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Parks and Recreation Areas

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Camping Rules and Regulations
Park Rules
Area Map
Trails Map


The Kuehn Conservation Area is located 5 1/2 miles north of Earlham. In 1982, the original 300 acres were acquired through a donation-purchase agreement from Gerald Kuehn.

An additional 470 acres have been acquired from local land owners to increase the diversity and protect the river corridor. The Kuehn area includes native and re-established prairie, riparian and upland forests, a nature center, unique geological formations, archaeological sites and interpretive trails.


Archaeological surveys were performed at Kuehn. Prehistoric artifacts were found from Woodland and Great Oasis traditions. Data collected in a 1994 study suggests that there was a Great Oasis occupation site, described as a small farming hamlet.

The sandbars provide beautiful resting spots for viewing wildlife while hiking or canoeing the south Raccoon River. Hunting is permitted in designated areas only.

The Kuehn Conservation Area is open 1/2 hour before sunrise until 10:00 p.m. daily. 

school children visit the Bear Creek Nature Center

Thousands of school children visit the Bear Creek Nature Center, located at the Kuehn conservation Area.

There are many displays about wildlife at the center, as well as an indoor classroom. The diversity of plant and animal life allows for a variety of public environment programs. Bird watching hikes, prairie hikes, geological and archaeological programs and aquatic programs are a few of the educational opportunities available to the public.  There are modern restroom facilities in the Bear Creek Education Center. The Bear Creek Nature Center is open by appointment only. 



Primitive camping is allowed only in the designated areas of the park. No motor vehicles are allowed to the camp sites, so campers should come prepared to hike from the parking lot to the camp sites.  Up to four sites in Area #1 are reservable. 

Area #1: Accessed by walking service road from Houston Trail 3-4 tents
Call for large party information
1/4 mile walk from restrooms & Nature Center
Parking available at Nature Center
No Showers
$8 per tent per night Self registration or $5.00 reservation fee per site made at least 14 days in advance
Area #2: Lower prairie along the Middle Raccoon River. Accessed by walking service road from Houston Trail 2-3 tents 1/2 - 3/4 mile walk from restrooms & Nature Center
Parking available at Nature Center
No Showers
$8 per tent per night Self registration
Reservations not accepted


From I-80, take the Earlham exit (Exit 104) and proceed north to I Ave. Stay northbound for just over a mile to a four-way stop intersection. Turn west (left) onto Bear Creek Rd. Follow Bear Creek Rd. for 1/2 mile. The road will turn north, and become Houston Trail. Houston Trail dead-ends at the park.

Coming from County Rd. F60, between Adel and Redfield, turn south on H Ave., about 5 1/2 miles west of Adel (or two miles east of Redfield). Proceed on H Ave. for about four miles to the junction with Bear Creek Rd. Turn east (left) onto Bear Creek Rd. and proceed 1/2 mile to junction with Houston Trail. This is a "T" intersection. Turn north (left) at the "T" and go about 1 3/4 mile to the park.


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