Johnston, Iowa, is a unique place to visit for its natural wonders. Johnston is the ideal place for outdoor exploration and discovery in the state’s largest metropolitan area and is cradled between Des Moines and its surrounding suburbs. With its vast open spaces, many trails, lakes, and rivers, Johnston is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise. Information can be found here.

Here is your guide to some of Johnston’s most beautiful natural wonders.

Camp Creek Greenbelts

The Camp Creek Greenbelts comprises two sections, the northern section, and the southern section. The north section runs along Camp Creek, connecting the Marsh and Woodland conservation areas, while the southern section follows the East Branch of the Des Moines River and connects the Dubuque and Camp Creek greenways. This area allows visitors to explore vast open spaces and enjoy over 25 miles of trails. The trails are perfect for biking, hiking, or horseback riding; you can even find educational interpretive centers along the way. See here for information about Enjoying the Natural Beauty of Grimes, Iowa.

Gladfelter Natural Connector Area

The Gladfelter Natural Connector Area is a 645-acre natural area managed by the city of Johnston and protected by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. This vast area boasts a diverse set of habitats that support a wide variety of wildlife. You’ll find tall-grass prairies, wildlife openings, woodlands and wetlands, and meandering streams and ponds. The area includes two trails that provide an excellent bird-watching opportunity, wildlife viewing, or just exploring nature.

Johnston Lakes

Johnston is home to three beautiful lakes – Saylorville, Jester, and Easter. Saylorville Lake is the largest of the three and is connected by the Raccoon River. This lake is excellent for fishing, boating, and swimming during warmer summers. For those wishing to get more adventurous, you can explore the surrounding trails, observe natural wildlife, and check out the wildlife preserves scattered throughout the lake. Jester and Easter Lakes provide visitors with excellent fishing and swimming opportunities. Surrounding these two lakes are wildlife preserves, grasslands, and wetlands, inviting you to explore the beauty of Johnston’s natural ecosystem.

Horseshoe Pond

Horseshoe Pond is an 81.5-acre natural area managed by the city of Johnston with the assistance of the Polk County Conservation Board and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. This area is home to various wildlife and native plants, providing the perfect opportunity to observe and explore the natural wonders of Johnston. Visitors can take advantage of the two miles of trails that provide access to the pond’s outer boundaries. Here you can observe the wetland and grasslands that support a variety of plants and animals.

Johnston is an outdoor enthusiast’s playground, filled with natural wonders begging to be explored. Whether you’re looking for a place to take a stroll or an area to challenge yourself, Johnston has something for everyone. With plenty of outdoor activities, visitors to Johnston can genuinely get to know this area’s natural wonders. So visit Johnston and experience the beauty of its many outdoor wonders.