Visitors Guide: Things to do in Forest City and North Iowa

Guests travel from all over North America to Lichtsinn RV to pick up their new motorhomes and have their Winnebago motorhomes serviced.   A steady stream of RV travelers also make the pilgrimage to the Winnebago factory daily in summer months to see where their motorhomes were built and take a factory tour.  The annual Winnebago Rally in July brings hundreds of RV travelers.  That’s a lot of people traveling through the area!

We put together a list of some of the many great places to visit while in the area.  We invite you to stick around awhile to see some of the things that make Forest City and North Iowa such a great places to vist!

Winnebago Factory Tour


While you are in town you will want to take the Winnebago Industries Factory Tour at the largest motorhome manufacturing facility in the world.

Visit the largest motorhome manufacturing facility in the world, Winnebago, headquartered in Forest City on a campus that we refer to as the most productive 60 acres in North Iowa. Winnebago motorhomes are built in one of the most technologically advanced RV manufacturing facilities in existence today.


  • Factory tours are offered Monday – Friday (April through October.)
  • All tours are free and start at the Visitors Center in Forest City.
  • Reservations are recommended to ensure a space on the tour.
  • Closed-toe shoes are required.
  • A safety vest, safety glasses and hearing protection are required and provided.
  • There are stairs on the tour so those with mobility issues may be limited on what you can see.
  • You must be 8 years old or above to go on the factory tours.
  • No video or photography is allowed on the tours.
  • The tours take approximately 2 hours.

Contact: (641)585-6936

Cost:  Free

Hours: Reservations required. Tours depart the Winnebago Visitor’s Center at 9 a.m. (April – October ) Tours are not offered to the public on holidays, the week of the 4th of July and during the Winnebago Grand National Rally. Tour schedules subject to change based on production schedules.

Location: Tours start at the Winnebago Visitors’ Center 1045 S 4th St, Forest City, IA 50436

Bear Creek Golf Course

Bear Creek is a 18-hole, par 71 golf course bordering the Winnebago River.  The course offers an exciting variety of holes and scenic beauty unsurpassed in the North Iowa area.

The course is open to the public and with four sets of tees to choose from, the course can be enjoyed by golfers of all ages and ability levels.

Bear Creek’s clubhouse features casual dining, a full bar and a pro shop with apparel, golfing gear, snacks and much more!

Contact: (641) 585-1353

Cost:  Rates Available on the Bear Creek Website

Hours: Call to make your tee time.  You can also  book online.

Location: 145 Country Club Rd, Forest City, IA 50436

Forest City YMCA


Forest City is proud to be one of the smallest communities in the United States to offer a full service YMCA facility. The Forest City Y offers family-oriented fun and a state-of-the-art facility that includes a cardio room, racquetball courts, large gymnasium, pool, spa and track.

The Forest City Y serves people and families of all ages, income levels, and physical condition; with emphasis on responsibility and self improvement.

The Forest City YMCA opened its doors in February 1987 thanks to the vision and generosity of John K. and Luise Hanson. As a child, John K. Hanson, Winnebago Industries founder, learned to swim at a YMCA facility. This impacted him and as Winnebago grew, he wanted the community he loved to benefit from a facility that everyone could enjoy regardless of income level, age or physical condition. He turned that vision into reality and began the process of establishing a YMCA in Forest City.

John K. and Luise gifted the necessary funds to build the building which houses the Y and Hanson Field House for Waldorf College. The community rallied around their generosity through an effort called “Help us Open the Doors” which raised funds to equip the facility.

Knowing that the YMCA was in a small community, the Hansons’ established an endowment fund to ensure the longevity of the Y in Forest City. This endowment keeps membership rates at affordable levels. An annual support campaign is also conducted to provide financial assistance to those in need.

Contact: (641) 585-5220

Cost:  Day passes are available for $15 for adults, $5 for children and $20 for a family pass.

Hours:  Hours are seasonal.  See the YMCA website for more information.

Location: 916 West I St, Forest City, IA 50436


Shopping in Forest City


Forest City is a great place to shop.  There are antique stores, quilt shops, gift shops, a hardware store and more!  The Bomgaars store west of Lichtsinn RV stocks over 60,000 items in 13 major departments, including Lawn and Garden plus Nursery, Clothing and Footwear, Farm, Pet and Automotive supplies, Paint, Hardware, Tools, Housewares, and Toys.

