Ellen Carman

Born and raised in Iowa City, Ellen Carman is a staple of the University of Iowa outdoor community. As an avid climber, backpacker, and all around outdoorswoman, Ellen’s sense for adventure has found her leading University of Iowa expeditions to parks across the country, founding inaugural women’s climbing clinics, and counseling young students as they discover the outdoors in the University of Iowa Wildlife Camps. Whether going for a short day trip, or an extended adventure, Ellen knows the ins and outs of the Iowa outdoors.


Check out her Iowa City recommendations below.

city guide:
Iowa City, IA
Terry Trueblood Recreation Area
"I enjoy paddle boarding on Sand Lake at Terry Trueblood Recreation Area. You don’t need your own board, you can rent one there! This lake is also a great place to go ice skating on cold winter days." - Ellen Carman 
The Park Lodge at Terry Trueblood Recreation Area, 579 McCollister Blvd, Iowa City, IA 52240, USA
Recommended by
Macbride Nature Recreation Area
"It’s a beautiful oak-savanna peninsula surrounded by Coralville Lake and Lake Macbride with very minimal development. The back fields and land have been called “Narnia” by some locals…" - David Conrads
2095 Mehaffey Bridge Rd NE, Solon, IA 52333, USA
Recommended by
Iowa Raptor Project
The Raptor Center displays 17 unreleasable birds of prey found in Iowa. The center is open to the public.
2095 Mehaffey Bridge Rd NE, Solon, IA 52333, USA
Recommended by
Pedestrian Mall
The Ped Mall, also known as the Pedestrian Mall, is a pedestrian mall located in downtown Iowa City, Iowa.
210 S Dubuque St, Iowa City, IA 52240, USA
Hickory Hill Park
"Hickory Hill is the best place to meander with my dog or trail run." - Brian Mildenstein 
800 Conklin, Iowa City, IA 52240
Englert Theatre
"[Visit the] the Englert Theatre for great music and speakers." - Ellen Carman
221 E Washington St, Iowa City, IA 52240, USA
Recommended by
The Climbing Wall at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center
The climbing wall is located at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center at the University of Iowa.
309 S Madison St, Iowa City, IA 52242
Recommended by
Rusty the Sloth
"[Visit] Rusty the Sloth at the Natural History Museum on the Pentacrest – this is a FREE museum!" - Ellen Carman
University of Iowa Museum of Natural History Iowa City, IA 52242
Recommended by
The High Ground Café
High Ground Café serves coffee and espresso, tea, smoothies and more.
301 E Market St, Iowa City, IA 52245, USA
Recommended by
Short’s Burger & Shine
Restaurant in Iowa serving classic American food.
18 S Clinton St, Iowa City, IA 52240, USA
Recommended by