A Walk in the Park: A New Rec Area in Iowa City

Trueblood Rec Area Review

We are fortunate that we live in an area of Iowa where it is never too difficult to find something fun to do.  If you travel in a 30-mile radius you can find many small (and charming) towns, parks, and campgrounds, not to mention all there is to do in Iowa City.  If you are looking for a way to fill your Sunday afternoon, you needn’t look too far.

One problem for me is the whole “traveling” thing.  While I love going on walks at FW Kent Park or hikes at Lake MacBride, taking the time to get there is sometimes a problem.  Even going over to Hickory Hill Park can be a trek if there is a time crunch, at least from the west side of town where I live.  Fortunately, there is now another option for those of us in Iowa City and the surrounding area! While I had heard about the Terry Trueblood Recreation Area this summer, I didn’t actually venture that way until a couple of weeks ago when my sister was in town.  I am very glad I did!  The rec area is south of town on Sand Road (what Gilbert St. turns into), and it is a VERY short drive.

Trueblood Sign

My sister and I, along with the baby and stroller in tow, went with the intention of only going on a walk.  However, it was not long before I realized just how much we could do there!  We only ended up going on a walk, but we could have been much more adventurous. 🙂

In addition to a hiking/biking trail around the lake, there are several shelter houses around the perimeter along with a cute, natural-looking playground area.

Trueblood park

There were plenty of bicyclists, but the trail is so wide that it was not an issue for walkers.  My favorite part was the small building on the north side of the lake that houses Fin and Feather H2O.  I discovered (too late in the year!) that they rent paddle boats, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, and the like for a very reasonable price.  I promptly went home and “liked” them on Facebook, and I’m looking forward to trying out some of their rentals next year when it is warmer!  This is a great place for a family picnic, but if you do not bring food you can utilize the concession stand housed in the same building.  They sell foods such as burgers, ice cream, and candy, and feel free to sit at one of the nice tables overlooking the small lake.  I am sure I will be a customer on a warm day next spring or summer.  You can never have too much ice cream.

Trueblood concession stand Trueblood Lake

I highly encourage you to check out the Trueblood Recreation Area south of Iowa City!  While it may not have all of the wooded charm of FW Kent Park or camping like Lake MacBride, it definitely has some great perks for a park so close!

Trueblood geese

Lana Criswell is a born and bred Hawkeye fan who has lived in Iowa City for almost ten years! She came for college and never looked back. Lana has been married to her husband, Tom, for two years and is momma to Jessa (3.5 months) and Charlie, the dog. She finished graduate school nearly four years ago in speech-language pathology and works at Children’s Center for Therapy in Iowa City. She is excited to be able to work 80% time now and have some “girl time” with Jessa each week. Lana loves spending time with family and friends, cooking/baking, going to Hawkeye games, going on walks around the neighborhood with the dog, and reading.


  1. I had no idea this existed until a couple weeks ago and even then I thought it was just an event center. The Iowa City Parks & Rec page should offer up more information or link to your blog :). Here’s hoping we have a semi-warm day soon so we can check it out, if not it’ll be one of first places we go in the Spring! Thanks for the info!


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