again dotting the landscape. Whiterock’s herd can be seen in the pastures on the South and West sides of the Garst Home Farm and can often be seen from the Town Loop trail as it heads towards the visitor center or winds around the ponds. New calves are born in late spring and can be easily spotted because their fur is much lighter in color than the mature bison.
Enjoy Public Art
From statues to murals, public art can be seen at the Riverhouse, 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.
Try your hand at finding morels and more. Spend a great day in the outdoors looking for your favorite fungi. Please stay on Whiterock property and respect our neighbors’ privacy. Don’t eat mushrooms unless you are certain they are an edible species and properly prepared.
Whiterock Conservancy has unique geologic formations along with an abundance of flora and fauna including interesting mosses, lichens, dragonflies, and damselflies to fascinate all ages of explorers. Animals commonly seen around Whiterock include deer, beaver, river otter, eagles, owls, frogs and more. Self-guided tours are being developed to direct visitors to areas of particular interest, however wherever you roam you will find little discoveries around every corner.
During the winter, trails may be open for snowshoeing and cross country skiing depending on the weather conditions. Watch for updates on more winter activities.
If you are coming with a group, consider a hayrack ride, guided nature hike or agricultural tour. See Host Events With Us for more information.