Cost:  There’s something for every budget!

Hours:  Most Forest City stores are open Monday through Saturday.

Heritage Park of North Iowa


Heritage Park of North Iowa is a 91-acre agricultural and rural history museum located on the South edge of Forest City.   The site features exhibits of early prairie life, antique power equipment, churches, schools and an old-time main street complete with a blacksmith shop.

Contact:  641-585-4332

Cost:  Free-Will Donation

Hours:  Hours vary. Learn more on their Facebook Page

Location: 1225 US-69, Forest City, IA 50436

Pilot Knob State Park


Pilot Knob is a wonderful nature center located five miles east of Forest City.  It’s the perfect spot for nature lovers, hikers and cyclists and has camping facilities as well.

It’s located in a rare tract of rolling hills in an otherwise flat countryside.  There’s a lot to explore in this state park.

Pilot Knob State Park was dedicated in 1924 and has drawn many visitors to explore its hidden treasures and historical structures. Camping, fishing, hiking, and bird watching are just a few of the activities Pilot Knob provides.

The Civilian Conservation Corps constructed several structures in 1934. The entrance portals, stone shelter, three stone bridges, amphitheater and 30′ observation tower are all listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Pilot Knob also has a 15 acre lake that has good bass and bluegill fishing. It is a popular spot for ice fishing and ice skating. Electric trolling motors only are allowed on the lake.

Contact: (641)596-0527

Cost: Free to visit. Camping costs vary and can be reserved online

Hours:  Open all year round

Location: 2148 340th St. Forest City, IA 50436

Forest Theatre


Step back into the past! The Forest Theatre is a vintage non-profit theatre showing current movies.  The popcorn is delicious, and the soda (and air conditioning) is cold.

Contact: (641) 585-2790

Cost: $4 Adults, $3 kids 12 and under.

Hours: Showings are Tuesday – Saturday at 7:00 PM and Sunday at 4:00 PM

Location: 215 N Clark St, Forest City, IA 50436

Forest City Aquatic Center


The Forest City Aquatic Center features zero depth entry, diving boards, and a giant water slide!  Fun for all ages!

Phone: (641) 585-2650

Cost: $4.00 General Admission, Kids 2 and under are free.

Hours: Monday – Sunday: 1:00 pm to 8:00 pm Memorial Day through Labor Day

Location: 525 John K. Hanson Drive, Forest City, Iowa 50436

Visit their Facebook Page to find any changes to regular pool hours.

Mansion Museum


Home of the Winnebago County Historical Society, the Mansion Museum features fascinating exhibits that will bring you back to the days of old.


Cost:  $5 for adults, children 12 and under are free

Hours: Open Summer Sundays from 1 pm to 4 pm

Location: 336 N Clark St., Forest City, Iowa 50436

Boman Fine Arts Center


The center includes a 630-seat theater. The theater hosts a 36’x 80’ stage with orchestra pit, green room, dressing rooms, staging and set production area, full fly area and rigging, along with state of the art electronics, lighting and audio visual equipment. The theater can host weddings, special occasions, theatrical performances, art displays, regional and national touring groups, speaker engagements, and the Waldorf University Artist Series.

Contact: (641) 585-2020

Cost/hours: Varies based on performance.  See the website for more information

Location:  225 John K. Hanson Drive, Forest City, Iowa 50436

Outdoor Recreation

Pammel Park (Photo Courtesy Forest City Chamber of Commerce)
Pammel Park (Photo Courtesy Forest City Chamber of Commerce)

Start your outdoor adventure on the Forest City Trail System.  The Trail System offers over 9 miles of trails leading from the downtown area to Pilot Knob State Park. Parking is plentiful at Pammel Park. The Forest City Parks and Recreation Department continually strives to maintain, improve, and expand the trail system, in order to reach and better serve the growing number of residents and visitors.

Forest City has 8 bikes at 3 different locations through out the community available for rent by the hour. These are available to be used by residents, Waldorf students, and visitors to provide transportation and enjoyable exercise. For only $1.50 per hour you can ride anywhere you’d like to go.

