Eastern Iowa families can explore the outdoors in two great Linn County Parks. Linn County, Iowa has nearly 7,000 acres of parks and natural parks as well as two educational areas the Eastern Iowa Observatory and Learning Center and the Wickiup Hill Outdoor Learning Center. Whether it’s exploring the night skies or area wildlife, these parks provide educational opportunities and family fun.
Eastern Iowa Observatory and Learning Center
Located in Linn County just outside of Cedar Rapids, Iowa and near Mount Vernon the Eastern Iowa Observatory and Learning Center provides amateur astronomers a unique opportunity to view the Eastern Iowa skies.
The center provides Eastern Iowans with the chance to explore astronomy and related sciences. The center offer a variety of free educational programs. On select Saturday evenings, there is an observation night open to the public. The event opens with a guest speaker and then is followed by an evening of celestial viewing.
Lectures range in topics from Galileo’s Moon to Ways to View the Sun. Each provides informational overviews and a unique experience looking through a variety of telescopes including their 16-inch robotic telescope and a 24-inch classical cassegrain telescope.
A complete calendar of events can be found on the Eastern Iowa Observatory and Learning Center web site.
Wickiup Hill Outdoor Learning Center
Located just North of Cedar Rapids near Toddville, Iowa, the Wickiup Hill Outdoor Learning Center is a wonderful educational facility for adults and children alike. Located on hundreds of acres, this unique Linn County Park offers plenty of hands-on opportunities to explore the outdoors.
The grounds of the Wickiup Hill Outdoor Learning Center feature a pond providing a natural habitat to fish, frogs, dragonflies and other wildlife. Visitors can walk out onto the wooden decking to catch a glimpse of turtles sunning themselves and dragonflies dancing across the water. Other trails take visitors through a prairie rich with wild flowers, butterflies and other great discoveries. Or explore the wooded trails for interesting views of of the plants and animals that make this area their home.
After exploring the plentiful trails, visitors can explore the interior exhibits. Inside they’ll discover a unique Native American display, historic artifacts, and full-size replica of a wickiup and Native American family. The Hall of Habitats showcases Iowa’s diverse ecosystems. Visitors can walk through and view live reptile and amphibian exhibits and bird viewing area. Visitors can also listen to the call of Iowa birds and discover and identify animal tracks.
A great way to enjoy and learn about the outdoors, these and other Linn County Parks provide Cedar Rapids residents and other Eastern Iowans a great getaway close to home. To find out more about these and other Linn County Parks visit www.linncountyparks.com