The Matsell Bridge Natural Area allows people and pups to get deep into the wilderness. It's the largest natural area in Linn County, at 1887 acres. This acreage encompasses diverse landscapes and terrain, all discoverable by means of the trails that wind throughout the park. On your travels, you'll get to see many different species of native Iowa wildlife and plants. It's the pawfect way to spend an afternoon or a weekend with your four-legged friend.
The Matsell Bridge Natural Area features 12.5 miles of trails. These trails are divided into three, the Red Oak Trail, the Pine & Prairie Trail, and the Ruffed Grouse Trail. They are available to be used year round, whether hiking through the fall foliage, blooming spring flowers, or cross-country skiing through a winter wonderland. 10 miles of trail are open for equestrian use, with hitching posts available as well. The Red Oak Trail and the Ruffed Grouse Trail are only 1.25 miles long each, with the Pine and Prairie Trail being by far the longest at 10 miles. The trail forms loops to provide many options for hikes of varying lengths. On your adventure with your canine, you'll traverses open grasslands, prairies, bottomland forests and coniferous woodlands.
If you'd like to spend the night in this area with your trail dog, you're in luck! The Matsell Bridge Natural Area is home to 4 campgrounds and over 70 primitive campsites. Some campsites require hiking in, and none have electricity. Some other park features include a shooting range, and a boat ramp to access the Wapsipinicon River.
Doggos are more than welcome to join their humans in this park, as long as they follow proper petiquette. Please keep your pup on a leash no longer than 6 feet, and picked up after at all times. Don't forget to bring supplies depending on the length of your stay, such as food, water, and waste bags for your pal.
With the seemingly endless activities here, Matsell Bridge Park is sure to get your pup's tail wagging!