Decatur County is located in south central Iowa along the Iowa/Missouri border, half way between Des Moines and Kansas City. Interstate 35 runs north and south through the county and features gently rolling farmland and rural communities with a rich history and family values.
In Southern Iowa’s countryside lie several county and state parks that make a perfect getaway for nature enthusiasts. There are several beautiful game preserves and well stocked lakes that are sure to please those who like to hunt and fish.
Take some time to relax and unwind. Pack a picnic and go hiking, or make camp under the stars and one of our three parks. There are several locations to choose from with both primitive and modern camping, sandy beaches, and nature trails.
Decatur County welcomes you to visit and experience our beautiful historic rolling hills, safe clean environment, outstanding health care, first-rate education, and a sense of coming home.
Decatur County offers a great place to live, work, play, and stay, so come visit us . . . new and exciting opportunities await you here in the heart of southern Iowa.
Leon SCIT Theatre
208 N Main Street
Graceland University Shaw Center
1 University Place
Coliseum Movie Theatre
100 N Maple Street
Liberty Hall Historic Site
1138 W Main Street
Lamoni Amish Country Store
Southern Iowa Welcome Center
109 S Spruce Drive
Decatur County Museum
111 N Main Street
City of Leon
Lamoni Area Chamber of Commerce
City of Lamoni
Decatur County Development Corporation
PLACES TO STAY
Little River Inn Motel & Guest House
708 W. 1st Street
Main Street Motel
103 S. Main Street
Maple Street Bed & Breakfast
218 N. Maple Street
Chief Lamoni Hotel
2010 E. Main Street
Super 8 Motel
2013 E. Main Street
Little River Recreation Area
Take Highway 2 West from Leon .5 miles.
Slip Bluff Park
2 miles west and one mile north of Davis City
Nine Eagle State Park
Shopping in Leon
Buck Naked Sporting Goods
Leon Hardware & Appliances
New 2-U Thrift Shop
Eating in Leon
Casey’s General Store
Lodging In Leon
Main Street Motel
For More Information, visit, www.leonchamber.org
Shopping In Lamoni
Off the Wall Interiors
Lodging in Lamoni
Eating In Lamoni
Pierce’s Dairy Cup
La Cocina Real
Come Explore the Great Outdoors
If the great outdoors is your favorite place for recreation, look no further than Decatur County! Known for our parks, lakes, and trails there is something for the outdoor enthusiast throughout the year. Public hunting and fishing opportunities available.
Decatur County’s parks include picnic areas, boating, fishing, camping, cabin rental, swimming, hiking, and playground areas.
Little River Recreation. The Little River Recreation area in Leon, managed by the Decatur County Conservation Board and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, is a 2,200 acre recreation area that offers something for everyone! Contact 641-446-7307 for more information.
- Slips Bluff Park. Slips Bluff Park is a picturesque, 400 acre park located three miles northeast of Lamoni and four miles west of Davis City. Slips Bluff provides a well-shaded campground with hook-up and tent spaces and a newly remodeled restroom and shower facility. The area offers 2.5 miles of hiking trails, and the 16 acre lake provides some excellent largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie, catfish, and walleye fishing. Contact 641-446-7307 for more information.
- Nine Eagles State Park. Rugged wooded hills and valleys abundant with oak trees makes Nine Eagles State Park one of southern Iowa’s most scenic parks. Visitors enjoy six miles of hiking trails, swimming at the sandy beach, pleasant camping areas and shading picnic spots with tables and fireplaces scattered throughout the 1,100 acre park. Contact 641-442-2855 for more information.
The Lamoni Recreational Trail features six miles of paved biking and hiking trails throughout a former railroad bed providing a gentle, relaxing day outdoors. A combination of beautiful, tree-lined vegetation, a pass through town and ending point of Historic Liberty Hall make this trail unique. A map for this trail can be found at http://www.leadonlamoni.com/recreation/. The paved 1.5 mile Leon Scenic Trail begins at the fairgrounds and connects to the Little River Recreation Area. The trail includes flat surfaces as well as gentle inclines and is a favorite among walkers and runners alike. Native grasses and trees surround the trail as well as outdoor recreational equipment and resting points.
The Decatur County Golf and Country Club is a 9-hole golf course measuring 3,116 yards with a par of 36. This is a private club open to the public with the exception of member league play. Green fees are welcome for guests. Clubhouse/bar rental for parties, receptions and meetings available upon request. Contact 641-446-4529 for more information.
