Forest Park Museum & Arboretum – Perry, Iowa

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The Forest Park Museum and Arboretum is on 17 acres, with the Raccoon River Valley Trail passing through the arboretum. There are several buildings including a visitor center with live animals, First Nations artifacts, and a rifle collection. Hastie Hall has Dallas County history from the 1800’s to the 20th century, including early transportation, occupations, and common farm/house items. Baldwin Hall showcases the lives and occupations of Dallas County’s early pioneers. Wagner Gallery has a library and collections for architect William Wagner. There is a log cabin, originally built in 1863, a scale house used to weigh grain, and a one room Alton School House, used from 1867-1961.

It is more of a museum complex, with the several buildings existing separate from one another but connected by trails. There are handy “touch here” signs in some of the display halls, but a toddler would get easily frustrated with all the things they aren’t supposed to touch! The spaces are small and densely packed with information and things to look at.

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Information:

Name: Forest Park Museum & Arboretum
Address: 14581 K Avenue, Perry IA
Type: Places to visit, places to hike
Bathrooms: Yes
Shade: Yes, museum is indoors
Playground: No
Trails: Yes, paved and dirt
Water: Unknown
Other notes: Forest Park Museum showcases natural, cultural, artifacts of central Iowa. There is a wind turbine visible from the grounds, across the road. There is a covered wagon kit to check out. The arboretum has a paved trail and a mowed walking trail, with over 100 different tree species. Trail map: http://www.co.dallas.ia.us/home/showdocument?id=11719 Museum map: http://www.co.dallas.ia.us/home/showdocument?id=11721
Official Website:   http://www.co.dallas.ia.us/department-services/conservation/parks-recreation/forest-park-museum
DSMOF Blog posts:
Other things nearby of note:

Pictures:

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The library and workshop on the left, log cabin on the right.forest park museum arboretum perry iowa (4)

Hastie Hall

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The school house on the left, covered wagon kit on the right. You can check this out from the administration buildings that you enter from the parking lot.

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The visitor center; this is small and cramped, but has lots to see!

Have you been here? Leave a comment and let people know what you think!

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