Union County

Make a Stop in Creston

Creston is located in the beautiful rolling hillsides of southwest Iowa. The citizens of Creston are proud of their community and look forward to sharing it with you.

It is the largest city between Des Moines and Council Bluffs (2020 Census) in southwest Iowa (I-80 to the north, I-35 to the east, the Missouri border to the South and the Missouri River to the West.

As the regional hub of southwest Iowa for business, education, industry, medicine, shopping and recreation, Creston caters to residents and visitors wanting small-town service with big-town products. Creston has many interesting shops where there is always a friendly face and hometown hospitality.

Over 2,100 acres of water including five lakes, three being Three Mile Lake, Twelve Mile Lake and Green Valley Lake, and over 6,090 acres of publicly owned parks, woodlands, prairies, and wetlands –all conveniently located within a 25-mile radius of Creston.

Creston hosts several events during the year. These include a traditional Independence Day each July 4th, our Annual Creston/Southwest Iowa Hot Air Balloon Days on the third weekend in September and our Lighted Christmas Parade held on the Thursday after Thanksgiving as part of the two plus week event No Place Like Creston for the Holidays.

Come and discover the opportunities that await you in Creston, where the attitudes and hospitality of our community welcomes people of all ages.


Afton Splash Pad

Afton City Park

Creston: Arts Gallery

116 West Adams, Creston
641-782-2000, ext. 3

Creston Community Arts Gallery

411 W. Adams, Creston

Creston’s Restored Depot

116 West Adams, Creston
641-782-2000, ext. 203

Creston Swimming Pool

McKinley Park

Frank Phillip’s Information Center & Union County Freedom Rock

west on Hwy. 34, Creston, IA

Happy Valley Church

Lorimor, IA

High Lakes Shooting Range

North of Afton

McKinley Park Disc Golf Course

McKinley Park, Creston

Mount Pisgah Mormon National Monument

1704 Mount Pisgah Road

Mural Magic

Uptown Creston

Park to Park Trail

McKinley Park to Green Valle

Union County Historical Village

just off Hwy. 34 West in McKinley Park
Creston, 641-782-8159


For information on any of the lakes please
call the Union County Conservation Office
641-347-5100 or Union County Tourism –

12-Mile Lake

3-Mile Lake

Afton Lake

Green Valley State Park

Summit Lake

Thayer Lake


Adams Street Country Lodge

1412 170th St., Creston

The Boresch Lodge

2379 Hwy. 169, Afton

The Country Oasis B&B

2701 High School Dr., Afton

Farmhouse 1910

2179 180th St
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Green Valley State Park Cabins

Green Valley State Park

Holiday Motel

800 S Walnut, Hwy. 34 East, Creston

Moonlite Motel

704 New York Ave, Hwy 34 West, Creston

Quality Inn

804 W. Taylor Hwy. 34 West

Supertel Inn and Conference Center

800 Laurel Street, Hwy. 34 West, Creston

Sylvanus Lodges

1741 Creamery Road, Afton

Three-Mile Lake Cabins

Three-Mile Lake

Three Lakes Lodge

801 N. Pierce, Afton


Feb. 12: A Night of Comedy, Creston

March 27: Creston Schools Fine Arts Fest, Creston

April 16: Volunteer Firefighters Easter Egg Hunt, Creston

May 14: Market on Maple Event, Creston

May 22: Creston High School Graduation

May 22: East Union High School Graduation, Afton

June 4: KSIB Tractor Ride, Creston

June 11: Creston Citywide Garage Sale, Creston

June 18: Rainbow Park Ice Cream Social, Creston

June 26: Afton Pre-Fourth Celebration, Afton

July 1-2: 10,000 Crestonians 4th of July Celebration, Creston

July 2: Party in the Park, Creston

July 3: Run UC/Great 8 & 5K Run Walk, Creston

July 4: 10,000 Crestonians 4th of July Celebration, Creston

July 30: McKinley Park Festival, Creston

Aug. 5: Uncorked & Uncapped Wine Walk, Creston

Aug. 6: Creston’s Crush Cancer in Every Color, Creston

Sept. 16 – 18: 4th Creston/SW Iowa Hot Air Balloon Days, Creston

Sept. 30 – Oct. 2: 2nd Annual Autumn Days, Afton

Oct. 29: Bright Eyes in the Park, Creston

Dec. 1: Lighted Christmas Parade, Santa Visits the Depot, Festival of Trees, Creston

