Wilson Island, named after former Governor George Wilson, came into existence as an island sandbar around 1900. Today, Wilson Island State Recreation Area encompasses 544 acres of dense cottonwood stands. Seclusion is one of the area's greatest assets and spacious shady campsites, hiking trails and picnic spots provide a welcome retreat. Wildlife is abundant in the park and a visitor may see deer grazing in the park's fields or be awakened by a huge flock of snow geese flying low overhead in the fall. Bald eagles are often perched in the tall cottonwoods during the winter and mushroom hunters will find no better place in the spring. On the way to Wilson Island, visitors will see the unique wave-like loess hills which overlook the great Missouri River flood plain. These rugged hills are found along the Missouri River Valley in Iowa and Missouri. Early history tells us that Lewis and Clark camped on this reach of the Missouri River in 1804 on their historic trip to and from the Pacific Coast.

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