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Useful Links

The following websites may be useful as you learn about and explore the natural areas in Johnson County. We encourage you to get out into the great outdoors today!


Johnson County Conservation links

JCCB conservation and recreation areas

This site provides information about the areas overseen by Johnson County Conservation, current JCCB projects, and JCC newsletters.

To download a single document containing brochures for all of JCCB’s public use areas, click here.


Johnson County Conservation page on MyCountyParks.com

This site features information about JCCB properties, including quick links to map each property location.

Nature Notes (JCC blog)

This site is the blog written and maintained by Johnson County Conservation’s team of naturalists. Learn about JCCB properties, DIY nature and wildlife projects, and more!

Johnson County Conservation passport

Use this passport as inspiration to visit all of Johnson County Conservation’s public use areas! 

F.W. Kent Park

F.W. Kent Park at 1052 acres is the largest area managed by Johnson County Conservations. Download a park brochure here.

F.W. Kent Park on MyCountyParks.com

Conservation Education Center

historic bridges in F.W. Kent Park

Historic bridges from around the county and state were disassembled and brough to Kent Park for installation. Learn about seven of the bridges here as well as the historic Sutliff Bridge, managed in part by Johnson County Conservation at Sutliff Access.

Informational sites about animals and plants, including organizations and citizen science efforts:


Iowa City Bird Club

Learn about local birds and birdwatching from the Iowa City Bird Club or go on field trips with experienced local birders.

This page also provides maps and information about areas worth exploring for any nature enthusiast.

Iowa Ornithologists' Union

This state-level birding organization provides resources about birds and birding in Iowa.


Insects of Iowa

This site relies on citizen science to document the distribution of Iowa’s insects. You can also upload photos of insects or butterflies/moths that you’ve seen to request help with identification.

Iowa Odonata Survey

Checklists and other resources about Iowa’s odonates (dragonflies and damselflies), sourced from citizen science submissions.

Butterflies and Moths of North America

Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA) is an ambitious effort to collect, store, and share species information and occurrence data. You can participate by taking and submitting photographs of butterflies, moths, and caterpillars.

Bumble Bees of Iowa

A downloadable brochure about Iowa’s native bumblebee species, prepared by the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.

Xerces Society Bumble Bee Conservation

Learn more about native bumble bees, including the rusty patched bumble bee, a federally endangered bee that makes its home right here in Johnson County!

Bumble Bee Watch

Information about bumble bee species.

View recent Johnson County bumble bee sightings or submit your own!


Firefly Conservation & Research

Resources about lightning bugs.

Reptiles and Amphibians

Amphibians and Reptiles of Iowa: A complete field guide of Iowa herpetology

Information about Iowa’s 24 species of amphibians and 46 species of reptiles, including species accounts and photos.

Reptiles and Amphibians of Iowa

County-level range maps for species as well as descriptions, photos, and the opportunity to contribute data as a citizen scientist. Click here to visit Johnson County’s page.


Iowa Wildflowers

Pulled from the US Wildflower Database, this site features photos and descriptions for 319 Iowa wildflowers. Plants are searchable by blossom color (white, yellow/orange, blue/purple, red/violet, green, and other) or by family.

Iowa Living Roadway Trust

This site details the Iowa Department of Transportation’s efforts to restore native plants along Iowa’s roads. There is information about native and invasive plants as well as a searchable native plant database.

Iowa Native Plant Society

From the site: The Iowa Native Plant Society is a forum for plant enthusiasts, gardeners, and professional botanists to exchange ideas and information, and to work together.

Minnesota Wildflowers (and other plants)

While there is not complete overlap between Iowa and Minnesota plants species, this site is useful for the many plants to two states have in common. Descriptions are detailed and distinguishing characteristics are noted for similar species.

Illinois Wildflowers (and other plants)

Iowa shares many plant species with its neighboring state of Illinois. This guide is particularly useful as it can be explored by habitat type (prairie or woodland, for example) and also contains databases for insects that feed on plants or visit flowers as well as associations between vertebrate animals and plants.

Native Plants of North America

Part of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center website, this is one of the most comprehensive databases of North American plants.


Prairie States Mushroom Club

From the website: PSMC promotes scientific and educational activities related to fungi and fosters the appreciation of wild and cultivated mushrooms. We advocate the sustainable use of mushrooms as a resource and endorse responsible mushroom collecting that preserves natural areas and their biological diversity.

Johnson County trails and maps

Johnson County trail maps

Part of the Bike Iowa City website, this page provides maps of various walking/biking trails in Johnson County, including the comprehensive metro area trails map PDF.

Johnson County GIS map viewer

Different layers of data may be toggled on and off.

Note: use this link for mobile device access.

Iowa Department of Natural Resources page for hiking and biking trails

The Iowa DNR page for hiking and biking with links to multiple trails resources.

Iowa City Parks & Trails

Download a parks & trails map here.

Information about parks projects can be found here.

Coralville trails

Information about Coralville trails, including the Clear Creek Greenbelt nature trails. Find a downloadable map of all Coralville trails here.

North Liberty Parks & Trails

Information about North Liberty’s parks and trails, including a downloadable map here.

North Liberty has put together Outdoor Nature Education packs which may be checked out and used for outdoor exploration. Find out more about ONE packs. Topics include Animals of Iowa, Birds, Creatures of the Night, Insect & Spiders, Trees, and Winter.


Coralville Lake and surrounding area maps

Collection of maps and other resources provided by the Army Corps of Engineers.

Hike It Baby - Iowa City chapter

Hike It Baby was created to help families get outside, hiking with birth to school age kids. Meet up with other local families for hikes in Johnson County’s natural areas!


Use this site to search for nearby trails suitable for hiking, biking, walking dogs, and more.

Nature areas in Johnson County maintained by non-JCC organizations

Bur Oak Land Trust

From the website: Bur Oak Land Trust is a nonprofit focused on conserving and restoring natural spaces and habitat in Iowa for the enrichment of our community now and forever.

Learn more about their properties.

Macbride Nature Recreation Area

From the website: Macbride Nature Recreation Area (MNRA) is a 485-acre peninsula that has been leased by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to the University of Iowa since 1969.  UI Recreational Services has managed the property since 1984.  There are ten kilometers of hiking and cross-country skiing trails. MNRA is home to the Environmental Education Programs: School of the Wild, Wildlife Camps, and Iowa Raptor Project.

Iowa Raptor Project

Located at the Macbride Nature Recreation Area: The mission of the Iowa Raptor Project is to connect students and the community to the conservation of birds of prey and their natural habitats through research and education opportunities.

Hickory Hill Park

This 185-acre park in east Iowa City is great for hiking, walking, cross country skiing, and nature study.

Lake Macbride State Park

Managed by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Download the park brochure.

Iowa Department of Natural Resources recreation atlas

Interactive map of Iowa’s public use areas.

Coralville Lake

Coralville Lake, aka the Coralville Reservoir, is maintained by the Rock Island District of the Army Corps of Engineers.

Devonian Fossil Gorge

Located near the Coralville Lake spillway. Learn about its history and download a guide.

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