Celebrate the Fourth of July in Decatur County
Decatur County is famous for celebrating the 4th of July in style. Start your 4th of July Celebration by visiting Pleasanton for their well-known and attractive parade. Next swing through Lamoni for their day full of fun-filled activities and parade. Spend the afternoon of July 4th on Leon’s historic square participating in family friendly games and contests. Conclude your afternoon with the parade where you will see how much spirit this community puts forth into celebrating our independence. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about the 4th of July Festivities. End your evening enjoying the Leon Rodeo and fireworks.
Leon 4th of July Rodeo – Iowa’s Rodeo of the Year
Join us for our four day rodeo event. Named the Rodeo of the Year over years and sanctioned by the URA, IRCA, MRCA, & WPRA, this is an event you do not want to miss! Located at the Decatur County Fairgrounds in Leon, the rodeo provides fun and excitement for the whole family. Come enjoy the rodeo events, queen contest, entertainment, chuck wagon breakfast, dance, 4th of July fireworks, and many other scheduled events. Tickets are available in advance from local businesses or at the gate. Contact 641-446-3535 for more information.
Always Something to Do in Decatur County
In Decatur County, you can live a rural lifestyle, but still have access to many great amenities available in larger cities.
The county features great restaurants, many serving fresh, home-cooked food daily, which offer a variety of cuisine to satisfy all tastes.
Enjoy two movie theaters, showing the latest, most popular movies, and at a great price!
Feel pampered by visiting one of the many hair, nail and tanning salons, or enjoy a great massage.
Unwind by hitting the links on one of the county’s 2 golf courses, and join the country club in Lamoni or Leon for great socialization and events. More of a disc golf person? No worries! We’ve got that too.
Take advantage of a wide selection of convenient stores to meet all your fuel, food and beverage needs. You’re also never more than 15 minutes from a grocery store offering wide selections of produce, meat, baked goods and more.
If you want to have a girl’s day and get some shopping done, look no further than the many stores located through Decatur County. From clothing to home décor to Amish-made goods, you’ll find everything you’re looking for!
Need a guy’s day? Decatur County’s hardware, home and garden, and farm stores have what you’re looking for.
Need a kid’s day? Take advantage of the expansive parks and recreation network available throughout Decatur County. Check out Little River Recreation area in Leon, which has a lake for swimming, fishing and boating. Or, take a camping and hiking trip to Nine Eagles State Park in Davis City. And enjoy a picnic at Slip Bluff Park in Davis City. Both Leon and Lamoni have public pools for residents to enjoy, and many city parks are located throughout the county.
Graceland University, located in Lamoni, offers many recreation and cultural events to the public. Check out www.graceland.edu to learn more.
Southern Iowa Crafts and More Festival
The Southern Iowa Crafts and More Festival in Leon will celebrate their 33rd year on November 11, 2017 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The Event was started by local craft makers and quilters in 1984. Half of the Central Decatur High School Gymnasium was devoted to handmade craft items; and the other half was devoted to handmade quilts. Event organizers added local musicians and food served by the Mennonite church.
This event has evolved into more than 120 vendors throughout the entire secondary school building — as well as at the Leon Community Center. Though the high school gymnasium remains devoted strictly to handmade craft work, commercial vendors are to be found throughout the rest of the Show.
Vendors from all over Iowa and other states are coming to join local vendors with wares for sale. The festival features hand-turned and other wood items, hand-painted gourds, hand-painted oil paintings, seasonal home décor, knitted and crocheted items, hand sewn sweatshirts and quilted items, handmade jewelry and unique metal signs, and more. Move on to the stage area, the elementary gym and the elementary cafeteria and hallways: the customer can find cedar and primitive benches and furniture, photography, home decor, jewelry, clothing, children’s books, homemade goodies, cosmetics, candles, self-defense items, candy, crochet and knit items, more iron work, even handmade musical instruments.
Santa will make an early appearance with Mrs. Claus, his elves, and a live reindeer at the school to get your picture taken.
Visit Leon’s Historic Square
Just a block northeast of the intersection of Hwy 2 and Hwy 69 lies Leon’s Historic Square. The Decatur County Courthouse was built in 1908. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1981 as a part of the County Courthouses in Iowa Thematic Resource.
The courtyard, filled with mature trees is the home of many community events including the local Farmer’s Market and Fall Festival and is the focal point of the 4th of July festivities. The year 2015 marked the completion of our Freedom Rock project painted by Bubba Sorenson.
