The North Raccoon River meanders through approximately 40 miles of Greene County. One goal of the Greene County Conservation Board is to provide adequate access to this underutilized resource. The North Raccoon has a history of being one of the best flathead catfish rivers in Iowa. Channel catfish, walleye and smallmouth bass are other species most commonly fished for. Construction of lowhead rock fishing riffles has been successful at concentrating fish at locations easily accessible to the fisherman. These riffles are located at Hyde Park, Brown Bridge Access, McMahon Access, Henderson Park and Squirrel Hollow.
Canoeing is a popular pastime for those looking for outdoor activity during the summer months. Six concrete boat ramps are located on the Raccoon River throughout Greene County. Distances between ramps range from six to eight miles, providing numerous options for float trips. These boat ramps are located at Hyde Park, Brown Bridge Access, McMahon Access, Henderson Park, Squirrel Hollow and Adkins Bridge Access. Canoe rental is available from the Jefferson Park and Recreation Department located at the community center in Jefferson.
Pond Park gives Scranton its own little piece of heaven! From a highway construction project, quite a large borrow pit was formed at the southwest edge of Scranton. The pond was formed and a park was made around the area with blacktop paths, shelter house, wild flowers and grasses. The fishing is good too!
Russell Park is located on the 500 block of South Wilson Street in Jefferson. It provides users with restrooms, electricity, water, picnic tables, tennis courts, basketball courts, grills and new playground equipment. The shelter house accommodates 75 people.
Snake Creek is a wetland and prairie habitat, located three miles north of Rippey.
Spring Lake is a state park that hosts a spring-fed 50-acre lake. Concessions include boat rental and indoor skating rink with original hardwood floor. Modern camping facilities include 126 electrical sites on the lakeshore, a modern shower and restroom, an open shelter and two enclosed shelter houses, along with a swimming beach, which are surrounded by over 200 wooded acres. The park is located northeast of Jefferson and can be accessed by traveling north of Highway 30 on County Road P33. State park signs will lead the way.
Squirrel Hollow is the second oldest county park in Iowa and is listed on the National Register of Historical Places. The focal point of the park is the shelter house built on a bluff overlooking the Raccoon River. Electrical sites are available for camping. It is located two miles east of Jefferson on County Road E53 (Lincoln Highway), five miles south on County Road P30 and one mile east on 283rd Street. Turn left after the bridge.
Washington Park is located in northwest Jefferson at the intersection of West Washington and Walnut Streets. It provides users with playground equipment, restrooms, basketball court, electricity and an open play area. The shelter house can hold up to 30 people.
Each town in Greene County has a city park as well.
Contact Greene County Conservation for information 515-386-4629. All others, contact Jefferson Park and Recreation Department 515-386-3412.