When the weather gets cooler and the leaves start to turn, there’s no better way to enjoy Iowa in the fall than on a riverboat cruise. While many can be expensive or have limited engagement, this fall foliage cruise in Iowa is the perfect seasonal adventure. The Scenic City Empress Boat Club has been setting sail since 1991 and is a perennial favorite among those in the Iowa Falls area. But there’s a reason why this small city is known as Iowa’s most scenic location, and it’s worth a trip from all around the state to see these colors. So head on board – the season is right to rediscover this Iowa Falls waterfall and its natural beauty.

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Have you taken a trip aboard the Scenic City Empress Boat Club and seen the Iowa Falls waterfall? Let us know your thoughts about this fall foliage cruise in Iowa in the comments section. If you’re looking to book your own voyage, make sure to visit the boat club on the web and Scenic City Empress on Facebook for all the details on its seasonal offerings. If you’re looking for another Iowa water adventure, why not rent your own party boat?

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Iowa Falls Waterfall

What is the biggest waterfall in Iowa?

Dunning's Spring, nestled in the picturesque town of Decorah, Iowa, proudly holds the title of the state's tallest waterfall. Surrounded by the lush woodlands and rugged bluffs of the Upper Iowa River Valley, this enchanting natural wonder captivates visitors with its breathtaking beauty. Water gracefully cascades over ancient limestone formations, creating a mesmerizing sight and a soothing symphony of rushing water. A short hike through the serene landscape leads to the waterfall's base, where visitors can marvel at its height and feel the refreshing mist on their faces. Dunning's Spring's prominence as the tallest waterfall in Iowa draws nature enthusiasts, photographers, and adventure seekers year-round, offering a glimpse of nature's grandeur in the heart of the Midwest.

Where are the best places to see the fall foliage in Iowa?

Iowa offers some stunning spots to witness the beauty of fall foliage as the leaves change colors. Here are some of the best places to see the fall foliage in Iowa:

  • Effigy Mounds National Monument: Northeast Iowa along the Mississippi River, scenic overlooks, and hiking trails.
  • Maquoketa Caves State Park: Eastern Iowa, diverse tree species, caves, and hiking trails.
  • Ledges State Park: Central Iowa along the Des Moines River, sandstone cliffs, and riverbanks for fall foliage views.
  • Pikes Peak State Park: Northeast Iowa at the Wisconsin-Mississippi River confluence, panoramic river valley vistas.
  • Yellow River State Forest: Northeastern Iowa, rolling hills, rivers, and diverse trees for picturesque autumn views.
  • Backbone State Park: Eastern Iowa, hardwood and evergreen trees and a beautiful waterfall.
  • Mines of Spain Recreation Area and E.B. Lyons Nature Center: Near Dubuque in eastern Iowa, trails through woodlands and along the Mississippi River.
  • Lake Macbride State Park: Eastern Iowa near Iowa City, lakeshore, and wooded areas for fall colors.

Remember that the timing of fall foliage can vary from year to year, but generally, the peak season for fall colors in Iowa is from late September to mid-October. Planning your visit during this time will increase your chances of witnessing the vibrant autumn hues in the Hawkeye State.