Attractions September 08, 2018
7 Beautiful Iowa Locations You Probably Didn’t Know Existed
Iowa is a beautiful state! Considering our reputation for being just a large cornfield, our parks and preserves seriously overperform. Next time you’re looking for a place to experience Iowa’s natural beauty, check out one of these underrated hidden gems scattered throughout the Hawkeye State.
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
1. Ryerson's Woods, Iowa City
This enchanting city park is an underrated destination that's perfect for nature lovers. Enjoy spotting wildlife on the easy trails that wind their way through the woods.
2. Preparation Canyon State Park, Moorhead
This Loess Hill gem is one of the most underrated parks in Iowa! It's perfect for hiking, birdwatching, and primitive camping, and the Loess Hills are an area of the Hawkeye State that many outdoor adventurers seem to skip right over. Don't make that mistake! Visit in time to catch the bright and bold fall foliage.
3. Wapsipinicon State Park, Anamosa
This gorgeous park along the Wapsi is one place you've got to see. Cross the river on a historic bridge, explore the paths and vistas, and even find a cave or two in this gorgeous riverfront State Park.
4. Mini-Wakan State Park, Spirit Lake
Mini-Wakan State Park is located on the north side of Big Spirit Lake. It's heaven for kayakers and paddleboarders! There are miles of trails to hike and, in the summer, spots along the lake to go for a dip. Most days, you'll find this place quiet and uncrowded, and it's easy to enjoy a serene hike here.
5. Nine Eagles State Park, Davis City
Nine Eagles is a tiny park, but it is beautiful all year long! Visit in the fall to enjoy some foliage, or on a hot September day to take a stroll in the shade of the enormous trees that line the well-groomed pathways throughout the park.
6. Ciha Fen Wildlife Preserve, Lisbon
The Ciha Fen Wildlife Preserve offers 90 acres of pristine, preserved land that's absolutely stunning. It's one of only two fens in Iowa, and also features a rare sand prairie. That means you'll find wildlife and plant life here that's unlike any other place in the state. It's a primitive trail and the parking lot is small, but chances are you'll have the place to yourself.
7. Coralville Reservoir, Coralville
The Coralville Reservoir offers up some of the best vistas in Iowa, and so many people have not even heard of it! The trails here are beautiful, but the Squire Point Trail is the best one for overlooks and panoramic water views.
In such a big state, there’s so much to find around every corner! If you’re all about discovering Iowa’s hidden gems, check out
The 8 Best Little Food Towns In Iowa You Need To Explore Before They Get Too Popular and refuel for your next hiking adventure.