The 190 acre Jefferson County Park is located just southwest of the Fairfield city limits. The main entrance is on Libertyville Rd.
It is now the most widely used multi-purpose outdoor recreation area in Jefferson County, and is considered the nucleus of the Jefferson County Conservation Board program.
Jefferson Country Park
In 1977, 117 acres of land located just southwest of the Fairfield city limits was purchased with federal-matching Heritage Conservation Recreation Service funds. This land today is known as Jefferson County Park.
In 1985, an additional 16 acres of abandoned railroad right-of-way was purchased and another 17-acre track of timber was donated by FEDA, increasing the park to a total of 150 acres. Twenty-five acres was purchased in 1989 and 15 acres in 2001 with REAP funds.
Approximately 10 acres was donated by FEDA in 2007. This area is on the north edge of the park and features a 1.5 acre storm retention pond -- see the story and photos here.
In January 2009, an additional 27 acres of land was purchased from the Holmes family making the park 227 acres in size.
Under the direction of the Jefferson County Conservation Board, extensive development has taken place in the park; it is now the most widely used multi-purpose outdoor recreation area in Jefferson County. Park is 190 acres in size.
Jefferson County Park is considered the nucleus of the Jefferson County Conservation Board program.
Take a look at more Jefferson County Park photos.
Trails in the Park:
Approximately 7 miles of hiking and biking trails have been established in Jefferson County Park. The trails take you through a diversity of landscapes including timber, pine tree plantings, meadows and reestablished prairie. A 75-foot swinging bridge is featured on the trail connecting the picnic area with the camp area. More about the trails...
The park's trail system ties into Cedar View Trail which leads to the city of Libertyville. The Cedar View Trail connects to the Fairfield Loop Trail which encircles the entire city of Fairfield.
See the full story at the Jefferson County Trails Council website.
Picnic Areas in the Park:
(Open May 1 through October 31) Three picnic shelters that will accommodate large groups are located in the park's picnic area. A 20 foot octagonal gazebo, constructed in the summer of 2008, is the newest addition to the area (details here). These shelters and gazebo can be reserved from May 1st though October 31st. Electricity, drinking water and flush-type toilets are also available.
Softball, horseshoe, and volleyball facilities have been developed. The wood playground complex is very popular with the younger park users. Adequate parking is available and all facilities are handicapped accessible.
Campground & Camping Cabins in the Park:
(Open May 1 through October 31) Twenty-four camp pads, complete with electricity, are available in the camping area. Modern restrooms, hot showers, drinking water, a small shelter house, playground equipment and a trailer waste dump station are all provided for the camper.
Modest camping fees are charged on a per-night basis. See fees for details.
Two 12' x 16' sleeping cabins with 4' x 12' porches were constructed at the west end of the camp area in 1996. Each cabin sleeps six people and comes equipped with a refrigerator, microwave oven, table and chairs, air conditioner, picnic table, potable water supply and campfire ring. A new shower-restroom facility was constructed near the cabins in 2005.
See camping for cabin details. See the Jefferson County Park Camping Cabin Rules and Regulations as a PDF. (Adobe Reader is required).
Nature Center (in the Park):
Office and shop facilities were constructed in 1981. Included in this building is the nature center. A variety of displays including an Indian artifact collection, an Iowa mammals fur collection, a 150 gallon fish aquarium, and a turtle tank are on exhibit.
The nature center is also used as classroom space for visiting school groups. A full-time naturalist is on staff to coordinate outdoor education activities.
Wildlife in the Park:
Although some of the areas in Jefferson County Park are developed, other parts remain untouched. Many species of wildlife inhabit the park. Ten acres have been seeded back to native prairie grasses to improve nesting habitat.
Approximately 15,000 trees and shrubs have been planted in the park for aesthetic value and for wildlife habitat. Food plots have also been established to attract wildlife into the area.
Buggy tours can be arranged.