Got cabin fever? We’ve got you covered.

Tulips can be found all over Reiman Gardens, as part of its 2016 theme: color. The display entitled “Rainbow Connection” can be viewed through May 9.  

Emily Blobaum

March 20, 2018 marks the first day of spring. Chances are, you may have a case of cabin fever, and are itching to get outside. Here are a handful of places to go and things to do in Ames and the surrounding area to enjoy the fresh air and warm(er) weather.

Reiman Gardens

Beginning in mid April, over 54,000 tulips will be on display throughout the 17-acre plot of land. Additionally, starting April 28, the Wind, Waves and Light exhibit will be on display. The exhibit, designed by George Sherwood, will feature kinetic sculptures that explore space, time and the relationship of objects in motion.

Ledges State Park

Located less than 20 miles southwest of Ames, Ledges State Park boasts a wide array of opportunities, including hiking, picnicking, fishing, birdwatching and boating. Hikers have options of walking through creeks, up steep trails or on flat, fully accessible trails. Note: the campground is closed for much of 2018 due to a renovation project.


Whether you use it to nap or to study, a hammock is an excellent portable bed that allows you to be comfortable while enjoying the fresh air. Find some trees about 15 feet apart and hang your hammock several feet off the ground for maximum enjoyment.

Ada Hayden

Located just north of Ames on Highway 69, Ada Hayden Heritage Park offers opportunities for biking, walking, running, rollerblading, paddling, fishing and picnicking. Walks around the park can range from 1.4 to 3.2 miles.

Trails in Ames

The City of Ames has 55 miles of bike routes, which consist of shared-use paths, on-street bike lanes and bike friendly streets. Don’t have a bike? Iowa State’s Outdoor Recreation Program rents mountain bikes for $11 per day.

High Trestle Trail Bridge

The High Trestle Trail is a 25-mile long bike trail located between Woodward and Ankeny. The trestle bridge, located just outside of Slater — 15 miles south of Ames — is arguably the highlight. The 13-story high and half-mile long bridge was constructed to look like a mining shaft and includes blue lights that turn on at sunset.

Lagomarcino courtyard

Home to the psychology and education departments, Lagomarcino Hall offers a beautiful courtyard with benches, tables and shaded areas that make it an excellent location to enjoy the weather.

Skunk River

Paddle down the Skunk River for a day. The river offers several access points that allow you to travel anywhere between 2.2 to 33.4 miles. A popular stretch is between the Peterson Pits and the South 16th Street access points. Canoes and kayaks can be rented through Outdoor Recreation Services for $11 per day.

Walk around campus

It’s no secret that Iowa State’s campus is beautiful. So take some extra time between classes to go for a leisurely walk and admire the sculptures, architecture and plants that make Iowa State one of the prettiest campuses in the world, according to Buzzfeed.

Ames Dog Park

Take time to treat your furry friend to a trip to the dog park. Located on Billy Sunday Road, the 10-acre Ames Dog Park provides opportunities for your dog to play without a leash. All dogs must have a current rabies vaccination certification and must show a facility use permit tag. Day passes are $5 for residents of Ames and $7 for non-residents.