Mitchell County offers some of the best outdoor and indoor recreation available anywhere in Iowa. Watersheds of the Cedar, Little Cedar and Wapsipinicon Rivers provide abundant wildlife habitat for deer, turkey, pheasant, river otter, waterfowl and eagles. With nearly 2,000 acres of public lands, there are plenty of access areas for public hunting and wildlife viewing.
The Cedar River offers excellent small-mouth, walleye and northern fishing. The historic Mitchell Mill Hydroelectric Dam creates a five mile lake for boating, water skiing and fishing. Mitchell County also has three high quality cold-water streams stocked with trout by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources- Turtle Creek, Spring Creek and the Wapsipinicon River.
If you enjoy hiking, biking or horseback riding, there are over 25 miles of trails on public land across the county. Come experience the abundant recreational opportunities in Mitchell County.
The lure of shady trees and sparkling water is an irresistible combination on a hot summer day. Halvorson Park, 1.5 miles south of St. Ansgar, provides just that combination. Ten acres of well-kept grounds for spacious picnicking and camping.
Six miles of the Cedar River between the park and Mitchell Dam/Interstate Park provide excellent facilities for boating and water skiing. Boat docks, launching ramp and ample parking areas are available. Swimming and fishing are also popular entertainment in this area.
Shaded by many majestic trees, the numerous parks around Mitchell County offer favorite picnic areas, many miles of hiking and biking trails in the summer and cross country skiing in winter; both primitive and non-primitive camping areas in one of Mitchell County’s 8 campgrounds, including Spring Park, where you will find its very own cold-water spring.
Acorn Park and Golf Course, Sunny Brae Golf Course & Riceville Country Club offer exceptional area golfing, and recreational facilities for young and old alike.
Bowling lanes are located in Stacyville, St. Ansgar and Osage with a variety of bowling leagues offered.
Public libraries are located in St. Ansgar, Osage, Riceville and Stacyville.
Area ringneck pheasant hunting is good enough to attract out-of-state hunters. Duck, rabbits and other small game are also hunted. Local bow hunters enjoy a long season on whitetail deer.
Crappies and small mouth bass are the most sought-after fish in the Cedar River, but there are also northern pike, catfish and bullheads. A small trout stream at the edge of St. Ansgar is stocked regularly by the Iowa State Conservation Commission.
Ice fishing, cross country skiing and snowmobiling are popular winter sports. The Hamlin Garland refuge area provides a scenic nature trail.
Year-round swimming is an option in Mitchell County with an outdoor pool located in St. Ansgar as well as an indoor pool located at the Cedar River Complex in Osage.
The Cedar River Complex is also home to a state-of-the-art wellness center including gym, elevated walking trail, weights, numerous fitness and wellness classes and racquetball courts. The CRC also houses the Mitchell County Historical Museum and theatre which hosts various concerts and theatrical performances year-round.
Concert series, lectures, junior college courses and other cultural activities are also available at each of four nearby larger communities (20, 35, 50, 55 miles). Major league baseball, football, opera and a large variety of cultural and entertainment attractions are within commuting distance at Minneapolis-St. Paul (120 miles) and Des Moines with their variety of athletic, cultural and entertainment attractions.