Watson Heritage Area/West Fork Wetlands

This is one of the largest public timber tracts in Palo Alto County with 378 acres of County Conservation land adjacent to 640 acres of DNR land. Hike the mowed trail along river valley oxbows and 7 wetlands to enjoy fall colors and view wildlife. Watch for Deer, Otter, Pheasant and Turkey. The restored prairie to the east displays an excellent variety of prairie flowers from March to September. Hunting and trapping are allowed..

River Corridor

The river bottom woodlands and upland prairie provide habitat for woodpeckers, thrush, owls, eagles, warblers, migratory and nesting waterfowl, Dicksissel, Bobolink and Sedge Wren.

Location Description

Watson Heritage Area is located 1 mile southeast of Emmetsburg off of B 41 (south of the airport).

Driving Directions and other Information

  • Birding drive located off of B 41, south of Emmetsburg along the West Des Moines River. 440th Avenue & Burns Road.
  • GPS location N 43 04.821 W 094 43.097
  • 378 acres, Palo Alto County Conservation Board, 640 acres, Iowa DNR.
  • Hiking, Birding, Prairie Plants, Autumn Leaf Watching, Hunting

Visit Watson Heritage Area via Google Map by Clicking HERE!

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Take a short visit to Watson Heritage Area via the video below!

Wild Categories Photo Gallery