Clanton Creek Recreation Area is a 9.4 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Peru, IA that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and camping and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
Most of the trails were mowed and well maintained. There were some that had trees that had fallen across them. Some trails ended for no reason. A good hike and a good workout, especially if you're gearing up for a longer hike. The worst part was that the trails were not marked well. There are signs that show loop or main trail and the distance but very easy to get turned around and not sure of where you're going. Be sure to take water. A couple of primitive camp sites. Lots and lots of giant butterflies of all different kinds, lots of gorgeous prairie flowers of all kinds, and a variety of different pines. Brightly colored gold finch. August 2016.
The drive to the park was probably better than the actual hike. There's a main trail with multiple loops off of it. To get the full 9 mile hike you have to do all of the loops. It's a pretty park, but while half of the trail was well groomed grass, the other half though, almost made it unbearable. Lots of mosquitos while going through the trees to the creek at the bottom. Then WAY TOO MANY TICKS in the back end pasture part of the trail. Between 2 people we found about 10 ticks on us. The grass hadn't been mowed in a while, and we think this was the reason. The only real elevation change is down to the creek and up. Probably not going to go back.
BEWARE OF TICKS! They are everywhere! We enjoyed the scenery and terrain but the ticks were abundant. The grass on the trails and the campsites was fairly tall as well.
We just had our first visit here and really enjoyed the area. There are several camp sites and various directions and loops you can hike. We brought our dogs with us and it was a little warm on parts of the trail for them, but I think as the foliage grows in (it's early Spring '14 right now), that will help a lot. There were nice hills through out the trail and a river that runs through part of it. Current conditions are very dry, so the river was mostly just a dried up river bed. I look forward to coming back when there is more water. Another perk is that we were here on a beautiful weekend day and didn't see another soul, which I personally like light hiking traffic. Due to the dry conditions, the smell was fantastic. There are some pine tress scattered throughout, so you had that nice mix of earthy/dirt/pine in the air, which made you feel like you were in a mountainous area. We'll definitely be coming back. Only downfall was that it was a bit out of town for us, so we didn't know the area, and the roadsigns/directions were not very well marked.