Are you a born explorer looking for your next adrenaline rush? Well, it looks like you picked the right spot, because Iowa is full of intrigue, mystery, and plenty of places to explore. For your next adventure, here are 10 incredible places to check out.
1. Neal Smith Wildlife Refuge, Jasper County
The Neal Smith Refuge puts visitors right in the heart of Iowa wildlife in a reconstructed prairie that offers a glimpse at what the natural Iowa looked like before it was conquered by the settlers - complete with bison, and all manner of flora and fauna present on the prairie.
2. Hitchcock Nature Center, Honey Creek
Spend a day in the heart of the Loess Hills doing some hiking, bird watching, picnicking or just enjoying the beautiful Iowa scenery.
3. Devonian Fossil Gorge, Iowa City
Visitors to the fossil gorge can start their stroll back in time at the Entry Plaza, making their way down into the gorge to find thousands of 375-million-year-old fossils laid out at their feet.
4. Wabash Trace Nature Trail, western Iowa
The Wabash Trace Nature Trail is a gorgeous, 63-mile trail that runs through Council Bluffs, Mineola, Silver City, Malvern, Imogene, Shenandoah, Coin and Blanchard. Trail-goers will get the chance to walk the trail through the Loess Hills, and enjoy some of the finest scenery in all of Iowa.
5. Ice Cave, Decorah
This cave in Decorah is frozen all year round due to the glacier it sits on, making it a great place to stay cool on a hot summer day!
6. Historic Motor Mill, Clayton County
The old Motor Mill offers free tours, and the area is surrounded by a 155-acre park that offers hiking, kayaking, fishing, camping, bird watching and more to keep guests busy all day.
7. Swinging Bridge, Columbus Junction
The bridge in Columbus Junction is located in a beautiful area that's a great place to spend a day picnicking, or seeing who's brave enough to cross the famed Swinging Bridge.
8. Clark Tower, Winterset
If you're ever in Winterset, check out the City Park. There's tons of fun stuff to see there, from a covered bridge to a hedge maze - and even this tower, which looks like something out of a fairy tale. Be prepared to do some hiking to get to it!
9. Better Homes and Gardens Test Garden, Des Moines
This is a bit of a "tame" adventure, but still an adventure nonetheless. The BHG Test Garden is an absolutely beautiful spot to spend an afternoon admiring what's probably the most beautiful garden in Iowa (without having to do any work yourself).
10. Pilot Knob State Park, Forest City
Pilot Knob offers a great area for hiking, picnicking, bird watching, and just enjoying nature. Not to mention, the lookout tower is the second highest point in Iowa, so you're sure to get a great view.
What are some more places for adventurers, explorers, and thrill seekers in Iowa?