Trumbull Lake/Smith’s Slough

Explore this pothole lake and marsh by canoe and enjoy pelicans, cormorants, herons and waterfowl, or drive the paved road through mature trees from the east side of Trumbull Lake to view songbirds, especially Warblers in spring and fall. There is a nice variety of spring wildflowers in the woodland area on the east side.

Pothole Birding

Wind your way through the slough, canoeing among the cattails, Beaver lodge, Muskrat houses, Herons, Bitterns and Sedge Wrens.

Location Description

Trumbull Lake is part of the 9 mile long Trumpeter Canoe Trail through the shallow lakes and marshes near Ruthven. Smith’s Slough connects Trumbull Lake to Mud Lake. Mud Lake is a private lake which is open to the public for canoeing during the spring and summer. It is, however, closed to the public when the duck season opens in early September.

Driving Directions and other Information

  • Birding drive located off of N 18 miles north of Hwy 18 (between Spencer and Ruthven). Canoe access from this same road, by the dam on the east side of Trumbull Lake; from creek north of Trumbull Lake on B 17; and from the west side of the lake, 310th Street off of N 14, go east toward lake.
  • GPS Coordinants - (Road to Trumbull Lake from B 14) N 43 11.565 W 094 55.833
  • Trumbull Lake - 1,181 acres, and Smith's Slough - 331 acres, managed by the Iowa DNR.
  • Kayaking, Canoeing, Hiking, Binoculars, Fishing, Hunting
Educational Activity:
Visit Trumbull Lake and Smith's Slough via Google Map by Clicking HERE!

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Take a short visit to Trumbull Lake and Smith's Slough via video below!