Projects & News

The Wapsipinicon Trail

We Need Your Help to Finish Phase II

  • The completion of Phase 1 in 2019 was a huge success with outdoor enthusiasts, local daycare centers, tourists, and area residents walking its newly paved 0.5 mile pathway. 

  • A tremendous outpouring of support made Phase I possible and is already paving the way for success of Phase II. 

  • The estimated cost of the trail is $599,000.  Committed funding as of May 2020 was $417,384.  That’s 70% of the way to reaching the Phase II funding goal and completing the highly anticipated trail. 

  • Phase II trail construction is approximately 0.5 miles from the terminus of Phase I at the junction of Stallion Creek and Shaw Road, and extends to the Hale Bridge in the Wapsipinicon State Park.  If you include city sidewalks, you can make a loop route that will be slightly over a 5K distance in  total.

  • The additional 0.5 mile trail will add a high quality asset to the City of Anamosa, the County, and the greater region.

  • It’s a unique opportunity to connect people to outdoor recreation in Jones County and attract tourists to visit the area. 

  • If you would like to support the Wapsipinicon Trail, please contact Jones County Conservation at 563-487-3541 ext. 1.  Your help is greatly appreciated!  Donor recognition is available.

  • Follow Facebook: Jones County Conservation or the Wapsipinicon Trail

Central Park Fremont Mill Bridge

Rehabilitation Project


Originally built in 1873, the Fremont Bridge spanned the Maquoketa River at Monticello on the Military Road.  The Military road started as a trail in 1839 and became Iowa’s first permanent thoroughfare, later named Highway 151.  For 57 years it stood to ensure the movement of Iowa’s agricultural goods to market, and the growth of settlement and economy.  From there it was moved to serve another river crossing west of Anamosa near the Fremont Mills site on the Buffalo River.  For fifty-five years (1930-1985) it met the needs of the local community.  It was then moved to its current location at Central Park. 

Final Thoughts

From its beautiful arches, visitors and trail users are able to peer into the lake below and see fish, turtles, and frogs swimming.  Paddlers and fishermen enjoy it while getting another vantage point as they glide under its massive structure.  Many people often walk over it because it is a safe pathway across an arm of the lake.  Maintaining these opportunities for years to come will help to draw more generations to the park.  During a time of busier and busier lifestyles enticing people to get outdoors is a vital component in improving the health and vitality of our friends, relatives and neighbors.



Since 1985 this bridge has stood as a symbol of Iowa’s rich history, drawing young and old to study its intricate double-plated lattice arching design.  The bridge is one of only 20 bridges remaining in Iowa that exhibit the bowstring arch design.  These early iron bridges replaced wooden bridges that were wrought with maintenance and stability issues.  Wooden bridges lasted around 10 years and were highly susceptible to damage from flooding and ice flows.  Iron bowstring arch bridges assisted in providing long term spanning of important creek and river crossings during a time of rapid Iowa settlement.

How Can You Help?

The rehabilitation of the bridge will ensure a significant historical aspect of Iowa and Jones County will continue to exist in Central Park.  Your financial support is needed.  Private and public grants are used for these types of projects but those grant funds are not always available or acquired.


For more information on how you can help fund the rehabilitation of the bridge and keep the bridge a vital historic icon in Jones County, call     563-487-3541 ext. 2. 


The decay of the bridge’s wooden decking and iron truss components over the years has become a concern.  Steps needed to extend the bridge's life for at least another 20 years include a full deck replacement, repair and replacement of worn truss members and pedestrian railing updating in Phase 1.  Phase 2 will include abutment replacement.  These steps are critical in maintaining the structural stability of the bridge and the safe usage of it by the public.   

School of the Wild

Jones County Conservations first "School of the Wild" week was a wonderful success - despite setbacks due to COVID 19.   Check out some of the pics below from St. Patrick's and Sacred Hearts week at Central Park.  Visit local newspapers to view articles about Jones Counties participation in 2020 "School of the Wild".  Monticello Express    Journal-eureka

Check out the winners from this years

Digital Jones County Nature Photography Contest.

Congratulations to all the category finalists and winners!


Stop out to Central Park and walk the Wild Edible Trail!     More details Here

Central Park Lake Restoration 2018

Central Park Lake Restoration Spring 2019

Central Park Lake Restoration Fall/Winter 2017-18

Central Park Lake Restoration Fall / Winter 2017

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