Decatur County Freedom Rock
Decatur County’s Freedom Rock was unveiled April 22, 2015. The 28th Freedom Rock to be completed in the state of Iowa by artist Ray “Bubba” Sorensen II, it is a great site to visit in southern Iowa. The rock serves as a thank you to all of our Veterans and a remembrance of our POW/MIA/KIA.
The front side of the rock thanks all Veterans who’ve served across our country including soldiers from the Revolutionary War, WWII, and the War on Terror. The back side represents our POW/MIA to share the message, “They are never forgotten.” The north side honors those lost serving our country.
The Korean War, often called “The Forgotten War,” is represented through a dedication to D. Darrell Johnston. Sorensen highlights specific stories of local veterans in each county in hopes to inspire more Veterans to tell their stories. M/Sgt. D. Darrell Johnston fought in the Korean War earning the Silver Star, Bronze Star and Purple Heart taking a heavily defended hill under enemy fire.
For a list of complete counties booked for the Tour and locations of already existing Freedom Rocks, visit www.thefreedomrock.com.
Visit Liberty Hall in Lamoni
Built in 1881 in Lamoni, Iowa, Liberty Hall was the home to Joseph Smith III until 1905. Smith was the first president of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints-now the Community of Christ.
Liberty Hall served as the center of religious and social life for the community hosting parties, weddings, and many fun nights before the fire eating apples and popcorn, playing games and reading aloud.
Liberty Hall is listed on the Iowa and National Registers of historic homes. Visitors are able to catch a glimpse into the life of a middle class family in an era from the late Midwestern Victorian. The house, furniture and antiques uniquely represent that time period and help to tell the story of a significant religious movement in American’s history.
Leon Chamber of Commerce – Small Town, Big Heart
The community of Leon offers small town living in a safe environment with progressive schools and healthcare, active community members, and outdoor recreation, The Leon Chamber of Commerce invites you to come catch the excitement as we share what it’s like to be part of a small community. Starting early in the year we are actively involved in and promote many activities.
- Beer & Wine Walk– Sample delicious appetizers, sip on a variety of beers and wines, and visit with local business owners at the Second Annual Beer and Wine Walk.
- Thursdays On the Square – Join local musicians, businesses and service groups as we gather on Leon Square. A variety of groups sponsor this weekly event held throughout the summer and includes food and entertainment.
- Paradise Farmers’ Market – There is nothing like the taste of fresh produce and homemade baked goods. Pick up garden fresh tomatoes, your favorite cherry pie, a pot of honey, soy candles and more at this weekly event.
- Decatur County Fair – Local 4-H and FFA members showcasing their skills in animal husbandry, science, home economics and more can be found at the Decatur County Fair.
- Fall Festival – Spend a day in the community celebrating the bounty of fall. Held on the square, you will find a variety of family friendly games such as pumpkin bowling, a pumpkin dessert contest, scarecrow contest, and more.
- Leon Noel – Grab your little ones for an early morning breakfast, activities, and story time with Santa and Mrs. Claus at a special breakfast with Santa.
For more information about the Leon Chamber of Commerce, and a full list of events, visit our website at www.leonchamber.org and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/leonchamberofcommerce.
Graceland University Shaw Center
The expanded Shaw Center was dedicated Homecoming Weekend 2012 after a 15-month, $16 million transformation into one of the top performing arts venue in the Midwest. The expansion includes the new state-of-the-art JR Theatre, a black box theatre equipped with lighting, sound and multi-functional qualities equal to the best such theatres in the country. The expanded facility also includes the acoustically-perfect, 150-seat Carol Hall recital facility, a beautiful outdoor amphitheater, a stunning new atrium/lobby, the 500-seat Shaw Family Auditorium and a long, north-facing corridor Gallery that showcases contemporary still lifes and landscapes of Canada, home to JR and Carol Shaw, the donors who made the Shaw Center expansion possible. For more information on the Shaw Center visit www.graceland.edu.
Leon SCIT Theatre
Built in 1931 during the Art Deco period, this 84 year old landmark has one of the last silver screens to still be used in the state. With the addition of digital surround sound and air conditioning, one can be assured of the best seat in the house whether you’re in the balcony or on the main floor. The Central Decatur drama department offer lives musical and plays on the stage at different times during the year, and have played to the capacity crowds of 230 per night. Visit Leon SCIT The