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.

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 home-town 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 add to what Creston has to offer to visitors and travelers.

Creston hosts several events during the year. These include our Spring Market on Maple, 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 events during 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 Center

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

1600 Stone Street, Creston
Phone: 641-782-4000


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


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

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


April 16: Creston Schools Fine Arts Fest, Creston

April 19: Meals from the Heartland, Creston

April 28: Stepping Into Spring Fashion Show, Creston

May 13: Market on Maple Event, Creston

May 21: Creston High School Graduation

May 21: East Union High School Graduation, Afton

June 3: KSIB Tractor Ride, Creston

June 10: Citywide Garage Sale, Creston

June 25: Afton Pre-Fourth Celebration, Afton

July 1: 4th of July Celebration, Creston

July 1: Party in the Park, Creston

July 1: Run UC/ Great 8 & 5K Run/Walk, Creston

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

July 20-26: Union County Fair, Afton

July 29: McKinley Park Festival, Creston

Aug. 4: Uncorked & Uncapped Wine Walk, Creston

Aug. 5: Creston’s Crush Cancer in Every Color, Creston

Sept. 14: Pork Chop Dinner, Creston

Sept. 15 – 17: 45th Creston/SW Iowa Hot Air Balloon Days, Creston

Sept. 16: 3rd Annual Arts Festival, Creston

Oct. 6-7 : Autumn Days, Afton

Oct. 7: Fiesta on Maple, Creston

Oct. 21: Bright Eyes in the Park, Creston

Nov. 30: Lighted Christmas Parade/Santa Visits, Creston

Nov. 30 – Dec. 2: Festival of Trees, Creston

Dec. 2: Merry Marketplace, Creston

Dec. 2: Afton Extravaganza, Afton

Dec 2: Holiday in the Park, Afton

Dec. 9: Santa Visits the Depot, Creston

Dec. 2: CARE Bake Sale/Gifts, Creston

Dec. 9-17: Drive Through December, Afton


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

Hot Air Balloon Days In Creston

Creston and Southwest Iowa’s hills and blue skies are a perfect setting for nearly 35 hot air balloons participating in the Creston/SW Iowa Hot Air Balloon Days the third weekend in September – September 15,16 &17, 2023. Now in its 45th year, the event is the second largest of its kind in the state of Iowa.

In addition to the balloon races during the week- end there is also the annual Hot Air Balloon Days Parade with high school marching bands from across the area, along with balloonists and many others on Saturday morning starting at 10:30 a.m. in Uptown Creston. The Creston City Center is the site of various activities for spectators of all ages as well. A Flea Market and Craft Fair is a must see as well as a stroll through town to visit the local merchants open for your shopping pleasure during the day.

On Saturday afternoon you can continue to enjoy your day at the airport and participate in or enjoy the pedal pull and Pet Show. Weather permitting there are also tethered balloon rides available. There is also a marching band competition at the High School.

The very popular NightGlow begins around dusk. The event wraps up on Sunday morning with the last balloon race, weather permitting.

Mark your calendar and make your plans early to attend. For more information please call the Creston Chamber of Commerce at 641-782-7022 or visit their website at www.crestoniowachamber.com.

Up, Up and Away.

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 for the 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 first Saturday in October they celebrate Autumn Days while the first Saturday in December they hold their Extravaganza and Holiday in the Park. The splash pad on the square is a fun stop for locals as well as visitors during the Summer.

Afton has been hosting the Union County Fair held in July (July 20 through July 26, 2023) 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

Welcome to Three Mile Lake Recreation Area

Three Mile Lake is the largest lake in the area as well as being one of the best fishing lakes in Iowa. The lower portion of the lake is open to sailing, power boating and water skiing (sorry, no inboards or jet skis). No-wake boating is permitted on the remainder of the lake.

The two campgrounds overlooking the lake have 80 sites to accommodate recreational vehicles, trailers and tent campers. Each site has electrical hookups. Water is available along with picnic sites, a fish cleaning station and dump station. Showers, sinks and flush toilets are available nearby at the year-around shower house.

There are also eight year-around rental cabins at the modern campground which provide a genuine year-around attraction. Three Mile Lake Lodge is also available for rental year-round.

For more information please contact the Union County Conservation Office at 641-347-5100.

Mural Magic in Creston

The Mentor Mural Program has been a huge success, creating over 30 vibrant murals around Creston in the last few years. 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.unioncountyiowatourism.com

Enjoy a Hometown Fourth of July in Creston

Looking for a fun hometown Fourth of July Celebration? Look no further than Creston, 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. Before 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.

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 fireworks are a staple of many Independence Day celebrations, Creston’s are well above standard. Visitors from around the area, SW 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.

Relax and Enjoy Yourself at Green Valley State Park

Green Valley State Park is located three miles north of Creston on Green Valley Road (N. Lincoln Street). Green Valley Lake has long been a popular fishing spot for both bank and boat anglers. A number of fishing jetties are available, as well as fishing piers for persons with varying abilities. A section of shoreline is designated as 24-hour fishing access. Four boat ramps provide convenient lake access.

The campground boasts non-electric, electric, and full hook-up sites (water and sewer) as well as modern restrooms, showers, and a trailer dump station. There is a primitive “youth group site” that is available for Scouts and other youth organizations. Three seasonal camping cabins are located along the lakeshore. There are two playgrounds within the park. There is a playground located right outside of the campground and there is a playground located in the campground.

A 6.5 mile paved multi-use trail is located on the East and South sides of the lake. The trail begins in the campground and provides a scenic view of the Eastern side of the lake. Across the dam, the trail passes through DNR managed Mitchell Marsh, and it’s worth a stop to watch waterfowl and other wetland species of birds, particularly during spring and fall migrations. The trail connects to Creston and Southwestern Community College and continues south through town to McKinley City Park. For more information please call 641-782-5131 or you can check on the park on-line at Iowadnr.gov.

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 1890’s. 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 the Spaulding Methodist Church where weddings still take place today. A depot, originally from Lucas and later 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, harness shop, barbershop, blacksmith shop, fire station, machine shed, print shop and gristmill. A museum adjoins 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 Sharon at 641-782-2870.