Dewey’s Pasture Complex

This 5,390 acre prairie pothole complex is so representative of the glacial made marshes of the Midwest, that it has been designated at a Registered Natural Landmark by the National Park Service. NOTE: This is a BCA- Bird Conservation Area, a highlighted birding area in Iowa.

Pothole Birding

Nesting birds include Pied-billed Grebe, American and Least Bitterns, Canada Geese, Blue-winged Teal, Virginia Rails, Soras, Willow Flycatchers, Marsh Wrens, Swamp Sparrows, Bobolinks and Yellow-headed Blackbirds. Northern Harriers, Great Blue and Green Herons, Great Egrets, American White Pelicans, Cormorants, Kingfisher and Trumpeter Swans can also be sighted here.

Location Description

Upland prairie, marsh and small tracts of oak forest are found in this complex. A 3 plus mile mowed loop hiking trail winds through Lost Island Marsh and on the southeast side of Mud Lake. There is also a one mile loop hiking trail in the forest and along Lost Island Lake, accessible from the parking lot at the Lost Island Nature Center in Huston County Park. Deer, Raccoons, Red Fox, Coyotes are common. Many frog species, Tiger Salamanders, Painted, Snapping and Blanding’s Turtles are also found in the area.

Driving Directions and other Information

  • Main parking lot off of B 17 (300th ) about 4 miles north of Hwy 18 between Spencer and Ruthven.
  • GPS Coordinants - N43deg11.570 WO94deg55.812
  • 5,390 acres, the Iowa DNR.
  • Nearby: Lost Island-Huston County Park - 79 acres, Palo Alto County Conservation Board, also the Lost Island Prairie Wetland Nature Center.
  • Restrooms at Huston County Park campground, and Lost Island Nature Center
  • Kayaking, Canoeing, Flowers, Hiking, Binoculars, Fishing, Hunting (some parts), Camping
Educational Activity:
Visit Dewey's Pasture via Google Map by Clicking HERE!

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Take a short visit to Dewey's Pasture via video below!