Site Details

Muskrat Slough WMA - Jones County

GPS Coordinates: 41.9939464, -91.2060928

Management: State

Description: 727-acre DNR wildlife area between Morley and Olin in SW Jones County. One of the best marshes in east-central Iowa. The northeast access road offers the best view of the open marsh. The south access offers a more limited view but those with tall boots can walk east through the marsh for a better view. The south access has a boat ramp, and a canoe or kayak can be an excellent way to view the marsh.

Habitat: Primarily marsh with open water, cattails, and wet meadows, bordered by shrubs and small woodlots. Excellent for migrating waterfowl and marsh birds in spring; American Bittern, Black-crowned Night-Heron, Virgina Rail, and terns are sometimes seen in migration. Notable breeding birds include Least Bittern, Sandhill Crane, Willow Flycatcher, Bell's Vireo, Marsh Wren, and Swamp Sparrow. Yellow-headed Blackbirds formerly nested. Wooded area along northeast access can be good for migrant warblers and other songbirds.

Directions: NORTHEAST ACCESS: From X-40 in Morley, take Main St./E-45 east three miles to 160th Avenue. About one quarter mile south on 160th, just past the creek, take the unmarked gravel road right (west) to a view of the marsh. SOUTH ACCESS: Return to 160th Avenue, drive south 1.5 miles to 35th Street. Take 35th Street west (right) less than one mile to 170th Avenue. Take 170th Avenue north (right) to its end at a parking area and boat ramp.

Public Hunting Area Search for area boundary information on the DNR interactive atlas


Important Bird Area: IBA Entry for Muskrat Slough WMA