Dec. 3: Afton Extravaganza, Afton

Dec. 10: Santa Visits the Deopt, CARE Bake Sale, Holiday Tea at the Village, Creston


12 Mile Lake

4 miles east of Creston

Afton City Park

on the square, Afton

Arispe Roadside Park

Hwy 169

Cedar Park

1937 190th Street, Creston

Country Court Mobile Home & RV Court

1804 Virginia Lane, Creston

Garfield Park

west of Afton

Green Valley State Park


Groesbeck Wildlife Area

NE of Afton

Lorimor City Park

west edge of Lorimor

McKinley Park & McKinley Park Camp Ground

Creston – 641-782-2000 ext. 208
west side of Creston

Mount Pisgah Park

1704 Mount Pisgah Road, Thayer

Rainbow Park

500 block of S. Vine & S. Birch, Creston

Talmage Hill Nature Park

4 miles east of Afton

Thayer Lake

one mile west of Thayer

Three-Mile Lake


Valley View RV Park:

1246 Green Valley Rd., Creston

Enjoy the Outdoors in Union County

Union County is one of southwest Iowa’s wildlife and outdoor recreation “must go to places”.

Located along and near Highway 34, with easy access to Interstate 35 and Interstate 80, the lakes and beautiful landscape are easily accessible to the avid outdoorsman and those who enjoy the outdoors and the beauty which southwest Iowa offers.

Whether it’s deer or turkey, water- fowl or pheasants, walleye, Muskie or the lowly catfish, opportunities for hunting and fishing are plentiful in and around Union County.

Union County’s High Lakes offer an array of outdoor recreational opportunities unmatched in southern Iowa. Five lakes – including award-winning 3-Mile Lake and 12 Mile Lake along with Green Valley State Park with 2,500 acres of publicly owned woodland and prairie – are all conveniently located within a 20-mile radius of each other.

The lakes offer opportunities for water skiing, boating, camping, swim- ming, hiking, and picnicking – and some great ice fishing during the winter months – for the entire family.

The duck and goose hunting is excellent. Turkeys were stocked in the area in the late 70s and have expanded to the point where just about every patch of woods has turkeys now.

The region has become a favorite for deer hunters as well.

Thousands of acres of CRP and cropland furnish an excellent habitat for wildlife. Or, if you prefer, you can hunt along the banks of Three Mile and Twelve-Mile Lakes, where hundreds of acres of cover and food plots have been created to draw wildlife.

The High Lakes Shooting Range, is another spot for the outdoor enthusiast.

Mural Magic in Creston

The Mentor Mural Program has been a huge success, creating over 30 vibrant murals around Creston in the last year and a half!

This program engages youth with community service hours and others. The group has worked with many artists locally and across the country to create these murals.

This project wouldn’t have been made possible without Creston Arts, the Iowa Juvenile Court Services, the Iowa Department of Human Services, The Dwight and Marilyn Conover Foundation, The Iowa Arts Council, The Knock Family Charitable Fund, Creston Community High School Arts, the City of Creston, the many property owners who have allowed their buildings to be used as canvases and Bailey and Blake Fry-Schnormeier.

For more information about the murals and to see them and their locations please visit www.crestonarts.com.

High Lakes Outdoor Alliance

The High Lakes Outdoor Alliance Shooting Range is a great addition to the Three Mile Lake Recreation Area in Union County. The High Lakes Outdoor Alliance is an all volunteer, non-profit group.

The range consists of five separate ATA certified trap shooting stations, 50 yards, a pistol range, rifle range with targets at 100, 200, 300, 400, 600 and 800 yards. There is a clubhouse at the facility as well.

The High Lakes Outdoor Alliance hosts numerous shooting events along with local collegiate, FFA and 4-H trap shooting teams.

For more information on the Range or questions on how to obtain a membership please call Union County Conservation at 641-347-5100.


Uptown Creston offers locals, visitors and guests a wide variety of shopping experiences and artwork. Here you can find unique shops for clothing, furniture, art supplies and collectibles along with several great local restaurants to mention a few of the businesses that await you. Several salons and spas also occupy space in the Uptown. In addition, there are several outdoor wall murals that have been painted in the last three years along with a sculpture depicting our railroad heritage from our Sesquicentennial in 2019 in front of our Historic Depot. A street quilt was added in late 2019 on the corner of Maple and Adams Street. An art gallery can be found in the Depot as well.

