Pleasantly situated amid an abundance of timber on the east fork of the Grand River is Garden Grove, the first permanent encampment of the Latter-day Saints. The Saints made camp on April 24, 1846, and within two weeks the men had cleared 300 acres of land, planted crops, built log houses and cut 10,000 surplus rails for fencing. The camp may be visited west of the present-day town of Garden Grove.
Two miles east of Bridgewater, this 160-acre park depicts the first encounter with the Pottawattamie Indians along the Iowa Mormon Pioneer Trails. Some of the most defined ruts that remain on the Iowa Mormon Trails may be seen near this park.
Mormon scouts located an excellent crossing site for the West Nishnabotna River with a solid limestone rock bottom located at what later became Old Macedonia settlement. This crossing occured June 11, 1846, and the Mormons reached the Missouri River on June 14. All traces of this crossing were lost when the river straightened in 1912, but the present town of Macedonia commemorates its Mormon Trail heritage, having been named by early Mormon settlers.