How to rent a bike? Download the App called KoloniShare.  On the App, locate Forest City and see the dots that indicate bike locations and availability. Follow the instructions to rent the bike.

Hynes Spur Trail –  Approximately 2 miles from J Street at Pammel Park to 330th St./Airport Road.  It meanders through Pammel Park, a woodland setting, through the Bear Creek Golf Course and Disc Golf Course and past the Winnebago Rally grounds to 330th St./Airport Road.  All off road paved trail.

Hanson Trail –  Approximately 9 miles. Begins at on J Street next to Pammel Park entrance, left on Golf Course Road to Hwy 9, East along Hwy 9 to 206thAve. to Pilot Knob Entrance, West on 340th Street to Golf Course Road and Left on J Street to Pammel Park entrance. A combination of paved off road trails and share-the-road trails.

Pilot Knob Loop – Approximately 4 miles. Begins at the entrance of Pilot Knob State Park and winds through the park.  All paved and on park roads.

See the map here

Cost:  Free

Diamond Jo Casino


Just 25 minutes from Forest City, Diamond Jo Worth is a high-energy casino and entertainment destination. They offer nearly 800 slots, 23 table games, sportsbook, live entertainment in the Big Wheel Bar, event center and three restaurants.

Contact:  (641) 323-7777

Cost:  Free (except the games, food and drink)

Hours:  Daily 8:00am – 3:00am

Location: 777 Diamond Jo Lane, Northwood, IA 50459

Clear Lake Attractions


Clear Lake, Iowa, is a beautiful small town situated on a natural 3,643 acre spring-fed lake in about 20 miles southeast of Forest City.

There’s a beautiful downtown area with quirky shops and eateries.  Events happen in the downtown park almost every weekend in the summer.   People travel from all over the Midwest to stay at this iconic getaway.

Clear Lake offers the small-town, welcoming atmosphere along with large-town attractions. Visit the legendary Surf Ballroom, the site of many performances and the last performance of Buddy Holly, or walk downtown along the brick sidewalks to shop the antique stores and boutiques.

Plan a summer excursion aboard the Lady of the Lake or take a bike ride around the lake.

Clear Lake is a great place for fishing throughout the year. The lake offers fishing for walleyes, muskie, northern pike, bullheads, catfish, yellow bass, crappies, and other panfish.

Boaters enjoy skiing, jet skiing, sightseeing, wind surfing and sailing.  There’s a number of nice public beaches too!

Details on these and more Clear Lake attractions here

Mason City Attractions


Mason City is the largest retail hub in North Central Iowa.  It has both big box stores and many smaller locally owned shops.   There are also some great places to eat.

There are also several notable attractions.  The Music Man Square features an indoor 1912 streetscape with an ice cream parlor and gift shop, all in set designs recreated from the Warner Bros. motion picture The Music Man. There’s also an interactive museum highlighting Meredith Willson memorabilia and music-related exhibits and exploratorium. Plus, visit the restored 1895 modified Queen Anne house that was Meredith Willson’s birthplace and boyhood home.

Mason City has the largest unified group Prairie School architecture in the world and the only remaining Frank Lloyd Wright designed Hotel, plus the Wright designed Stockman House.  Architecture tourists travel from all over the over the world to see these artful structures.

Details on these and more Mason City attractions here

Information accurate as compiled 7/21/2021.  Data and descriptions provided by Forest City Chamber of Commerce, Clear Lake Chamber of Commerce, Visit Mason City and City of Mason City Iowa.

To find out more about how Lichtsinn RV is  different than other dealers and learn about the Lichtsinn RV Experience CLICK HERE.

Experience the Best® at Lichtsinn RV, the #1 Winnebago Dealer in North America for the last six consecutive years. Lichtsinn RV is located 1 mile north of Winnebago Industries in Forest City, IA and we proudly sell new Winnebago motorhomes and pre-owned RVs from various manufacturers. While at Lichtsinn RV, you can expect no delivery miles on new RVs, a complimentary half-day educational orientation of your RVexcellent guest reviews, an assigned support team from sales, parts, service and the business officesuperior accommodationsno-hassle pricing and competitive financing. See our extensive new and used inventory here.  Family is central to Lichtsinn RV’s success  Visitors Guide: Things to do in Forest City and North Iowa

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