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The 89 mile paved trail begins just outside downtown Jefferson, in Greene County and is used for biking, running, walking, inline skating and cross country skiing. The trail runs from Jefferson to Waukee, and is located just a few blocks from the downtown Mahanay Bell Tower, and a wide variety of dining options and lodging facilities. For more information please visit, raccoonrivervalleytrail.org
This 14-story carillon tower provides a spectacular view of Jefferson and the surrounding countryside. Take a glass elevator ride to the 120-foot high observation deck. Cast bells (14 of them) chime the time of day and play bell concerts regularly. Tours are available from Memorial Day to Labor Day (12:00 pm to 4:00 pm) plus weekends in May and September. Call 515-386-2155 for appointments. For more information please visit, www.belltowerfestival.org
This third generation apple orchard (open mid-July through Christmas) has 45 acres of trees with over 25 varieties of apples. Other fresh produce is available in season including cherries, tomatoes, sweet corn and pumpkins. Each year 25,000 to 30,000 gallons of fresh apple cider is processed. Celebrate the harvest on the second full weekend in October at the Annual Fall Festival. Located three miles west of Jefferson on E53 (old Lincoln Highway) and a quarter mile south on K Avenue. For information call 515-386-8279 or visit www.dealsorchard.com
Robby Pedersen, Master Furniture Maker, builds period furniture using only the hand tools, techniques and finishes from that time period. Based in the year 1875, this living history museum displays more than 100 of Robby's show pieces as well as the largest collection of period hand tools anywhere. Tours, hands-on programs, weekend workshops and apprenticeships are all available. The workshop produces and sells tables, beds and trunks for those who wish to have furniture built to last for hundreds of years. Hours: Tuesday through Saturday 9 am to 5 pm or by appointment. For information call 515-975-3083 or visit www.RVP1875.com
Iowa's only Artisan Colony is located in the loft area of RVP-1875, the world's only producing furniture museum which exclusively uses tools and techniques available in 1875. The Artisan Colony, RVP-1975 and History Boy Theatre Company are all housed within the same building. The provide a multi-event complex offering tours of the Artisan Colony and RVP-1975 Historical Furniture Shop, plays, musicals and dinner theatre, a general store, educational and training events, a wide range of unique artisan products and a chance to see how those products are made. The Artisan Colony includes varied artisans such as a toy maker, chair maker, fused glass, potter, weaver, tinsmith, telescope maker, gunsmith and more. Shops in the loft area are mostly full but there is still space available for artisans who want to be part of this unique experience and get a chance to expose their talents and goods to visitors from all over the country. Dealers of quality antiques are also encouraged to apply. If interested, contact Robby at 515-975-3083.
Black Hawk Lake is Iowa's southern-most glacial lake and features a state park with CCC-constructed buildings and restored WPA community piers. The Sauk Rail Trail's northern terminus is in this Iowa Tourism Community of the Year. For more information please visit, www.lakeviewlifestyle.com
Wall Lake is home to the restored birthplace of Andy Williams, whose father was a railroad employee in the adjacent restored depot. For more information please visit, www.walllake.com
Alongside Main Street in Sac City, along the former US20 route, is housed the world's largest popcorn ball. Testament to the county's deep history in popcorn production, the story of this achievement is documented on the website of Noble Popcorn, a local business that distributes popular snacks nation-wide. For more information please visit, www.noblepopcorn.com/popcorn-ball
Take a tour of the picturesque countryside and see a multitude of quilt patterns displayed on barns throughout the county. For more information please visit, www.barnquilts.com
510 acre park includes 110 acre lake, biking and walking trails, disc golf, cross country skiing, camping, swimming, concession, paddle boat & canoe rentals, wildlife exhibits is located two miles south and ½ mile east of Carroll. The Conservation education center is a public facility. It celebrates the natural and cultural resources of Carroll County and West Central Iowa. The building contains interactive displays and exhibits as well as large meeting rooms, concessions and a gift shop.
Conservation Center: www.carrollcountyconservation.com
Located 218 W 6th St. near downtown Carroll. See the winery in a renovated historic building along the Old Lincoln Highway (Hwy 30). Try their award-winning wines, relax on an outdoor piazza, grab a bite at the restaurant or warm up in front of the fireplace. Vineyard is located in Willey. For more information please visit, www.santamariawinery.com
The 33 mile paved hiking, biking and walking trail runs from Swan Lake State Park, Carroll to Blake Hawk State Park, Lake View. Enjoy the beautiful country side along the trail. For more information please visit, www.sauk-trail.com
Travel through time to experience Manning's authentic German Hausbarn, built in 1660 in Schleswig-Holstein Germany and reconstructed in 1999 in Manning. Experience the 1915 era Leet-Hassler Farmstead, restored to its original state with all the furnishings of the period. The 92 year old Trinity Lutheran Church's congregation organized in 1881 by immigrants from northern Germany. For more information please visit, germanhausbarn.com