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Wilson Island State Recreation Area, IA
129 site(s) found
DescriptionWelcome to Wilson Island State Recreation Area, named after former Governor George Wilson, which came into being as an island sandbar in 1900. Today, Wilson Island State Recreation Area encompasses 544 acres of dense cottonwood stands. Seclusion is one of the area's greatest assets as well as shady campsites, hiking trails and picnic spots.
Wildlife is abundant in the recreation area and visitors may see deer grazing in the fields or be awakened by a huge flock of snow geese flying low overhead. Bald eagles are often perched in the tall cottonwoods during the winter and mushroom hunters will find no better place in the spring. On the way to Wilson Island, notice the unique wave-like loess hills that overlook the great Missouri River floodplain.
These rugged loess hills are only found in Iowa, Missouri and China. Early history tells us that Lewis and Clark camped on this reach of the Missouri River in 1804 on their historic voyage of discovery.
Immediately north of Wilson Island is the DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge. The 7,800 acre area includes a seven-mile-long oxbow lake, which provides a great fishery and stopover for migratory waterfowl. The refuge is also well known for the Vertrand Steamboat exhibit housed in the visitor center. For further details contact The visitor center at (712) 642-4121.
The Watson Steam Train is located in the Missouri Valley city park. Restored in 2009, the 1947 Ottaway steam and 1953 Ottaway diesel engines are housed in a new Museum and are available for children to ride on weekends.
Services & Amenities:
Alerts and Important InformationAn Iowa or Nebraska fishing license is required for fishing the Missouri River and Wilson Island.
As a recreation area, Wilson Island is open for public hunting in season. Care should be exercised by both hunters and non-hunters during hunting seasons.
Getting There:GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
From Interstate 29, take exit 72. Go west on DeSoto Avenue six miles. Wilson Island is on the left. From Hwy 30, take County Road L16 south five miles to DeSoto Avenue. Go west 2 miles. Wilson Island is on left.
Mailing Address:Wilson Island State Recreation Area
32801 Campground Lane
Missouri Valley IA 51555
Phone Number:Project Office: (712) 642 - 2069