Published March 1, 2021
If you’re watching the calendar and the thermometer, you know that spring is finally on its way! The frigid winter put many of our favorite pastimes on hold, but the sunshine is encouraging us to get back in the swing of things.
Here are just a few Spring traditions we celebrate in Ottumwa. Which ones will you join us for?
- Your first robin. Ottumwa is a bird-lover’s paradise, Be on the lookout for every species from bald eagles and pelicans to turkey vultures, red-winged blackbirds and pheasant. Different species of birds can be found in different types of habitats throughout Wapello County. Look for woodcocks in the wet and marshy areas, meadow larks and boblinks in the prairie lands and everything from woodpeckers and cow birds to owls and goldfinches in the timber.
- Your first ice cream. Ok, so you may not have given up ice cream for the winter, but spring is the perfect time to check out our seasonal restaurants like Graham’s Dairy Freez, Rock ‘n Roll Dairy Bar and Polar Xpress. We take our ice cream and FroYo very seriously around here – come find out why!
- Your first outdoor barbecue. Warm temperatures and sunny days translate into barbecue time! Visit the Iowa Barbecue Store on North Court Road to stock up on all the supplies you’ll need for your outdoor celebration. Not so great at the grill? Ottumwa has Warehouse Barbecue and Bubba Q’s, two award-winning and locally owned restaurants that would love to provide all your barbecue needs!
- Your first hike. While the Wapello County Trail System is open all year long, the beautiful days of Spring call out the walkers, joggers, runners, bikers and roller-bladers. The 16-mile trail system includes a 5K John Deere Loop, a 1-mile loop between Market Street and the Wabash Bridge, two loops through Greater Ottumwa Park and a 1-mile section by Gray Eagle Wildlife Preserve.
- Your first round of disc golf. Another sport that goes year-round and ramps up in the spring, disc golf is one of Ottumwa’s favorite activities. Disc golfers wanting to visit Ottumwa and play the county’s seven-disc golf courses will find beautiful landscapes and challenging holes, and each course has special qualities that make them favorites for different reasons. In Ottumwa, you’ll find courses at Indian Hills Community College, Memorial Park, Franklin Park and Wildwood Park. Courses around Wapello County can also be found at Sandy Dunes in Eddyville, Chippewa Creek in Eldon and just south of Ottumwa at the Pioneer Ridge Nature Area.