East Central Iowa · Outdoors All Year

Iowa State Parks-Lake Macbride’s Raptor Invasion

Spring is only days away and Macbride is ready for the beginning of the busy season. Team Goodvin meets the Raptors! http://www.iowadnr.gov/Places-to-Go/State-Parks-Rec-Areas/Iowas-State-Parks/ParkDetails/ParkID/610119

Lake Macbride State Park-Solon, IA: Johnson County

Let’s be honest. We in Iowa love our state parks and look forward to visiting them whenever we can. For most, that whenever part means when the weather breaks and the mercury is moving north. However, our state DNR works very hard at showcasing these great destinations all year long and Lake Macbride is no exception. Local polar bear clubs may be the only ones willing to utilize the beaches here, but that doesn’t mean we couldn’t find a great time without them. Thanks to some rescued feathered friends……

Lake Macbride is loaded with tons of wildlife that you can find hiking, boating, relaxing at your campground, or at their topnotch Raptor Center.

It was family day at the local Raptor Center and Lake Macbride was swarming with families eager to get outside. 40 degrees might as well be 80 degrees, in Iowa, when we’re wrapping up the last days of winter. The trails were open, the usual crisp in the air was deflating, and Team Goodvin was ready to join the bird lovers of the world.

Dozens of families made the march to the raptor center on this day as they will throughout the rest of the year at Lake Macbride.

We cherish the natural splendor that all of our wildlife areas give us. The human element that takes care and helps preserve these parks is on full display at the Raptor Center as much as the birds they’re helping to keep alive. The education you experience with every exhibit can’t be completed without the hours of work that Macbride’s rangers, naturalists, veterinarians, and specialists put in year after year. Their expertise can be seen all around this park and the entire state.

Our first stop was the Bird Blind. A long shelter with benches and enough viewing area carved out of the wall to observe many species of birds that call Lake Macbride home. This is truly one of the most peaceful spots in all of Johnson County where time could slip away unnoticed.

Audubon enthusiasts come this park all year long to observe the many varieties of birds in this natural habitat. Thanks to the Raptor Center, some of the injured birds are nursed back to strength and reintroduced to their home in the park. Some must call the center home for the duration of their lives due to the severity of their injuries. This allows Macbride to provide its visitors with education and the opportunity to help preserve and fund the mission of the park. And we couldn’t be happier to help out.

You can find this little guy and many more species in the good care of Lake Macbride’s Raptor Center.


The first busy weekend of the year will only lead to busier weekends for the months to come at Lake Macbride. Soon the marinas will be seeing action, the beaches loaded with sun seekers and swimmers, anglers casting away from its banks, while the endless miles of paths will be hosting hikers and bikers. Not to mention Sugar Bottom, one of America’s best disc golf courses. But when you get that urge to look a Turkey Vulture in the eye or watch a Bald Eagle rip its lunch to shreds, you can always stop by Lake Macbride’s Raptor Center. I highly recommend the Bald Eagle part by the way.


Be sure to read about our other adventures at Iowa State Parks like Wildcat DenLake Darling, Pleasant Creek and Maquoketa Caves.

Thanks for reading! -Team Goodvin

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