The Cherokee County Conservation Board is raising money to purchase 78.23 acres immediately east of Martin Area County Park, more familiar to most local residents as Martin's Access. According to Director Ginger Walker, approximately $210,000 is needed to complete the purchase. The land is currently held by the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, a private conservation organization dedicated to protecting Iowa's wild lands.
The access was established in 1960 with the purchase of 24 acres from Charles Martin. As one of the first public parks in the county, Martin's quickly became a favorite fishing, swimming and picnicking area. The area has retained its remote, wild nature while growing over the years to its current 224 acres. The most recent addition consisted of 33 acres on the east bank of the Little Sioux River, obtained in 1990 incidental to land acquisition for a county gravel pit located west of the river. Forty primitive campsites, numerous picnic shelters, three miles of horse trails and one and a half miles of additional walking trails welcome today's visitors. The park is popular for sightseeing and wildlife watching, and also for memorials to loved ones who once enjoyed the park's scenic and peaceful nature.
Many area residents simply enjoy a drive along the park's 2.3 miles of roadway. School children visit annually for nature hikes.
Martin's Access is an important put-in and take-out point on the Inkpaduta Canoe Trail, a 134-mile section of the Little Sioux River. By river, Martin's is situated 10.5 miles downstream from O?Brien County's new Prairie Heritage Center and 13 miles up from the City of Cherokee.
Since fall 2006, the Cherokee CCB has negotiated and completed the necessary steps toward purchasing almost 80 acres adjacent to Martin's Access from the widow of Charles Martin. The area includes 60 acres of timber.
A new modern campground is planned.
Interested donors may contact CCCB Director Ginger Walker at 712-225-6709