(61 miles to Tassel Ridge Winery)

The Cinderpath Trail

The Cinder Path is a unique crushed limestone trail that is the first “Rails to trails” project in Iowa. It is a publically owned trail for hikers, birdwatchers, bikers, and snowmobiles that passes through river bottom, forest, and upland prairies on an abandoned railroad right-of-way of Burlington Northern Railroad Company. In 1974, the Lucas County Conservation Board purchased the abandoned railroad. It includes a strip of land that measures 100 feet wide from Chariton to Humeston. The entire trail stretched 13.5 miles and contains 158 acres total land under Lucas County Conservation Board Ownership. With the purchase of the railroad right-of-way, the Cinder Path became the first Rails-To-Trails area in the state of Iowa.

Chariton, IA 50049
Open year round
No charge


Pin Oak Marsh Lodge

Wetland haven for many species of waterfowl, wildlife, spectacular displays of migratory birds. Pin Oak Lodge is in the Pin Oak Marsh Recreation Area on Highway 14 south of Chariton. Display room with aquariums of live native fish, turtles, and salamanders, and many taxidermy mounts of fish, songbirds, waterfowl, big game, and even some African mounts. The great room is where programs are held for school groups and the public such as Kids Fish Day and Archaeology Awareness Day. Leading away from the building and down to the marsh is a 1300-foot concrete trail that ends at a 50-foot pier overlooking the wetland. Recreational opportunities at the wetland include picnicking, fishing, canoeing, bird watching, and hiking. The Lodge is approximately 4,500 square feet and is the headquarters for the Conservation staff with a meeting room, a Great room, a library dedicated to the memory of Jack Coffey who was an influential wildlife biologist for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

Highway 14 south of Chariton
Chariton, IA 50049
641.774.2438 (Skylar)
Tue – Thurs 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. or by appt call 641.774.2438
No Charge


Pin Oak Marsh

Nestled near the Chariton River in Lucas County, Iowa, Pin Oak Marsh is a haven for wildlife and people. The marsh is home to great blue herons, Canada geese, frogs, Iowa’s threatened river otter, and host to spectacular displays of migrating waterfowl in the spring and fall. Pin Oak Marsh has white pelicans and prairie grasses and trees like the ones that covered the area when the pioneer settlers arrived. It has trails for hikers and a pier so that human visitors can get out and be a part of nature.

Two miles south of Chariton on Highway 14
Chariton, IA 50049
Open to the public
No charge


Hy-Vee Distrubution Center

Chariton is hometown of Hy-Vee, Inc. and the small-town values developed here have helped make it one of the largest and most successful grocery chains in the nation. Tour Hy-Vee’s state-of-the-art distribution facilities and discover the fascinating story of how products move from the warehouse to your store.

Lucas County Tourism


Amish Country Tour

Since the early 1900’s two to three dozen Amish families have made their homes in Southern Lucas County. Here they live much as their ancestors did, operating farms, schools, and small businesses, and eschewing modern conveniences such as telephones and electricity. Tour an Amish farm, enjoy an old-fashioned lunch prepared and served in an Amish home, visit an Amish general store, woodworking shop and school.

Call Chariton Chamber and Development
Chariton, IA 50049
641.774.4059 for reservations.
Mon – Fri: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Farmhouse lunch and tour of woodworking shop and general store $25; Home made lunch only $20.


The Lucas County Historical Museum

Museum includes a 1900’s home decorated with turn of the century items, schoolhouse, church, barn, log cabin and the John L. Lewis building. Preserving the rural agricultural and industrial heritage of early Lucas County, artifacts and history of those who have lived, worked and raised their families in Lucas county for the past 150 years, donated by those families. The museum house was built by A. J. Stephens, Chariton contractor, in 1907-09 for the family home. The Lucas County Historical Society, organized on June 17, 1965, purchased the home in 1966 for $10,500. Since 1966 the museum has expanded, by adding a one room school house in 1968; a rural church in 1976. The John L. Lewis building in 1976, with additions in 1981 and 1992; a timber framed barn in 1995; and a log cabin in 2001.

123 N 17th St.
Chariton, IA 50049
Tue – Sat: 1 – 4 p.m. from Memorial Day Weekend to the end of September.
Tours on other days may be arranged by appointment
Admission is Free


Red Haw State Park

72 acre lake known for premier pan fish, sandy beach, nice shaded campground overlooking the lake. 649 acre park. Red Haw State Park takes its name from the Hawthorn tree, which produces red berries in the fall, but it is the Red Bud trees for which the park is famous. Each spring, the delicate pink blossoms of the Red Bud trees create a pastel haze and set the stage for the popular Red Bud Festival, a time of ceremonial tree plantings, art fairs and other events at the park, which features a 72-acre lake, 80 campsites and four miles of hiking trails set among gently-rolling hills. Red Haw State Park is located just a mile east of Chariton on Highway 34.

Chariton, IA 50049
4:00 – 10:30 p.m. all year
Camping and shelter fees vary