OUTDOOR RECREATION

Lucas County is home to a variety of outdoor recreational activities and is perfect for nature lovers of all ages and interests.

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FEATURED ACTIVITY:
RED HAW STATE PARK

Visit Red Haw in the spring and enjoy hundreds of red bud trees and their beautiful purple blooms. During the rest of the year, visitors can enjoy a park full of beautiful natural views. Take a hike on the 5-mile trail around the lake or enjoy a picnic at one of the many shelters. 

Photo credit: Alysha Shutt

A Day in Lucas County

Interested in exploring Lucas County? We've put together a brief itinerary for you - everything from meals to sightseeing and more! We look forward to seeing you soon!

Breakfast

Start your day off by grabbing breakfast from a small business! Locals love getting coffee from The Porch and an old-fashioned donut from Piper's. 

Stroll The Square

Take a stroll around Chariton's historic square and stop in our locally owned businesses! From sporting goods and homemade candy to antique treasures and gifts, there's something for everyone. 

Take a break on our courthouse lawn and enjoy the history that can be found on the grassy knoll. 

Lunch

While you're exploring the square, make sure you scope out one of our many restaurants for lunch! Choose from comfort food at Granny's, authentic dishes at Casa De Oro, or a variety of sandwiches and sides at Iron Horse. 

Take A Hike

In the afternoon, branch out and enjoy our numerous trails and nature areas. Pin Oak Marsh offers visitors a paved trail to explore a grassy area near a native wetland. Enjoy a drive through Red Haw State Park and, if you're feeling particularly adventurous, take a hike on the 5 mile loop around the lake. Or go for a short drive east of Chariton to our twin lakes, Lake Morris and Lake Ellis, and learn about their fascinating history. Serious hikers and bicyclists are encouraged to check out the Cinder Path, a 14 mile trail with a variety of stops along the way.

Afternoon Treat

Looking for a sweet treat in the afternoon? Check out Double Dip, located just two blocks north of our square, and grab a hand-dipped cone or shake. Chariton is also home to Chux, which offers soft-serve ice cream, shakes, and more. 

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CINDER PATH

The Cinder Path is Iowa's first rail to trail and offers visitors a 14 mile route to enjoy wildflowers, native timber, and wildlife. 

HONEY CREEK RESORT

Just 30 miles away from Chariton is a hidden gem that offers everything from an indoor water park to outdoor recreation opportunities.

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LAKES ELLIS &
LAKE MORRIS

Known as the "twin lakes" Lakes Ellis and Morris offer visitors a variety of outdoor ventures, including fishing, kayaking, and hiking. 

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LAKEVIEW GOLF COURSE

First opened in 1929, Lakeview Golf Course offers locals and visitors alike a challenging and scenic 9-hole course.  

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CITY PARKS

Lucas County is home to more than 20 city parks. For a complete list of parks, visit Explore Lucas County's Facebook page and click "Services" 

PIN OAK MARSH

Pin Oak Marsh offers visitors an opportunity to get close to nature. Enjoy the paved trail or visit the educational center and learn about native species.

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RED HAW STATE PARK

Visitors can enjoy swimming and boating in the summer, hiking in the spring and fall, or ice fishing and cross-country snowmobiling in the winter. 

RUSSELL SPORTSMEN'S CLUB

Russell Sportsmen's Club offers recreational shooting activities for youth and adults. Put your skills to the test and join them for one of their special events.

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STEPHENS STATE FOREST

As Iowa's largest state forest, Stephens State Forest totals more than 15,500 acres in five counties. Visitors can enjoy the campgrounds, hiking and horse trails, public hunting opportunities, and more. 

VREDENBURG-CHARITON FAMILY AQUATIC CENTER

Take a trip down the big slide or find a shady spot under the large canopy. Vredenburg-Chariton Family Aquatic Center is the perfect day trip for locals and visitors alike! 

Photo Credit: Sharon Wilhite

Photo credit: Sharon Wilhite

Photo Credit: Brittney Hunt