Brinton Timber

Brinton Timber Map

In the midst of a 1,000 acre timber tract along the Skunk River lies our largest preserve, Brinton Timber Acquisition began in 1967, and the Timber now encompasses 320.5 acres northeast of Brighton.  This wildlife refuge features many outstanding natural features and over six miles of hiking and horseback riding trails divided into six distinct loops. 

This “living monument” features a wide range of natural features as it transitions from upland to lowland timber. Several small streams cut through the park on their way to the Skunk. A few shallow ponds may be found where, in spring and summer, visitors are serenaded by frog songs. Near the creek, rock outcroppings await discovery. Follow the light blue half moon to find Bent Rock and Table Rock, both impressive rock formations.

In early spring, the abundance and variety of wildflowers in the Timber colors the landscape. The more common species includes bloodroot, buttercup, Dutchman’s breeches, dogtooth violet, May apple, rue anemone, spring beauty, trillium, and jack-in-the-pulpit, and more! When the oak leaves are about the size of a mouse’s ear, scrumptious morel mushrooms can be found here. Please remember to respect breeding wildlife and young plants as you search for this delicacy.

As the weather warms, the trees and shrubs become alive with bird song. Some species can be spotted as they use this wildlife refuge as a layover on their journey north; still others can be found gathering materials for their nest. Woodpeckers call up in the treetops and their drumming can be heard throughout the park. Be sure to keep an eye out for the grand pileated woodpecker, a crow-size bird with a red crest.

Be sure to return in the fall as the trees show off their colors. Oaks, maples, hickories and walnuts decorate the hills. Listen as dead leaves crunch underfoot and watch the squirrels gather nuts.  Visit after the first snowfall and follow the abundant tracks made by wildlife, including deer, squirrel, rabbit, and mouse. Feel the hush winter makes in the depth of the woods. And enjoy the solitude of wildness.

A restroom, picnic table, and camping area is provided at the park entrance.  No hunting or trapping, and please, take only memories and leave only footprints behind.


Horton Timber

The 12.5 acre Horton Timber lies hidden within the south central portion of Brinton Timber. Acquired in 1993, this white oak timber is dedicated to Bill V. Horton.  As you hike the trails, watch for the memorial rock in this section.  



Northwest of Brighton. On Highways 1/78, take Fir Ave. north (one mile west of Brighton).  Brinton Timber is at the end of the road. 


Contact Information

Conservation Education Center
2943 Highway 92
Ainsworth, IA  52201
319- 657-2400


Electronic mail
General Information:


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