Middle River Park

Middle River Park, located on the south edge of Winterset, is managed as a recreational area that provides users with picnic and shelter facilities, river access to Middle River and a hard-surfaced trail system. Middle River Park is 80 acres of primarily woodlands made up of giant Cottonwood, Hackberry, Silver Maple and Walnut trees that grace the lower picnic grounds and two-level shelter facility, gradually giving way in the upper elevations to beautiful stands of native Black Maples and eventually Oak/Hickory forests. Middle River Park adjoins the larger Winterset City Park, with the parks connected by a trail converted from an abandoned road.

Facilities & Features

  • Two level Picnic Shelter
  • Modern Bathrooms
  • Picnic Grounds
  • Play Equipment
  • Canoe Access to Middle River
  • Hard Surfaced handicapped accessible trail


Picnicking & Shelter: A two level picnic shelter provides picnic facilities for large groups. Upper level (200 person capacity) is available for reservations. The lower level (100 person capacity) is kept open on a first come/first serve basis. The shelter is surrounded by landscape beds of colorful perennial and annual plantings. Handicapped accessible. Other picnic facilities (tables & grills) are located on the lower grounds between the shelter and Middle River.

Hiking & Cross Country Skiing: Park visitors use both the hard surfaced trail system as well as the park road system to hike through the park and the adjoining Winterset City Park. During winter season, the road system is closed and utilized as a cross-country ski trail system.

Play Equipment: Youth play equipment is located in the lower picnic grounds.

Canoeing & Rafting: A developed canoe access to Middle River is located on the south end of the park. See River Access section for more information on canoe trips along Middle River.

River Fishing: Good location to fish for Channel Catfish.

Nature Study & Photography: Middle River Park is one of the Conservation Board’s best areas to view neotropical bird migrants during the spring and summer months.

Maple Syruping: Beginning in mid to late February, Conservation Board staff tap Black Maple trees and collect sap for syrup production. Call the Conservation Board office (515-462-3536) to arrange tours of the project and to find out what days they will be cooking the sap into syrup.

Shelter Reservation Fees & Policies

Click for information about shelter reservations and policies.


Middle River County Park is located 1 mile south of Winterset on County Road P-71 with the entrance of the park directly across the highway from the Board’s Operations Center.

911 Address: 2278 Clark Tower Road, Winterset, IA 50273
GPS Coordinates (UTM @ park entrance): X:415745 Y:4574660, UTM Zone 15