Bonham Memorial Park
The Bonham Memorial Park and Bonham Trail is a quarter-mile long, shaded corridor of woods atop the old Central Iowa Railroad right-of-way. Bonham Memorial Park was deeded as a gift by the Hill-Mont Land Co. to the Montezuma Development Corporation in memory of long-time resident, Mr. Hoyt Bonham. Mr. Bonham came to Montezuma in 1929 and practiced as an attorney and abstracter until his death in 1984. He was extremely active in the community, serving as: President of Montezuma Development Corporation, Public Library Board of Trustees, Montezuma Board of Education Secretary, and also served in various leadership positions at the Montezuma United Methodist Church. He did much work on behalf of the Associated Groups of the Elderly (AGE) and held various offices in the Mason, Oddfellows, and the National Grange.
The park was completed in 1986 when the Montezuma Lions Club paid for an eight-foot wide asphalt surface to be put on the path and signage to be erected at both ends of the trail.
In 2016, work began to clean up the trail and remove dead branches and trees. The signage at both ends of the trail was replaced with new signs which pay homage to the fact that is was a former railroad right-of-way.
In 2018, the trail was seal-coated and new benches were installed. The trail connects the town to the housing development on the south side of Montezuma. Walkers and bikers are invited to use the trail.
Diamond Lake Park and Fox Forest
Diamond Lake Park has been the pride of Montezuma since 1953. The 632-acre park can be easily accessed from U.S. Highway 63, or from County Road F-57 (Diamond Trail). The Poweshiek County Conservation Board manages the multi-use recreational area, and has worked to preserve the area’s wildlife and natural habitat, as well as continued expansion of the park for public use. The shoreline that stretches around the 98-acre lake offers both electric and primitive campsites, well-groomed hiking trails that wind throughout the timbers and rolling prairies, as well as two paved trails that extend to the east and northwest of the park. The east trail, which is the newest trail, offers beautiful views of the lake and lends direct access to the edge of the Montezuma city limit.
A new extended camping area opened in 2013. The added campground area features 50 electrical sites, and a 7-acre pond which are east of the main lake. Added modern facilities and rental cabins overlooking the park are also part of a long-term comprehensive improvement plan. While shoreline camping is also available, the new campground offers the best view of the park.
The protected area is home to wild turkeys, white-tailed deer, and other native species, including many types of birds. Varieties of daisies, cone flowers and tall prairie grass become part of the landscape and natural habitat to these creatures. It is easy to imagine peoples of the Fox Indian tribe here, who once held dominion over this land and it’s inhabitants. Fox Forest is managed by the Poweshiek County Conservation Board, and is part of a network of nearby wildlife areas including Fleming Woods Preserve and neighboring Bryan Woods. In addition, the Poweshiek County Sportsmen Association manages an indoor gun and trap range within the wildlife area. Nearby Barclay Timber, Deep River Timber, Lincoln Wildlife Area, Cecil Rivers Timber, and Millgrove Access Wildlife Area are also managed by the Poweshiek County Conservation Board.
Lake Ponderosa is a private residential lake along Diamond Trail, just three miles west of Montezuma. The 440-acres of wooded landscape and seven miles of shoreline offer a beautiful setting for the 700 households that call Lake Ponderosa home. For over 45 years, the lake has offered a variety of water sporting activities, including fishing and boating. The lake association sponsors the area’s Fourth of July fireworks display, as well as fishing derbies, ice cream socials, and the annual tour of homes. Residents are very much a part of the Montezuma community, whether they live at the lake year-round, or just come for the summer.
Lake Silverado is also a private residential lake by developer John G. Ahrens. It is located 3 miles west of Montezuma, and accessible from 480th Avenue. The lake features 30-acres of lakefront living, offering great fishing and peaceful surroundings for homeowners and their guests. MAP
Fleming Woods State Preserve
Dedicated as a state preserve in 1983, Fleming Woods is characterized by several forested ravines that are typical of the rolling landscape of the Southern Iowa Drift Plain landform region. Located southwest of Montezuma, the preserve is a natural area left undisturbed by human intervention. To date, a listing of over 175 trees, shrubs, vines, herbs and mosses have been catalogued here. Yellow violets and wild geraniums are prevalent from April through June. Visitors are encouraged to carefully walk through the preserve and observe their surroundings throughout the 38-acre woodland. MAP WEBSITE