A little bit about Chariton

Chariton is a community of 4600 people located in beautiful south central Iowa. You can find us at the intersection of U.S. Hwy 34 & 14. We are less than 30 minutes to Interstate 35 and less than 60 minutes to Des Moines (Iowa's capital). Both Kansas City and Omaha are a short three hour drive. Chariton is the county seat of Lucas County. The Chariton Municipal Airport is a level 2 facility featuring two runways located 2 miles west of the city. The Burlington Northern and Santa Fe and Union Pacific rails serve our community. We are also located near the heart of an Amish community, which brings in tourists to view the quieter side of life. Chariton is attracting a growing number of people to Iowa and Lucas Co. to enjoy the rural experience.

The quality of life is what makes "Chartion, Iowa a place we call home" much more than a slogan. We live and work among friends, not strangers. Our children are educated in schools that are not overcrowded or violence prone. A lot of our living is done outdoors. The ponds and streams, lakes and park areas are a vital part of why we live here. We have a lot in Chariton and hope you will consider making it a place you call home.

Chariton's school district has an enrollment of approximately 1200 students in three grade schools, a new middle school, which opened in 1993, and a high school. We have acess to community college classes and are within commuting distance of several colleges. Our students excel in many areas, such as academics, music, science and athletics.

A broad spectrum of health services are available at the Lucas County Health Center which is a 56 bed hospital. The hospital also includes 2 neonatal suites with doctors' clinics and assisted living facilities.

Lucas Co. has 253,100 acres in farms making it our largest industry. Corn and soybeans are the major crops grown with oats, wheat and hay also covering the rolling hillsides. Over 37,600 cow and calves call Iowa home as do over 28,400 hogs and pigs. Very steady growth in land values in the past years makes land investment the choice of many people. The life style and quality of life draws many former city dwellers to South Central Iowa.

Red Haw State Park - No matter the season, the trees make Red Haw a beautiful place to visit. The 649 acre park is filled with hawthorns, oaks, maples, pines, and redbud trees which line the roadways and the shore line. During the summer months visitors can enjoy swimming, camping, fishing and boating. In winter, ice skating, sledding, skiing and snowmobiling. Hiking trails wind through the park and around the sparkling clear 72 acre lake.

Stephens State Forest - A majority of Iowa's largest forest is located in Lucas Co. with over 7,300 acres, providing a forest wilderness experience as well as recreational opportunities. There are 31 miles of equestrian trails, rustic campgrounds, 4 stocked ponds and the entire area is open for public hunting.

Cinder Path - With the purchase of the abandoned railroad right-of-way from the Burlington Northern Railroad Company in 1974, the Cinder Path became the first "Rails-To-Trails" area in the state of Iowa. Beginning on the west edge of Chariton, the trail meanders for 13.5 miles through river, woodland, prairie habitats, and over a covered bridge.

Pin Oak Marsh - In 1994, construction of a 160 acre wetlands was completed along Hwy 14 south of Chariton. During the spring and fall migrations, you can see numerous geese, ducks, shorebirds, and songbirds. This area provides recreational opportunities such as hiking, birding, nature photography, and hunting.

Johnson Auditorium/Hy-Vee Community Center - 12,100 square feet multi-purpose gymnasium used for basketball, volleyball, and tennis, plus a 600 seat auditorium.

Chariton City Parks - Nine city parks totaling over 60 acres provide enjoyment and recreational opportunities.

Lakeview Golf and Country Club - Offering fine dining in the club house with a nine hole golf course.

Lakeview Golf and Country Club - Offering fine dining in the club house with a nine hole golf course.

Vision II Theater - This twin screen theater shows first run movies for only $3.00 per ticket. Entirely funded and constructed by community volunteers.

The Amish have several small country stores in the area. These stores feature home made breads, candies, other baked goods, baskets, quilts, wood crafts, and furniture. With arrangements made by the Chariton Area Chamber Main Street you can also be served an authentic Amish meal.

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