An example of the stores in the Uptown is Create Creston, 104 North Maple. They offer a wide range of arts supplies along with a wonderful selection of local and regional handmade items for sale. Tee shirts are made on premise and various types of art classes are offered for all ages and abilities during the year. Artist can also work in the studio area by reservation. Stop by or give them a call at 641-782-8932.

As you can tell, there is LOTS to SEE and DO in Uptown Creston.

Afton - The Gateway to Three Mile Lake Recreation Area

Afton is a community that meets you and greets you on their square. It is located at the intersection of Highways 169 and 34, and is the southern Gateway to Three Mile Lake in Union County.

Every Tuesday evening from June through mid-August, the community gathers in the City Park, located in downtown Afton, to enjoy Tuesday Nights in the Park and a Farmers Market complete with music and food.

The Lion’s Club holds a Pre-Fourth of July celebration in the park the Sunday before the Fourth. A Community Church Service, food, entertainment and games are some of the activities on the day’s agenda. The splash pad on the square is a fun stop for locals as well as visitors anytime.

Our 2nd Annual Autumn Days fall event will be held September 30th through October 2nd. Activities include a BBQ contest, vendor fair, car show, kid games and ends with a dance and fireworks.

Afton has been host to the Union County Fair held in July (July 21-27, 2022) for as long as anyone can remember. A parade, rodeo and demolition derby headline the fair. While at the fair, visit the industry booths, tour the animal barns, 4-H booths and enjoy the great cooking and homemade ice cream.

Be sure to add Afton to your travel agenda. It is a great place to visit.

Please call 641-347-5224 for further details or visit their website at www.aftoniowa.com.

Enjoy a Hometown Fourth of July in Creston

Looking for a fun hometown Fourth of July Celebration? Look no fur- ther than Cres- ton, Iowa.

One of the highlights of the event is the annual 4th of July Parade held on July 4th in Uptown Creston. Creston is known for their parades and the July 4th Parade is one of the best and biggest usually lasting at least 45 minutes. Be- fore and or after the parade many people enjoy shopping the Flea Market.

McKinley Park is the center of many other Fourth of July events on the big day. The Union County Historical Village holds their annual Pioneer Days Celebration with food and several other activities taking place.

Another highlight of the 4th of July Celebration in Creston each year is the annual fireworks display at 9:30 p.m. in McKinley Park on the 4th. While fire- works are a staple of many Independence Day celebrations, Creston’s are well above standard. Visitors from around the area, southwest Iowa and northern Missouri come again and again to enjoy the show.

For a complete listing of events and activities please visit www.crestoniowachamber.com.

If you are looking for a place to spend the 4th of July, remember Creston. You won’t be disappointed.


Between 1846 and 1852, more than 2,000 people made their homes at Mt Pisgah while thousands of others simply passed through on their way west. Even those headed west to the gold fields in California stopped here for supplies and rest.

Mt. Pisgah located four miles south and one mile west of Lorimor, just off Highway 169, was the first white settlement in Union County. This site was founded by Mormon Scout, Parley Pratt and served as a way station on the original Mormon Trail from 1846 until 1852.

Today you can tour a cabin that was built as a reproduction of the type built as shelter by those early travelers. You can pause at the monument erected in memory of those who did not survive their journey. Three hundred Mormons were buried here in just the first few months. You can trace wagon tracks across the prairie grass trail that eventually became a main thoroughfare to the west. You may picnic in the park near the site.

Mount Pisgah is truly a historical spot in American history.

Union County Historical Village and Museum is a Must-Visit

The Union County Historical Village and Museum is located in Creston just off Highway 34 West in beautiful McKinley Park. Here you can find buildings reminiscent of a prospering rural town in Iowa around the 1890s. You can see the fully furnished last operating rural school in Union County. Other original buildings brought to the complex include an 1855 log cabin, a barn originally built in 1896, a house built before 1900, and Spaulding Methodist Church, where weddings still take place today. A depot, originally from Lucas and lat- er used at Brooks, along with a signal tower from the Creston rail yards and a caboose, emphasize the importance of the railroad heritage to the area.

Replicas in the village include a general store, har- ness shop, barbershop, blacksmith shop, fire station, machine shed, print shop and gristmill. A museum ad- joins the village and contains hundreds of artifacts and Union County memorabilia.

The Village is open from 1:00 to 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from Memorial Day through Labor Day or by appointment and is free to the public. Tours can also be scheduled during the year. For more information please call Dick at 641-782-4000 or Sharron at 641-782-2870.