Site Details

Kettleson Hogsback WMA - Dickinson County

GPS Coordinates: 43.4689299, -95.1411724

Management: State

Description: One of the largest and most diverse wildlife habitat complexes in northern Iowa. Comprised over over 2,000 acres of lakes, marshes, grasslands and forest on steeply rolling glacial moraine

Habitat: Shallow lakes, prairie pothole wetlands (natural and restored) native prairie, tame grasslands, cropfields, oak woods,and more. Kettleson Hogsback holds the record for avian species in Dickinson County, with at least 276 species recorded here. It is home to a huge variety of nesting and migrating waterfowl and other waterbirds, grassland birds (including nesting Clay-colored Sparrows, Grasshopper Sparrow, Upland plovers and many others), nesting and migrating forest birds (at least 28 species of warblers have been observed here), nesting Bald Eagles, Osprey, Great Blue Herons. The list is almost endless.

Directions: While there are many accesses to this sprawling complex, best access is via the main entrance road to the area and wildlife unit headquarters. From IA Highway 9, take the main street of downtown Spirit Lake (Hill Ave.) and follow it north around the NE side of East Okoboji Lake to the T-intersection on the south shore of Big Spirit Lake. Then turn left and follow Co. Hwy. M-49 around the SW side of Big Spirit Lake about 2.5 mi. until reaching 125th Street (across from Marble Beach State Park. Turn west on 125th and go about 1 mi. until reach Kettleson Hogsback entrance sign and road on north side. Follow entrance road into wildlife area headquarters and multiple parking areas.

Important Bird Area: IBA Entry for Kettleson Hogsback WMA