(61 miles to Tassel Ridge Winery)
Since the early 1900s, 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, and visit an Amish general store, woodworking shop and school.
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. With the purchase of the railroad right-of-way, the Cinder Path became the first Rails-to-Trails area in the state of Iowa.
Lucas County Conservation Board
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
The museum includes a 1900s 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, a 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 schoolhouse 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 North 17th Street
Chariton, Iowa 50049
641.774.4059 (Lucas County Tourism)
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, and a library dedicated to the memory of Jack Coffey, who was an influential wildlife biologist for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
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. It is located two miles south of Chariton on Highway 14.
Lucas County Conservation Board
Located on the Chariton Square, the owners and employees of the old-fashioned grocery store still make candies by hand, in small batches, using recipes developed by the Piper family since 1947.
901 Braden Avenue
Chariton, IA 50049
800.479.1343 or 641.774.2131
This 649-acre park is filled with hawthorns, oaks, maples, and pine trees. During the summer months, visitors can enjoy swimming and boating. In the winter, visitors can enjoy ice skating, sledding, skiing, and snowmobiling. Hiking trails wind through the park and around the sparkling clear 72-acre lake. No matter what the season, the trees make Red Haw a beautiful place to visit.
Facilities and activities available include picnic shelters (which may be reserved online through the park reservation system), camping, trails, lake activities, and public hunting. For more information, see the Iowa DNR website: Iowa State Parks—Red Haw State Park.
Chariton is one mile west. Russell is seven miles southeast. Des Moines is 50 miles northwest.