Hardin County Woodlands

The Iowa River Greenbelt is protected with thousands of acres of diverse woodlands from Iowa Falls all the way to Alden. Numerous parks are spread out across the county highlighting a great diversity of woodlands.

Anders Wildlife Area
Pine Ridge Park
Ruby Woodland
Woodland flowers

Anders Wildlife Area
25134 150th Street, Iowa Falls
Anders Wildlife Area has 64 acres of upland oak woodland, savanna, and river bottom woodlands. It is located southeast of Iowa Falls on the south side of 150th Street, across the Iowa River.

Anders was obtained in 1997. Hardin County began extensive oak savanna restoration and timber stand improvement in the fall of 2013. A huge effort was made by the staff to remove invasive species such as honeysuckle, as well as undesired trees that create shade and hinder oak regeneration. The opening of woodland floor allows for grass species to reinstate, allowing to properly implement a burn program. Burning began in 2014 and will continue as we are starting to see the successes of a high quality remnant prairie take form. In 2015, Hardin County found many different sedges, along with lead plant throughout the oak savanna.

Pine Ridge Park
31458 Co Hwy D35, Steamboat Rock
Pine Ridge is an area of mostly reconstructed prairie outlined by woodland hillsides and oak savannas. Located just west of Steamboat Rock, it is a short 15-minute hike from the nearby gun range.

Fall tree at Pine Ridge State Park.
Pine Ridge was obtained by Hardin County in 1977. Management of the property began in earnest in 2013 with the first prescribed burns.

Ruby Woodland
20388 Co Hwy S56, Steamboat Rock
Ruby Woodland has has about 62 acres of old growth woodland with small areas of open grassland. It is located about a quarter of a mile south of Steamboat Rock and accessible by turning left on 210th Street where an access can be found on a right curve.

This property was obtained in 2008, with management beginning in 2012. Staff began by thinning out dense stands of Ironwood along with invasive honeysuckle removal. The result is a beautiful open oak and hickory woodland that is dissected by deep ravines.