The Des Moines lobe of the Wisconsinan Glacier stops along the Middle Raccoon River. The land north of the river was once covered by prairie and wetlands. Today, there are remnant pieces of prairie and wetlands left. The land south of the Middle Raccoon River starts the rolling hills of southern Iowa.

The Middle Raccoon River is one of the most scenic and beautiful rivers in the state of Iowa and offers excellent smallmouth bass fishing and canoeing. In 1981, the Middle Raccoon River, starting from Lenon Mill Park to the Redfield Dam, was designated by the Iowa Protected Water Areas (PWA) Program as one of only 5 protected water areas in the state of Iowa. The Iowa PWA Program is based on a statewide assessment of Iowa's best scenic rivers that provide an avenue for wetland protection. The PWA General Plan identifies a voluntary protection zone which is a minimum of 50 feet adjacent to the river and the natural, historical, and/or archaeological areas, and other areas where visual degradation would adversely impact the scenic qualities of the river route.

Cattail marshes full of waterfowl and large, ungrazed portions of timber with white-tail deer and turkeys are another example of the diversity of natural resources that Guthrie County has to offer. The Guthrie County Conservation Board manages and develops woodlands, prairies, wetlands and other recreational areas totaling 855 acres and offers services to private landowners in creating and developing wildlife habitat.

Natural Resources


Phone: 641.755.3061

Fax: 641.755.4066



Updated Jan 2019