Restoration of Pulpit Rock Picnic and Gathering Area
This area has been cleared of invasive species to restore the original picnic and gathering area. A wall around the area was built.
Pulpit Rock Trail Restoration
The off road trail in Will Baker Park that leads to Pulpit Rock will be restored with funding from the Iowa Great Places Grant. Will Baker Park and Pulpit Rock will remain open to visitors throughout this project.
- Stone pillars were installed at the trail head by stone mason John Klosterboer.
- New signage will be installed.
- Trail restoration was started in late fall and will be completed in Spring 2021.
New Playground Equipment at Vennehjem Park
Vennehjem Park received a considerable improvement to its landscape this summer with newly installed playground equipment. This project began with a neighborhood fundraiser spearheaded by Spence McKinney, former director of Decorah Parks and Recreation, and a grant from the Winneshiek Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa. 60% of the project was covered by donations and the WCCF grant.
Dunning's Spring and Ice Cave Access
Dunning's Spring Park and Ice Cave are accessible from the west end of Ice Cave Road. Visitors should park in the gravel lot on the south side of the road. If the parking lot is full visitors may park along Ice Cave Road. Please be respectful of private property around the park.
- Dunning's Spring Waterfall: 200 yard walk from gravel parking lot. Head north on paved drive across the road from the parking lot. Please note there is not parking at the waterfall.
- Ice Cave: 1/2 mile walk from the grave parking lot. Head east on Ice Cave Road. This road is closed to vehicles and thru traffic. Ice Cave is open to the public with no fee for admission. Click here for more information about Ice Cave.
Phelps Park Trail Improvements
Trails in Phelps Park will be improved through funding received from the Iowa Great Places Grant.
- The rock steps approaching the first bridge as you head west on the trail from Phelps Park were renovated in June and July.
Re-establishment of Trail from Dug Road to Phelps Park
Park staff are re-establishing a trail that links Dug Road to Phelps Park. Stone mason John Klosterboer constructed stone pillars in July and August as a marker for the entrance of the north end of the trail. This project is part of the Iowa Great Places Grant and trail work is expected to be completed in Spring or Early Summer 2021.
In addition to the trail work, large ash trees were recently removed due to the emerald ash borer disease.
Carlson Park Trail Construction
Carlson Park is Decorah's newest park.
- A master plan for future development is being created.
- Parks crews cleared a main loop through the park that will serve as both a trail and maintenance road.
- The park was closed for a period in July following trail construction and seeding to allow the grass to grow.
- Two open house events were held in early October at Carlson Park as an opportunity for the public to share their input regarding the development of a master plan for this new park. Attendees were invited to bring their hiking shoes or off-road bike to explore the undeveloped property. Suggestions and comments were taken onsite by park planners during the open house events or could be submitted by electronic survey.