Tacky the Penguin Book Walk

The Decorah Public Library, the Decorah Community School District, and the Decorah Parks and Recreation Department are hosting a BookWalk Friday, January 15 thru Sunday, January 24.

A BookWalk is a fun way to read while enjoying the outdoors. This month’s story is Tacky the Penguin by Helen Lester. Pages of the book will be posted beginning on the trail just south of the 5th Ave Bridge and across from Will Baker Athletic Fields in Decorah. The story will continue traveling south along the trail to and around Pulpit Rock Campground.

The BookWalk is free, open to the public, and does not require registration.  The story is available in both English and Spanish.

Participants can be entered in a drawing to win a $25 gift card to Cardboard Robot if they fill out this online survey after completing the BookWalk!

Sharp Shooters, Hoopsters, and Adult Volleyball Leagues Resume in January

Sharp Shooters, Hoopsters and Adult Volleyball Leagues that were suspended in mid-November due to COVID-19 regulations will resume in January.

Women’s Volleyball League will resume Wednesday, January 6. Sharp Shooters Basketball will resume Saturday, January 9. Coed Volleyball will resume Sunday, January 10. Hoopsters Basketball will resume Monday, January 11.

Participants in Sharp Shooters and Hoopsters should check their email for additional information. Participants in Adult Volleyball Leagues should check with their team captain for additional information.

For further information please contact the Decorah Parks & Recreation Office at 563-382-4158.


2021 Whalen and Shelter Reservations Information

Decorah Parks and Recreation began taking reservation requests for Whalen Cabin and picnic shelters for the 2021 season on Monday, January 4, 2021 at 8am. Reservation requests may be made by calling the Decorah Parks & Recreation Office at 563-382-4158.

Winter Trail & Recreation Information

Updated January 24, 2021

The following trails were groomed Sunday, January 24, 2021.

  • Carlson Park
  • Trout Run Trail
  • Ice Cave Rd
  • Palisades Park

Plowed Walking Routes – new this season!

Staff will plow routes for walking throughout the winter season.

  • Route #1: East end of Dug Road, along Trout Run Trail to 5th street bridge. Cross 5th street bridge heading north, travel west on Ice Cave Road & return to the east end of Dug Road using sidewalk along College Drive.
  • Route #2: Starting at 5th Ave Bridge, travel south along bike trail to Pulpit Rock Campground. Pulpit Rock Campground will be plowed for pedestrians to walk loops around the campground and can return to 5th Ave bridge via the bike trail.
  • Route #3: Freeport trail is plowed from Bowstring Bridge to Haugen Hummel. Pedestrians can park in the parking lot by bowstring bridge or in the northwest corner of the Walmart Parking lot.

Ice Skating Rink

The skating rink opened for the season January 1, 2021. The warming house and restrooms are closed due to COVID-19, but a porta potty is available. There is no rink attendant. Please obey signage and be mindful of cones which indicate poor ice conditions. Park-Rec staff will continue to add water to the rink evenings when overnight temperatures dip into the teens. It is important that individuals stay off the rink after it is flooded to give water time to freeze and make good ice.

Ice skates can be rented from Decorah Bicycles.



Warm Places in Outdoor Spaces: Fire Pit Reservation Program

Photo of fire & fire pitDecorah Parks and Recreation is now offering a reservation program for fire pits at Phelps Park Shelter #1, Whalen Cabin, Will Baker Park, and Upper Twin Springs Park.   Firewood will be provided; patrons should bring their own chairs and are responsible for starting and extinguishing the fire.  Fire pits are available 7 days a week, but all reservations must be made Monday thru Thursday, from 8 am to 4 pm, by calling the Park-Rec. Office at (563) 382-4158.

There is no reservation fee, but patrons are encouraged to make a free will donation to support the Decorah Parks System.  A cash donation or check payable to Decorah Park-Rec. may be put in an envelope addressed to Decorah Park-Rec. and dropped in the Water Bill Drop Off Slot at the front entrance of the Decorah Municipal Center.  You may also mail it to Decorah Park-Rec., PO Box 513, Decorah, IA 52101.

New Year’s at Home

Decorah park-Rec New Year's Eve at HomeRing in the New Year at home!  Decorah Parks & Recreation is creating a bag of supplies for families to celebrate New Year’s Eve at home. The bag will include crafts and activities for indoors and outdoors to help make New Year’s a special celebration amidst a year that has been unlike any other.

Families wishing to participate should register their children (bags are geared for ages 2-10 years) online by Wednesday, December 16. New Year’s Eve at Home bags will be available for families to pick up 8am-5pm Tuesday, December 29 outside the Park-Rec Office.

