Raccoon River Valley Trail
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.
Mahanay Bell Tower & Festival
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.
RVP-1875 Historical Furniture Shop
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
Raccoon River Artisan Colony
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.
Spring Lake Park
Spring Lake Park provides a variety of attractions to people looking for outdoor recreation. This 240-acre park includes a 50-acre lake that makes it a popular destination for camping, fishing, swimming, picnicking, and hiking. The area not maintained for campgrounds, picnic areas, and shelter houses is heavily timbered, providing habitat for deer, turkeys, furbearers, small mammals, and a wide variety of birds. This wildlife, plus many species of waterfowl that use the lake, make Spring Lake Park a very popular place to view wildlife. Learn More