Madison County Conservation Board

We hope you have the opportunity to visit Madison County and enjoy the historic Covered Bridges, densely wooded river valleys, majestic limestone bluffs and gently rolling grasslands. The Madison County Conservation Board is responsible for managing 13 County Parks that are located primarily in rural areas throughout Madison County, Iowa.

Natural Resources

Madison County is teaming with wildlife and richly blessed with natural resources. Four unique river systems meander through the County from west to east – North River, Middle River, Grand River and Clanton Creek. Catfish, Iowa’s most popular game fish, are readily caught in the rivers, not to mention the excellent pan fishing to be found in the numerous small reservoirs and hundreds of small privately owned farm ponds. The quality of deer, turkey, pheasant and other upland game hunting in Madison County is second to none. The majority of park land managed by the Conservation Board is designated as natural resource areas (open to hunting), which remain largely undeveloped to protect the integrity and quality of the woodlands, prairie, rivers, wetlands and wildlife found within the park boundaries.

Location & Access

Madison County is located in south-central Iowa. Our centralized County seat town of Winterset is located approximately 40 miles southwest of Des Moines with easiest access to all our public areas and historic features gained from either Interstate 80 that borders us on the north or Interstate 35 that borders us on the east. Madison County is also served by east/west State Highway 92 and north/south U.S. Highway 169 which conveniently meet at a crossroads in Winterset.


Recreational opportunities abound. Individual park development varies from full utility camping and shelter facilities to undeveloped natural areas. Some of our recreational opportunities include: fishing, camping, hiking, hunting, cross-country skiing, and seasonal environmental education programs available for all ages. Handicapped accessible facilities are provided in nearly every park.