Parks & Recreation Areas
Map of Adair County Parks & Wildlife Areas
Hoskins Wildlife Area2009 Adair-Adams St.
Orient, IA 50858
Hoskins Wildlife Area
Hoskins Wildlife Area features 120 acres including a 2-acre pond. The pond has a fishable population. The wildlife area also has a butterfly habitat. Public hunting is allowed.
Jensen-Butler Wildlife Area1974 Trenton Ave.
Stuart, IA 50250
Jensen-Butler Wildlife Area
Located 9 miles south of Stuart, the Jensen-Butler Wildlife Area is comprised of 61 acres featuring equal amounts of woodlands and prairie, along with a 1/2-acre pond. Public hunting is allowed.
Jesse James Historical Park1156 Anita-Adair Rd.
Adair, IA 50002
Jesse James Historical Park
The Jesse James Historical Park is a 7-acre park of restored prairie planting. A large steam engine wheel with a plaque marks the spot where, in 1873, the Jesse James gang staged the first robbery of a moving train.
About the Jesse James Historical Park
Jesse James and his notorious gang of outlaws staged the world's first robbery of a moving train on the evening of July 21, 1873, a mile and a half west of Adair, Iowa.
Earlier in July, the gang had learned that $75,000 in gold from the Cheyenne Region was to come through Adair on the recently-built main line of the Chicago, Rock Island, & Pacific Railroad.
Jesse sent his brother, Frank James, and Cole Younger to Omaha to learn when the gold shipment was to reach Adair. Jesse, along with Clell Miller, Bill Caldwell, and Jim and Tom Younger remained camped in the hills in the Adair area.
Finally, Frank James and Cole Younger got their tip that the gold shipment was on its way east and they brought the report to Jesse, who had made plans for the train robbery. The afternoon of the robbery, July 21, 1873, the bandits called at the section house and obtained some pies and other food from Mrs. Robert Gran, wife of the section foreman.
In the meantime, the bandits broke into a handcar house, stole a spike bar and hammer which they pried off a fishplate connecting two rails, and pulled out the spikes. This was on a curve of the railroad track west of Adair near the Turkey Creek bridge on old U.S. Highway 6 (now County Road G30.)
A rope was tied on the west end of the disconnected north rail. The rope was passed under the south rail and led to a hole they had cut in the bank in which to hide.
When the train came along, the rail was jerked out of place and the engine plunged into the ditch and toppled over on its side. Engineer John Rafferty of Des Moines was killed, the fireman, Dennis Foley, died of his injuries and several passengers were injured.
Two members of the gang, believed to have been Jesse and Frank James, climbed into the express car and forced John Burgess, the guard, to open the safe. In it they found only $2,000 in currency--the gold shipment had been delayed. They collected only about $3,000, including the currency and loot taken from the passengers, in the world's first robbery of a moving train.
Levi Clay, employed by the railroad in Adair, which was then not quite a year old, walked to Casey where the alarm was sent by a telegrapher to Des Moines and Omaha, and soon the news was spread all over the nation. A train loaded with armed men left Council Bluffs for Adair and dropped small detachments of men along the route where saddled horses were waiting.
The trail of the outlaws was traced into Missouri where they split up and were sheltered by friends. Later the governor of Missouri offered a $10,000 reward for the capture of Jesse James, dead or alive.
On April 3, 1882, the reward reportedly proved too tempting for Bob Ford, a new member of the James gang, and he shot and killed Jesse in the James home in St. Joseph, Missouri.
A locomotive wheel that bears a plaque with the inscription, "Site of the first train robbery in the west, committed by the notorious Jesse James and his gang of outlaws on July 21, 1873," was erected by the Rock Island Railroad in 1954.
Karl & Grace Correll Wildlife Area1000 Elk Ave.
Adair, IA 50002
Karl & Grace Correll Wildlife Area
Correll Wildlife Area consists of 45 acres including 30 acres of prairie restoration. The park features 1.5 miles of mowed hiking trails through tall prairie grass and a footbridge. Hunting is allowed.
Ken Sidey Nature Area2521 Lewis Ave.
Greenfield, IA 50849
Ken Sidey Nature Area
This 107-acre woodland preserve has 3 miles of walking trails. The area has a variety of native wildflowers and prairie grasses and is a good site for birdwatching, mushroom, and berry picking.
Lake Orient3103 Orange Ave.
Orient, IA 50858
This 83-acre park features a 24-acre lake stocked with catfish, bluegill, crappie, and bass. Campsites with electric and water hookups, shower/safe house, playground, and a boat ramp are present. Visitors will find a 2 mile mowed grass walking trail. Only public game bird hunting is allowed. A historical marker is on-site commemorating Henry A. Wallace
Middle River Forest Area3234 200th St.
Dexter, IA 50070
Middle River Forest Area
This forest area is comprised of 38 acres of scenic wooded bottomland and upland timber. It's the upstream starting point of the Middle River Water Trail. Hard surface carrier down canoe access. Canoeing, wildlife watching, primitive camping. 3/8-mile hiking trail provides foot access to 3/4 mile of river.
Mormon Trail Park2828 Delta Ave.
Bridgewater, IA 50837
Mormon Trail Park
This 170-acre park features a 35-acre lake stocked with catfish, bluegill, crappie, and large mouth bass. Key activities include:
- Free unsupervised beach
- Shelter house
- Picnic tables
- Boat ramp
A historical marker commemorates the Mormons' migration through the area. Public game bird hunting only.
Rex Sullivan Wildlife Area1453 330th St.
Bridgewater, IA 50837
Rex Sullivan Wildlife Area
This 160-acre habitat area consists of woodlands and 11 acres of prairie. Public hunting is allowed.
Wright Timber Wildlife Area3202 190th St.
Dexter, IA 50070
Wright Timber Wildlife Area
240-acre wildlife area with timber and 57 acres of prairie. Public hunting is allowed.
Dump stations can be found in Bridgewater and Orient.
- Bridgewater Dump Station: corner of Maple and 280th St.
- Orient Dump Station: 110 S. Maple St.
Additional Recreation Areas
Managed by the City of Greenfield
- Nodaway Lake
2066 250th St., Greenfield, IA 50849
80-acre park adjacent to Kin Sidey Nature Area. Features a 22-acre lake with hard-surface boat access, trails, playground, picnic areas, campground with shower house and restrooms.
- Lake Greenfield
1/2 mile southwest of Greenfield, on Marion Ave.
236-acre park with a 44-acre lake. Boat ramp, fishing, sailing, shelter houses, picnic tables, grills, playground, sand volleyball court, frisbee golf, 2 miles paved walking trail around lake.
Managed by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources
- Adair Wildlife Management Area
2 miles west of Fontanelle on 250th St.
345 acre wildlife area. Public hunting. Large blocks of timber, prairie, and ag fields.
- Meadow Lake
5 miles north of Greenfield, east on 180th St.
42-acre lake surrounded by 320 acres of sparsely wooded meadow. Boat ramp. Public hunting and fishing.