1. Wabash Trace Nature Trail
The Wabash Trace Nature Trail is a beautiful 63-mile trail that runs through Council Bluffs, Mineola, Silver City, Malvern, Imogene, Shenandoah, Coin and Blanchard. This trail will allow you to escape and enjoy some of the most beautiful scenery in all of Iowa.
2. Pikes Peak State Park
Pikes Peak State Park offers some of the most beautiful scenery in the state. With plenty of trails and lush plant life, as well as a spectacular overlook over the Mississippi river, you’ll feel truly renewed when you visit this park. 32264 Pikes Peak Rd., McGregor, IA.
3. Hitchcock Nature Center
The Hitchcock Nature Center offers the epitome of peace and quiet. It is a sprawling park located on 1,268 acres in the heart of the Loess Hills. The Loess Hills contain some of the largest remaining prairie remnants in Iowa, and with so much room to wander, you could go for miles without seeing a soul. 27792 Ski Hill Loop, Honey Creek, IA.
4. Eagle Point Park
Eagle Point Park in Dubuque is a great escape from everyday life. Situated on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River, you’ll take in spectacular views as you explore the park. 2601 Shiras Ave., Dubuque, IA.
5. Yellow River State Forest
Yellow River State Forest offers a true rugged natural escape. With a sprawling 45 miles of multi-purpose trails that range from easy to moderate difficulty, there’s plenty of opportunity to lose yourself for awhile. 729 State Forest Rd., Harpers Ferry, IA.
6. Ledges State Park
Ledges State Park is a favorite spot for hikers and nature enthusiasts, but there are still plenty of places to get away from other visitors. The park has a 5.4-mile trail, cliff areas, and plenty of local plants and wildlife. 1515 P Ave, Madrid, IA
7. Maquoketa Caves State Park
The magical and gorgeous Maquoketa Caves State Park will make you feel like you stepped into another world. This park is a must visit for cave lovers and hikers alike. Plus, the park features 16 caves and crawl spaces where you can hide from the world. 10970 98th St, Maquoketa, IA
8. Backbone State Park
Backbone State Park is located in Dundee, and it is Iowa’s very first state park. There are 21 miles of rugged, winding trails to get lost in, as well as limestone cliffs for climbers. 1347 129th St., Dundee, IA.
9. Trout Run Trail
This trail is located near Decorah, and it offers incredible scenery. There’s a paved recreation trail that follows a 12-mile loop around Decorah, and scenery along the trail includes limestone bluffs, algific talus slopes, the Oneota Valley and the Upper Iowa River.
10. Malanaphy Spring Falls
Nearby, pay a visit to Malanaphy Spring Falls. It is one of Iowa's most beautiful waterfalls, and you’ll bask in the peace and serenity of the rushing water. This waterfall is located on the Upper Iowa River near Bluffton.
11. Effigy Mounds
The Effigy Mounds are located in Harpers Ferry, Iowa, and they offer both an escape and an interesting learning experience. The area has a 14 mile trail system, as well as over 200 American Indian mounds. 151 IA-76, Harpers Ferry, IA.