Swiss Valley Nature Preserve
Located Southwest of Dubuque and adjacent to the Swiss Valley Park, this area is one of the largest nature preserves in the midwest. The preserve features a visitor center containing interpretive displays concerning the wildlife, ecology, and natural history of the Swiss Valley area. The center also houses the administrative office of the Dubuque County Conservation Board. More than 10 miles of self-guiding nature and hiking trails radiate outward from the center through the forest, prairie, and wetland areas. The Catfish Creek, which meanders through the preserve, is stocked with trout by the Iowa DNR each year, providing many hours of fishing for anglers. (Click here for the Northeast Iowa Trout Stream Stocking Report ) In winter, many of the trails convert to groomed cross-country ski trails. The preserve and the interpretive center are open year round except for holidays. Preserve hours are sunrise to sunset. Center hours are 7:00 to 3:30 Monday through Friday and 9:00 to 5:00 on weekends. Special programs for groups can be arranged by calling 563-556-6745. Seasonal weekend public hikes and educational programs are listed on our calendar of events and with the local media.