Hike the 1.5 mile self-guided interpretive trail where visitors can learn about the natural and cultural history of the area. A variety of songbirds and wildlife are often spotted near the trails. You can fish or kayak in the canals and cross-country skiing is available in the winter.
Iowa DNR Trail Brochure
Welcome to the Barney Peterson Memorial Interpretive Trail. The trail length is approximately 1.5 miles in length. It will take about 45 minutes to hike the trail. Please follow along in this brochure as you walk along the trail to learn more about the area’s natural and cultural history.
This area is an island that is surrounded by West Lake Okoboji and a canal. The land was used as a golf course from 1917-1942, and closed in 1942 due to World War II. In 1946 the golf course reopened for one year and then closed again. It was converted to a pasture in 1946 and refined that way until the summer of 1949.
The Prairie Gold Boy Scout Council purchased the property in the summer of 1949 and operated a Boy Scout Camp here until 1974 when the Iowa Conservation Commission (now the Iowa DNR) purchased the property. Barney Peterson was employed by the Boy Scouts to help preserve this natural area so that it could be enjoyed by future generations. In respect for his hard work, the nature trail has been named in his memory.
The best way to enjoy the trial is to get out and experience nature first hand: be alert for wildlife, look for wildflowers, touch the rough bard or soft leaves of a tree and inhale the fresh aroma of pine and cedar trees. Please do not pick or remove any natural objects, so that others may have the same quality experience.