Rose Pond Conservation Area

Driving Directions

From Wayland, take Highway 27/61 south 7 miles, then Route F east 2.50 miles, then Route P north 2 miles, then on unnamed gravel road west 0.25 miles, then on unnamed gravel north 0.50 miles.


Primarily wetlands and old fields and a permanent stream (Honey Creek).

About This Area

This 379-acre area consists mostly of bottomlands associated with Honey Creek, which empties into the Mississippi River. Approximately 38 acres are marshland. Rose Pond is believed to be a very small remnant of a once extensive marsh system associated with the mouth of the Des Moines River. A deep, sandy soil found here is assumed to have been deposited by the Des Moines River. Sand prairies were once found here and are now being restored.

Rose Pond Conservation Area was purchased as critical habitat for several wetland species. The management emphasis encourages healthy populations of wetland wildlife and provides permanent emergent marsh habitat while offering the public compatible outdoor recreational opportunities. As part of the amphibian and reptile management regime, pooled water on the area is fishless. The best fishing opportunities lie within Honey Creek. Management techniques include construction of shallow water habitat, establishment of native prairie plant species, restoration of original soil hydrology, protection of wildlife in refuges and construction of critical wildlife habitat.

The Conservation Department purchased the bulk of this property in 1983. In 1984, David and Charlotte Fox donated 27 acres, with the stipulation that it be designated a wildlife refuge. That request was granted.

General Information




Owned by MDC

(Activity Explanations)
(Population Definition)
Camping - Primitive Area  Camping allowed on or adjacent to area parking lots. Walk-in camping is allowed anytime EXCEPT during firearms deer and turkey seasons. No camping along roadways. No amenities provided.  
Fishing - Bass Fair population. Honey Creek 
Fishing - Catfish Good population. Honey Creek 
Fishing - Crappie Fair population. Honey Creek 
Fishing - Other Good population. Carp in Honey Creek 
Fishing - Sunfish Fair population. Honey Creek 
Hunting-Deer Good population. Deer regulations are subject to annual changes. Please refer to the Fall Deer and Turkey Booklet for current regulations.  
Hunting-Dove Good population.  
Hunting-Quail Fair population.  
Hunting-Waterfowl-Open Hunting Fair population. Available on wetland units outside the refuge, depending on fall precipitation. 

Go to Top of Page

Conservation Department Facilities
Facility Item Name Count Comments
Parking Lot    

Go to Top of Page

Feature Item Name Count Size Comments
Fishless Pond  0.50 acres  
Named Wetland Man-made 21.90 acres  
Named Wetland Rose Pond 16.20 acres  
Stream - Permanent Honey Creek 0.25 miles  

Go to Top of Page

Land Cover Types
Land Type Acres Comments
Forest and Woodland 40.50  
Grassland (non-prairie) 40.80 Native grass plantings 
Wetland 38.10  
Old Field 188.20  
Other 0.90  
Crop Land 73.40  
Total Area Acres:381.90 

Go to Top of Page

Designated Trails
Trail Name Trail Type Length
No Designated Trails

Go to Top of Page

Shooting Range General Information

This area has no shooting ranges.

Go to Top of Page