High 5 – Molly Hanson

Photographer: Duane Tinkey

Molly Hanson, conservation and community outreach specialist at RDG Planning & Design and a guide with Wander Women Iowa, turns to these outdoor respites to “get away from the stresses of the world and let my five senses take over.”

1. Hike Walnut Woods State Park: I love hiking the equestrian loop—it winds along the river, there is evidence of beavers, and it’s just long enough to get the blood pumping and forget where you are for a minute.

2. Kayak Roseman Bridge to Pammel Park: For a scenic and relatively simple paddle, put your boats in at one of the famous covered bridges of Madison County and end up at the ford in Pammel Park.

3. Camp at Whiterock Conservancy: With over 5,000 acres and active conservation practices on the land, this is a place to fall in love with the heartland all over again.

4. Rollerblade around Easter Lake: I’m a ’90’s kid, and a chance to bust out the blades always provides the endorphins I need. The Mark C. Ackelson Trail is 6 smooth miles around the lake.

5. Walk dogs at Izaak Walton League: When I’m in the mood for a quick nature break in the middle of the city, my dog, Lola, and I head to the Izaak Walton League building adjacent to Water Works Park and walk around their prairie.

—Karla Walsh

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