Take some time and unwind in nature.  


Lake Red Rock is listed as an important birding area by the Iowa Audubon Society and as a Globally Significant Bird Area by the American Bird Conservancy. Eagles can be seen throughout the winter months all around Lake Red Rock, but when the temperatures dip low, travel to the Red Rock dam where eagles congregate near the open water. During March to early May, thousands of gulls move quickly through the area.


The US Army Corps of Engineers provides programs on nature topics throughout the summer. For a complete schedule, go to


Don't forget to pack your camera. Lake Red Rock is a great place to snap shots of song birds, deer, turkey and other wildlife which creep and crawl. Not only is it great for wildlife photography, the nature areas provide beautiful woods and water scenes for great selfies or a more planned photo. ...And don't forget to take in a sunset!


Get the gear you need to explore nature at the Red Rock Visitor Center. You can borrow it for FREE! They have things like pond study adventure kits, life jackets, bird watching packets, bug packs, disc golf sets, snow shoes and GPS units for geocaching.

Cordova Observation Tower

170 steps to the top is all worth it at the Cordova Observation Tower. The observation deck is 106 feet high and the tower is the tallest public observation tower in a public park in the Midwest. There are resting places so it makes the climb easier to do. The effort is well worth it at the top. You can see water towers from neighboring towns and on clear days some of the tall buildings in downtown Des Moines nearly 45 miles away.

Bessie Spaur Butterfly Garden

This garden located just south of the Knoxville Hospital & Clinics has garden spots maintained by local garden club members. Butterflies love the blooms during spring to fall and there is a cute gazebo to sit and enjoy the view.

Chimney Swift Tower

The 20 foot high Chimney Swift Tower in Pleasantville not only tells about the Chimney Swift, but also tells the story of Iowa's bird lady, Gladys Black. The tower is located in Cora Shadle Park on the west side of Pleasantville.