Anderson Park, where the high school Vikings play baseball and a multitude of organizations and families have picnics, began as a gift from Stanton merchant J.S. Anderson in the very early 1900s. He was one of the very earliest settlers.
The baseball diamond was not established until 1940 when an additional land gift and creek straightening allowed the present layout to be constructed. The town team had played on a field west of the Wistrom Oil station in 1939, when lights were installed.
A spring known and used in pioneer days was tapped for drinking water [using a pump and one metal drinking cup] for players and others. The pump was next to the home team dugout. The baseball area, the bridge, the creek, and the playground equipment have been renovated since then, but Baseball Day continues.
Danny Anderson Baseball Field
Danny Anderson’s youthful spirit was fueled by a rare talent. He was an athlete who could throw a baseball with velocity, movement and control. He was a pitching wizard when he entered high school, starring on the school squad and, at 15, was a starter on a talented town team. Major league scouts came to watch. He was a baseball wonder in a town that couldn’t get enough baseball.
On graduation day, scouts from three teams were waiting on his porch. He ended up signing with the Pittsburgh Pirates. The world was at his doorstep! A couple of years to develop in the minors and it would be big-time, the major leagues. An injury to his arm took place in the spring of his second year. The Pirates did what they could to save it. They sent him to Johns Hopkins and elsewhere. The arm couldn’t be restored. He could play and would do so in the army and with the town team, but he would never again throw a baseball as he once had.
This little area just north of the high school softball field is a beautiful place to gather under the trees and along the walking trail. There are usually 3-5 picnic tables and a grill available for use
Antique Tractor Display
The annual Stanton Antique Tractor Display was started in 2007 by Kevin and Mike Bruning. The tractor display is held at Anderson Park every August. It has grown over the years and now has well over 75 tractors coming from all over the Southwest Iowa area. Local businesses donate prizes to be given away in a drawing for the participants and the Stanton Booster Club serves a meal for all to enjoy. The Stanton Antique Tractor Display in one of the biggest shows in the area.
Stanton Greenbelt Trail
The beautiful walking trail is approximately 1.8 miles along the floodplain areas of the Tarkio River from north of the city, around the west side of the city to Anderson Park.
The trail includes a reclaimed Bailey Bridge structure over the Tarkio River tributary at Anderson Park.
The final phase of the trail system will loop the eastern edge of the city, various trail access points, and trail lighting. Possible future connection to Viking Lake could attract additional visitors from Viking Lake State Park into the City of Stanton
The first section completed was Halland Avenue to Center Street
2nd section completed was from Center Street South and East to Halland Avenue
Lighting was added to the trail in 2005.
The Bailey Bridge was put in place in November of 2007
The third section of the trail was completed in 2008. This went from the Halland Avenue Bridge to the Bailey Bridge and Anderson Park.
The access from the south Broad Avenue bridge down to the trail was completed in the Spring of 2012.
The forth addition to the trail was started in April of 2015. This section runs from Alamosa Park, under Halland Avenue and back south to the access road to the Stanton Child Resource Center. This section was done so that the children from the Resource Center would not have to cross Halland Avenue in order to get to the Viking Center or the Stanton Community School. This section was completed in June of 2015.
The fifth addition is in place from the horseshoe curve just northwest of the Viking Center, running from the present trail in a southeasterly direction toward the Viking Center. This will give trail users a hard surface access to the trail from the Viking Center parking area.
This will also increase the hard surface access of the trail around the Stanton School east to Halland Avenue and north back to Alamosa Park.
The total hard surface for walking is approximately 1.812 miles at this time.
Reference: Stanton Friends Website. The trail idea was conceived in 1996. The original committee members were Roger Ossian, Don Hicks, Kevin Cabbage, and Ed Oster
Viking Lake State Park
Viking Lake is one of the most popular state parks in southwest Iowa due to its accessibility and variety of recreational opportunities.
A large portion of the 1,000 acre park has been left in its natural state and has an abundance of wild flowers, plants and wildlife. It is not uncommon to see beavers, turkeys, muskrats, ducks, shore birds and white-tailed deer. Many of the park’s hills and valleys were once campsites of Native American tribes and artifacts were uncovered when the dam was being constructed. After a long day of enjoying nature, head to the concession/restaurant located near the beach. This modern facility overlooks the lake so you can enjoy great cuisine and inspiring lake views.
Picnicking / Shelters
There are three shelters that may be reserved online through the park reservation system. The Lower Picnic Shelter has a kitchenette. A long sweep of shady, grassy hillside extends down to the water’s edge forming a beautiful picnic area where the Beach Point Shelter is located. The upper road also goes to the Upper Picnic Shelter and overlook with an excellent view of the lake.
The Viking Lake campground is one of the most popular in southwest Iowa. The spacious, shady campground is located on the lakeshore. There are 120 campsites (94 with electrical hookups, 22 full service, 9 buddy sites, and 26 non-electrical), modern restrooms and showers, and a sanitary dump station. A playground is located in the campground. Advance campsite reservations can be made online through the park reservation system. Half of the campsites are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Trails and Bur Oak Trail
Hiking trails totaling six miles provide visitors an excellent look at the park’s natural features. The Bur Oak Nature Trail and its accompanying booklet provide insight on many of the important shrubs, plants and trees found at Viking Lake. The one mile trail takes about one hour to walk. In winter, snowmobiles may be operated on designated trails.
Lake Activities (swimming, boating, fishing)
The 137 acre lake was constructed in 1957 and is 44 feet at its deepest point with many bays and projecting points on its four and one-half mile shoreline. Viking Lake is stocked with crappies, bluegills, bass, bullheads and catfish. A sandy beach is located on the west shore with unsupervised swimming.
A concrete boat ramp is nearby and a docking area is a short distance away in a well-protected cove. Rental spaces are available on an annual reservation basis. Any size boat motors may be used on Viking Lake provided they are operated at “no wake” speeds.