Macbride Nature Recreation Area | Recreational Services
The University of Iowa
Closed Today

Macbride Nature Recreation Area (MNRA) is a 485-acre peninsula that has been leased by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to the University of Iowa since 1969.  UI Recreational Services has managed the property since 1984.  There are ten kilometers of hiking and cross-country skiing trails.  MNRA is home to the Environmental Education Programs: School of the Wild, Wildlife Camps, and Iowa Raptor Project. MNRA is located 15 miles north of Iowa City on Mehaffey Bridge Road, near Solon, Iowa.

Directions to MNRA

Park Hours:
November 1 - March 31   9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
April 1 - October 31   6:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Road is not maintained after closing hours.

Please visit our Facebook page for closure notices and most recent information. 

PDF iconMNRA Map

Campsite and Facility Reservations

We do not accept onsite payment and registration for campsites and shelters. You must receive your reservation confirmation before you can occupy a site. Registrations are accepted up to one hour prior to MNRA closing time, and must be made online or at the Field House. Occupying a campsite at any time without registering will be considered trespassing and handled as such. 

We do NOT accept reservations over the phone.

Click here to make an online reservation. You must have an online account to make a reservation. If you do not have an account, here's what you need to know:

  • If you are a staff, faculty, or student, you already have an account - just use your Hawk ID and password. 
  • If you have already created an account as a member of Rec Services or for other programs (swim lessons, fitness classes, etc), you may use the that same account to make a reservation. 
  • If you do not have an account, you can either create an account here or stop by the Field House membership desk. You may also register in-person at the Field House.

Reservation Policies:

  • All cancelations must be done 48 hours in advance. 
  • All Campsites are reserved from NOON - 11:00 A.M. the next day 

How to make a reservation online:

  1. Log in to your account. 
  2. Click "Online Registration" on the homepage of
  3. Scroll down until you find which site you would like to reserve, and click on the site.
  4. Click “Register” on the date you wish to reserve. Sites that are listed with “0 Spots” are already reserved.
  5. Sign and accept waiver to continue registration.
  6. Complete the questions about your visit with us. 
  7. If you are making a reservation for more than one day, click "Continue Shopping" (you'll have to add each day individually) or if you're done, select "Check Out".
  8. Enter payment information and you are done!

Campsite Policies:

  • No alcohol.
  • All pets must be on a leash.
  • Campsites are "walk-in" sites and cannot be accessed with a motor vehicle.  We recommend utilizing a hand cart or wagon to haul your supplies to your site.
  • Leave all campsites ready for the next user - anything you carry in, you must carry out.  Do not leave trash behind.
  • Tables and other camping-related items are restricted to the campsite area.
  • Free fire wood is often available at the main restrooms for MNRA-registered campers only.
  • All non-registered visitors must be out of the park by closing time.

For questions on campsite reservations, please contact Mike Valentine.

Campsite Prices

Campsites Price
Fox Campsites (individual) $10
Wolf Campsites (group) $20
Falcon Campsite $45

Shelters and Facilities Prices

Shelters and Facilities Price
Raptor Ridge Picnic Area $15
Eagle/Hawk $20
Falcon/Archery $30
Social Center $75

UI Department of Public Safety

As a University-managed area, the Macbride Nature Recreation Area is serviced by the University of Iowa Department of Public Safety.  If you experience issues while visiting the MNRA (locked inside the park, car issues, etc.), please contact UI Police at the non-emergency line: 319-335-5022.

Note: If there is an emergency, call 9-1-1.

Contact Us

Tamra Elliott
Land Manager, MNRA
Mike Valentine
Assistant Director, Facility Operations Field House
Select a date by clicking the date input and submit using the Search Hours button.


Macbride Nature Recreation Area is Closed