Thursday ยท September 21, 2023
Discover the Natural Wonders of Dickson Timber Forest Preserve: A Hidden Gem in Iowa
Author: Admin
Dickson Timber Forest Preserve in Iowa | Top Horse Trails

Dickson Timber Forest Preserve lies In the heart of Iowa and offers pristine wilderness, a realm of towering oaks and hickories, rolling across 155 acres of untouched beauty. Dickson Timber Forest Preserve, located just 3 miles north of Highway 30 on County Road N50, stands as a testament to the raw magnificence of nature. This forested haven is home to a multitude of wild plants and creatures, offering a glimpse into the enchanting world of the Iowa wilderness.

A Symphony of Life

Dickson Timber is not just a forest; it's a vibrant ecosystem teeming with life. As you wander through this natural wonderland, you'll encounter a symphony of sounds and sights. Native songbirds, especially during migration seasons, grace the trees with their melodious tunes. Birds of prey, such as the barred owls, great horned owls, and red-tailed hawks, soar majestically overhead.

The forest floor, a tapestry of fallen leaves and earthy scents, is a playground for a variety of mammals. Raccoons, deer, squirrels, rabbits, and the occasional fox and coyote call this place home. In the heart of this dynamic forest, you'll find sapling trees and fallen logs, each a unique habitat for countless insects, spiders, frogs, toads, reptiles, and other small wonders that form the backbone of the intricate forest ecosystem.

Nature's Bounty

Dickson Timber is not just a place to observe nature; it's also a place to partake in its bounty. Visitors are welcome to pick ripe strawberries, raspberries, mulberries, elderberries, nuts, and mushrooms that flourish here. However, wildflowers, those delicate and colorful blooms that grace the forest floor, are best left untouched, allowing their beauty to flourish for all to enjoy.

Dickson Timber Campground: Your Gateway to Adventure

For those seeking more than a day's worth of exploration, Dickson Timber offers a camping experience that's nothing short of magical. The campground features 12 electric camping sites for RVs, along with 8 electric equestrian camping sites equipped with corrals and nearby water hydrants. If you prefer tent camping, Dickson Timber has got you covered. The best part? All camping is on a first-come, first-serve basis, ensuring that you can escape into the wilderness whenever the mood strikes. Reservations? Not needed here!

Trails Beckon

One of the highlights of Dickson Timber is its extensive network of trails. Hiking enthusiasts and horseback riders alike will find their bliss here. Several miles of trails wind through the forest, providing easy access right from the campgrounds. Whether you're seeking a leisurely stroll or a more vigorous ride, these trails beckon you to explore the heart of Iowa's wilderness.

Seasons of Serenity

While the beauty of Dickson Timber remains constant throughout the year, the campground does observe seasonal openings. Closed between mid-October and mid-April, weather permitting, it welcomes nature lovers from mid-April through mid-October, offering a unique opportunity to witness the changing seasons in this captivating forest.

Dickson Timber Forest Preserve isn't just a destination; it's an experience. It's a place where you can reconnect with the natural world, where you can camp beneath the stars, explore lush forests, and create memories that will last a lifetime. Whether you're a seasoned camper or a novice adventurer, Dickson Timber welcomes all with open arms to discover the untamed beauty of Iowa's wilderness.



Dickson Timber is located 2 miles East and 3.5 miles North of Highway 30 on N50 (Velvet Avenue).


Dickson Timber Campground offers the following facilities and amenities:

  • RV sites with electricity
  • Equestrian campsites with electricity
  • Tent campsites
  • Horse corrals
  • Water hydrants
  • Pit toilet
  • Horse trails
  • Dickson Timber Shelter House


Cost Details:

  • $14.00 per night - RV and Equestrian electric campsites (30 AMP)
  • $10.00 per night - Non-electric, tent, and equestrian campsites.
  • $2.00 per day - Horse trail fees
  • $15.00 per year, equestrian permit expires on January 10th of each year.
  • $40.00 per day - Shelter House with a $50.00 Refundable damage deposit



  • The Campground is open from mid-April through mid-October, weather permitting.
  • The Campground is closed between mid-October and mid-April, weather permitting.
  • The shelter house at Dickson Timber is located near the campground and is available for use on a first-come, first-served basis if it has not already been reserved. To reserve your event at the shelter house please contact the Carroll County Conservation office at (712) 792-4614 or email


If you want to discover and explore other campsites and horse trails, here are some of them that you may visit:

WHITEROCK CONSERVANCY - Whiterock Conservancy Long Creek trail

WOODWARD, IOWA - High Trestle Trail: Woodward to Slater




Dickson Timber Forest Preserve does not require reservations (except for their Shelter House) for overnight accommodations. Please visit their page here on Top Horse Trails - Dickson Timber Forest Preserve for more information