Friday, December 31, 2021

Visiting Wilson Island State Recreation Area

We really, truly had every intention of finishing our Iowa state parks tour. With only five parks left it was going to be tough since the parks left to visit are spread out, but it was doable. Then the minis and I decided we needed not one, but two days resting at home after a very busy holiday weekend. We will always prioritize mental and physical health over all else, so that left us with only one day to adventure. We chose to visit Wilson Island State Recreation Area in western Iowa primarily because they didn't get the freezing rain and snow that central Iowa saw. Plus, the temps were a good ten degrees warmer and it was sunny. All a huge help in our overall moods.

Wilson Island sits along the Missouri River and at just under two hours from Des Moines, it makes it an easy trip. I did not realize Wilson Island sits on the other side of DeSoto Wildlife Refuge. We have been there years ago and it was a great place to explore. Unfortunately, the Refuge was closed for the season, so we didn't get to add it to our visit. I didn't look closely at what Wilson Island offered as far as recreation goes, but with it's picnic areas, seasonal camping, and dock, I feel as though this is a popular fishing spot. We chose to hike a bit along the river and did one of the trails through the woods (away from the river).

The soft sand was a highlight. The minis threw off their gloves and played in the sand, walked along the icy river, and enjoyed the much needed sunshine. Of course, being right next to the river made 40 degrees feel like 30, but we were just happy to be outdoors with no agenda.

Nothing beats a quick car picnic after a hike! We've gotten quite good at them.