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Encyclopedia Dubuque


"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.


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SWISS VALLEY NATURE PRESERVE. The popular natural area southwest of Dubuque is owned by the Dubuque County Conservation Board. The Preserve's Nature Center was formally dedicated on April 25, 1976.

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. CATFISH CREEK, which meanders through the preserve, is stocked annually with trout by the Iowa DNR. Habitat improvement efforts included such efforts as stabilizing banks. (1) 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.



1. Reber, Craig. "Teens Say Stream Work Naturally Satisfying," Telegraph Herald, July 25, 1997, p. 3A. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=aEyKTaVlRPYC&dat=19970725&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

Pratt, LeRoy G. Discovering Historic Iowa, Iowa Department of Public Instruction, 1975