Midwest Living Review
Whiterock Conservancy owns Whiterock Resort, a collection of lodging options scattered across the conservancy's 5,000 acres. All are clean and comfy, but not fancy. The five-bedroom bed-and-breakfast inn was created out of the Garst family's former 1940s-era home. The Garst family began farming the conservancy land back in 1916; patriarch Roswell Garst eventually became known worldwide for his work in corn genetics. The B&B, which is comfortably furnished and homey, offers guests a self-serve Continental breakfast. There is no owner/manager sleeping on the property, affording more privacy but less service. Two of the five guest rooms share a bath. The other home-type lodgings include a cottage, a farmhouse, a carriage house and a three-season cabin that sleep anywhere from five to 13; all have cooking facilities and all allow dogs if they're kept off the furniture (the B&B does not allow dogs). The cabin is in a more remote location on the banks of the Middle Raccoon River. Two campgrounds in different sections of the conservancy round out the resort's lodging options. The campgrounds offer nine sites, none of which have electrical or water hook-ups. Those looking for a true wilderness camping experience can ask the resort staff for hiking directions to the conservancy's primitive camping sites. Guests, like the general public, can take advantage of the conservancy lands for hiking, biking, bird-watching, fishing and canoeing. Fee-based programs, such as hayrides and astronomy sessions, are offered as well. Make sure to check out the night sky if you stay here. The conservancy claims to have the darkest skies in Iowa and has a "star field" set aside for stargazing.