There is no cost to participate in this program, but a box for free will donations will be set up outside the Park-Rec Office throughout pick-up day.  Funds received will be used to support this and future free activities offered by Decorah Parks & Recreation.  If you have questions please contact the Park-Rec Office via email (parkrec@decorahia.org) or by calling 563-382-4158.



G2G Drive Thru Santa Event

G2G Drive Thru Santa Event

Free Event for Adults with Special Needs

Decorah Parks & Recreation is hosting a Get-2-Gether (G2G) Drive Thru Santa Event for adults with special needs Saturday, December 19, 10:00-11:30am outside the Spectrum Network Kitchen at 200 Railroad Street, Decorah. Adults with special needs are invited to stop outside of Spectrum Network in Decorah to greet Santa and receive a small goodie bag. Participants should stay in their vehicles. This is a free event, but participants must register online at http://www.get2g.com/ or by calling the Park-Rec Office (563-382-4158) by Thursday, December 17.

Thanksgiving Adventure Series Prize Winners Announced

Decorah Parks and Recreation hosted a series of free, self-guided, outdoor events Thanksgiving weekend! This included a Turkey Trot (5k and 1 mile loop) in the Decorah Community Prairie, a Fun Fact walk along Ice Cave Road and River Trail, a Downtown Turkey Hunt, and a Carlson Park Adventure. All activities were set up and available for participants to complete Thursday, November 26 thru Sunday, November 29. All participants were entered in a drawing to win Chamber Dollars, which can be used at local Decorah businesses.

Nearly 200 individuals participated in the Thanksgiving Adventure Series. Prize winners were selected at random and are listed below.

Aiden & Everly

Barry, Olivia & Spencer

Kayla, Jenny, Julie & Bob

Gregg, Karen, Kyle & Kate

Thanks to all who participated and a special congratulations to the drawing prize winners!

Pop Up Event: Thanksgiving Adventure Series

Decorah Parks and Recreation is hosting a series of free, self-guided, outdoor events Thanksgiving weekend! This includes a Turkey Trot (5k and 1 mile loop) in the Decorah Community Prairie, a Fun Fact walk along Ice Cave Road and River Trail, a Downtown Turkey Hunt, and a Carlson Park Adventure. All activities will be set up and available for participants to complete Thursday, November 26 thru Sunday, November 29. Participants are eligible for drawing prizes.

Turkey Trot

Run or walk the 5k or 1-mile loop that we have marked out in the Decorah Community Prairie. This can be a fun challenge for individuals or for your entire household. The Decorah Community Prairie is located at the south end of Ohio Street (over the levy) in Decorah. Click here to submit your run/walk or send a picture of you during your turkey trot to parkrec@decorahia.org to be entered in a drawing to win a prize.

Fun Fact Turkey Walk

Find the turkeys on the trail as you walk Ice Cave Road and River Trail. Park in the gravel lot on the south side of Ice Cave Road near Palisades Park. Head west on Ice Cave Road until you reach the gravel parking lot on the south side of Ice Cave Road (near Dunning’s Spring Park) From there travel east on River Trail and follow the trail to return to where you parked. Read the signs along the route and you’ll be sure to learn something about turkeys that you never knew before. Look for a sign on the trail with instructions for your chance to win a drawing prize.

Downtown Turkey Hunt

Stroll downtown and see how many paper turkeys you can find in the storefront windows of local businesses. Be sure to walk the sidewalks on both the north side and south side of water street so you don’t miss any. For an added challenge see if you can figure out what all of the businesses with turkeys in the storefronts have in common. Click here to let us know how many turkeys you spotted and what you think the businesses with turkeys have in common. All participants will be entered in a drawing to win a prize.

Carlson Park Turkey Adventure

Challenge yourself and walk the loop at Carlson park. You’ll find turkeys with activities for you to complete throughout your walking adventure. Carlson Park is one of Decorah’s newest parks and is located adjacent to St. Benedict Cemetery on Pleasant Avenue heading south towards the Fish Hatchery. The park currently includes a 2-mile grass loop through the park. Look for a sign on the trail with instructions for your chance to win a drawing prize.

Hoopsters, Sharp Shooters, and Adult Volleyball Leagues Suspended

Decorah Parks and Recreation staff follow the direction of state and local authorities and will work to determine if alternative programming dates are an option in the future. We appreciate your continued patience and understanding as we navigate this unprecedented time.  If you have questions or concerns please reach out to us by emailing parkrec@decorahia.org or by calling the Park-Rec Office at 563-382-4158.

Click here for the Governor’s Proclamation.