Scenic drives and recreational areas that are open to all modes of transportation whether it be bikes, hikes, ATVs, horses or vehicle travel are easily accessible all through the Wadena area. We are known for the Volga River State Recreation Area, but also welcome fisherman to Grannis Creek, and families to the Wadena City Park or The Pleasant Valley Golf Course as well as old-fashioned small town festivals. History-seekers will enjoy the Fayette County Historical Center, Herriman Mansion, Lima Church and more!
Parks, Recreation & Attractions
Volga River State Recreation Area
The Volga River Recreation Area has become a very popular center for a number of trail activities. Hiking, cross-country skiing, mountain biking, and equestrian trails wind through the area. Trails include Frog Hollow Trail, Lake View Trail, Ridge Trail, Albany Trail and the Lima Trail. The Lima Trail takes visitors past 20 foot high limestone bluffs and a 15 acre white pine plantation. The total trail system is 25 miles in length. In the winter, some trails are maintained for snowmobiling. Scenic features include the Volga River and the old steel bridges that cross it, striking rock formations, prairie areas and natural woodlands with unusual stands of aspen and Canadian yew. Changes of season provide vivid contrasts in snowy winter, bright wild flowers and foliage in spring, shady woodlands in summer and vivid colors in autumn.
The Lakeview modern campground is located at the north end of the Recreation Area. This campground has 43 campsites with electricity. There are equestrian non-modern campsites with electricity at the Albany campground area. The area is open to public hunting during regular hunting seasons. White-tailed deer and wild turkey are popular quarries.
For more information, visit the Iowa DNR website: IowaDNR.gov-State Parks-Volga River
Grannis creek is the largest and most popular trout stream in Fayette County. It is located east of Fayette, north of Kornhill Road, in a beautiful wooded valley. The DNR Fisheries Dept stocks the trout streams from April through September. There is also a handicap accessible fishing area at the Grannis Creek site. If you follow the creek further east, you're rewarded with a beautiful waterfall. In the spring the hillsides and creek banks are covered with clouds of anemones and dutchman's breeches. In the fall the oak, maple, poplar & ash trees put on a glorious show of yellow, orange & red.
Wadena City Park
The Wadena park allows overnight camping with water and electricity hookup and restrooms. It has volleyball courts, playground equipment and a park shelter available on a first come first serve basis. There are no set fees, free-will donations are accepted for use of the park facilities. Any Wadena business can accept the donation.
Wadena Lighted Cross
The lighted cross was a bicentennial project of a group of Wadena citizens. It is located on the high bluff overlooking Wadena and is illuminated every night.
Lima Leaf Day
Every year on the first Sunday in October - Wadena and Fayette area residents and their extended families and friends gather at the historic Lima Church for an old-fashioned fall festival. Hearty homemade lunch, pies, games, a cake walk, craft market and quilt raffle are just a few of the events in this family-friendly event.
Fayette County Barn Quilts Route
If you like to explore the countryside, love old barns and quilts, you can spend days in Northeast Iowa. Novices should know that "Barn Quilts" are not really quilts but rather the patterns of our favorite quilts translated into paintings. Some are elaborate, some are simple. You may see one on a barn in the middle of now where or fifteen on a barn along the highway. As you enjoy the colors, see how many patterns you can find and notice the different types of barns be sure to take in the character of the countryside and the rural lifestyle that makes Northeast Iowa a great day for a Sunday drive!
In 2006, a tour-loop was developed with quilt blocks placed on historic and "not-so-historic" barns in eastern Fayette County. In the spring of 2007, the Fayette County Barn Quilt volunteers began determining a route featuring sites in the western part of the county. The route will travel on hard-surfaced roads only, as does the eastern loop. Watch for details, or contact one of the numbers listed below for more information about the western loop. The Barn Quilts of Fayette County project would not have been possible without a $4,996 grant from the Fayette County Community Foundation. In addition to other financial contributions, there were donations of paint, and numerous donations of volunteer hours building, painting, delivering and putting the quilt blocks into place - and not always on the nicest days of Northeast Iowa's typical beautiful weather!
While the project committee is no longer in place, you can still find many of the barn quilts throughout Fayette County. And though the map available here is outdated and poor quality, it is at this time the only information available. If you have more information regarding the Fayette County Barn Quilts, please contact this site's manager, Melanie Rice at email@example.com.
Historic Bridges of Iowa
Fayette County is home to many historic and notable bridges. A full list of bridges can be found at Bridgehunter.com. Included in this list, Fayette County features seven of the Historic Bridges of Iowa built between 1892 and 1953 including two metal truss bridges and two concrete arch bridges. To view all the bridges and their details and locations, visit the Iowa DOT Website at: IowaDOT.gov/Historic-Bridges/Fayette-County.
Pleasant Valley Golf Course
Located just 15 minutes away from Wadena in Clermont is Pleasant Valley Sports Club. A 9-Hole, public golf course located at 24749 Canoe Rd, Clermont, Iowa. 563-423-7396 You can find more information at their website: PleasantValleySportsClub.com
Area Farmers' Markets
Buy fresh and buy local from Wadena area farmers at these neighboring farmers' markets. Fresh produce, fresh baked goods, honey, homemade crafts and many other healthy choices!
Elgin Town & Country Market
Elgin City Park
Thursday, 4:30-6 pm
May - End September
Fayette Open Air Market
305 W. Water Street Shelter
Wednesday, 3-5 pm
Mid May - Mid October
Oelwein City Lot
110 E. Charles Street
Monday, 3-6 pm, Friday, 8-11 am
Mid May - October