Coon Creek Wildlife Area – Iowa

A date with nature, this is what awaits you once you enter the Coon Creek Wildlife Area in the heart of Iowa’s wilderness. Situated on the western shore of Lake Shelbyville, and encompassing thousands of acres of land, Coon Creek has so many parts that are left untouched and seldom visited. It is perfect spot for a recreational yet relaxing weekend trip or an extended vacation.

Hiking enthusiasts will be treated to nature trails, like the one that stretches to .7 miles near the lake shore. You can also explore dirt paths and go off trail to discover something surprising and wonderful. You will also have the opportunity to camp in the wild in absolute solitude. The best ways to reach Cook Creek is to drive yourself or hire a tour company to bring you there.


Coon Creek is made of thick forest. The area exposes diverse landscapes including lush countryside, wide meadows, and old oak forests. If you visit during spring and summer, a myriad of prairie flowers, which adorn the landscape, will greet you and brighten up your day. In the fall, trees like Oak and Hickory will change the mood and look of Coon Creek when their leaves transform into a range of colors like yellow, purple and red.

If you love watching wildlife in their natural environment, there will be plenty of chances to do that at Coon Creek. Animals like hawks, mink, opossums, fox squirrel and bobcats are just some of the regularly seen inhabitants in the area. Coon Creek is also just a short ride to hunting areas that offer game species like turkey, woodcock and deer.

Aside from the varied terrain, Coon Creek offers a massive campground, which provides easy access to a playground, hiking trails, and a swimming area. It also overlooks the lake shore so the scenery when you wake in the morning is simply beautiful. Families with small children will love having picnics and will feel comfortable with the shaded camp site facilities.

Coon Creek

There are a total of 199 campsites in Cook Creek, some of which are available for early reservations, and others are on a first-come and first-served basis. These sites are relatively more comfortable than others as they are equipped with dump station, boat ramp, flush toilets, showers, laundry facilities, payphone and electric connection. Tent camping is permitted in most sites.

Lake Shelbyville is a popular place for fun outdoor activities like boating, swimming and fishing. Some of the fish you can look forward to catching here include largemouth bass, walleye, catfish, white bass, muskie, bluegill and crappie. For families who don’t have boats, there is the option to head over to ponds filled with farmed fish. The ponds are conveniently located just around the lake area. Coon Creek is also considered a bird watcher’s paradise as a variety of bird species frequent the area. And even if you are a bird watching novice, you will still find delight in seeing waterfowl, songbirds and raptors going about their day in the lake region.

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