The Great Outdoors
Get in touch with nature
The Amana Colonies are beautiful in every season of the year and we invite you to come and enjoy the great outdoors here in the Colonies. There are several ways to get in touch with nature. Here is a quick list:
- The Amana Colonies Nature Trail is located just north of Homestead at the junction of Highways 6 and 151. It’s located on land owned by the Amana Society and features 3 different trails with the longest being 3 miles. It is open most of the year except during the Iowa Deer Shotgun season. It’s perfect for hiking and in the winter cross-country skiing. The trail winds through the Amana Society’s forest and you can expect to see a variety of wildflowers, shrubs and hardwood trees along with a large number of birds including wild turkey. The timber is home to quite a few deer so if your fairly quiet you might see one or two. From an archaeological standpoint, there are three Indian burial mounds just off the trail that date back about 1,000 years. The trail leads to a lookout from a small bluff overlooking the Iowa River. The river below is the location of an Indian fish weir that is made of rocks. It was used to trap fish during the shallow times of the river. Due to the change in course of the river, it is no longer visible but believed to be intact below the dirt and vegetation. In the spring, the wildflowers are abundant and in the fall, the changing colors on the leave can be spectacular. Please, note that this trail is on private land and is open to hiking and cross country skiing but mushroom hunting and nut gathering are not allowed.
- Also, nestled in the timber is the Amana Colonies Golf Club. Located north of Middle Amana, the golf club is open (weather permitting) from Late March to Early November. A championship 18 hole layout features 5 sets of tees, rolling hills, numerous bunkers, water hazards, and striking views. They are consistently ranked high from Golf Digest and Golf Magazine as one of the top public courses in Iowa.
- The Amana Colonies Bike Trail is a 3-mile hard surface trail connecting the villages of Amana and Middle Amana. Circling the Lily Lake which blooms from July to August, it offers the rider or walkers great opportunities to spot a large and changing variety of birds and wildlife. Eagles are common in the spring as are pelicans. Canadian geese and trumpeter swans are in the area year round. The trail is a flat ride and perfect for the entire family.
- A more vigorous ride is our Gravel Bike Route that heads north into the timberland past the golf club. This ride offers two options, one that is a shorter ride from Middle Amana to High Amana and a longer rider that extends to West Amana. The longer ride offers some changes in elevation so be ready to exhort some energy. This ride takes you past the area that inspired Grant Wood to create his painting entitled “Young Corn”.
- The Iowa River runs through Amana land and makes for a perfect day to canoe or kayak. You’ll need to bring your own boat but you can put in upstream near South Amana and float or paddle with the current to the Highway 151 bridge where you’ll find a rustic spot to end your journey. Along the way, you’ll spot a variety of wildlife and may even find a sand bar to pull off for a while. If you have your fishing gear and license you might drop a line into the river. Catfish and an occasional walleye might take the bait. Check the water level before you come as the Coralville Dam and rain upstream can make the river rise very quickly and can create a swift current at times.