Nature April 13, 2021
A Nature Lovers Definitive Guide To Iowa’s Natural Beauty – Parks, Beaches, Hikes, And More!
If you’re looking to get a close-up view of Iowa’s most wild spaces, read on! The best parks and hikes in Iowa are showcased below, and any Iowa nature lover is going to want to make it a point to visit each of these places. Whether you’re looking for a place to cool off on a hot summer day, or you want to hike to an overlook that’s sure to take your breath away, there’s a place for you here in the Hawkeye State.
The Best Little Known Park In Iowa
Iowa's Loess Hills are a unique natural wonder near the Missouri River. Along this gorgeous river valley, you'll find rolling hills and summits that form a ridgeline that spans most of the western border! There are a lot of great spots where you can experience the beauty of the Loess Hills, but the trails throughout the Hitchcock Nature Center make this one of the most underrated parks in the Hawkeye State.
Read more about our favorite trail in the Loess Hills right here
The Most Pristine Beach In Iowa
Almost every Iowan has splashed around in Lake Okoboji! Whether you visited as a kid and got to explore Arnolds Park amusement park, or visited as an adult for a relaxing lakeside retreat, Iowa's most beloved lake is home to a pristine and quiet public beach that you're sure to enjoy on a hot summer day.
Read more about the town's public beach right here
The Most Jaw-Dropping Lake In Iowa
Lake MacBride is a gorgeous man-made reservoir that offers top-tier fishing and boating opportunities, along with hiking trails in Lake MacBride State Park or MacBride Nature and Recreation Area. The rocky spillway near the dam is a great place to hang out near a roaring cascade here in Iowa.
Read more about tracking down the waterfall right here
The Most Beautiful Island In Iowa
The Best Trail To Hike In Iowa
The resplendent Maquoketa Caves State Park offers a whole new world for nature lovers to explore. A sprawling network of underground caves connects visitors to their environment when they hike through the park. Be sure to check out the largest cavern, Dance Hall Cave, as it towers more than 100 feet above you.
Read more about the most beautiful place in Iowa right here
The Most Beautiful River In Iowa
The "Driftless Area" of Northeastern Iowa is pretty unique, and the one-of-a-kind topography is the result of the fact that the whole region skipped glaciation during the last ice age. The area is now made up of cliffs and bluffs that seem to rise out of nowhere. The best place to get a glimpse of this otherworldly spot is along the Upper Iowa River. Drop in and paddle away near Decorah, or hike to Malanaphy Springs to enjoy this fascinating place up close.
Read more about it right here
The Most Scenic Mountain In Iowa
"Mountains" aren't the first thing to come to mind when you think of Iowa, but the mighty Pikes Peak will have you reconsidering your assumptions! This tall bluff on the Mississippi River is Iowa's best mountain hike, and the view across the river from the top of the trail is stunning. You can even drive up to the peak, so this is a great way to enjoy nature without having to hike at all.
Read more about it right here
The Most Unique Garden In Iowa
There’s something for everyone who loves spending time outdoors here in the Hawkeye State!