The Ultimate Bucket List For Anyone In Iowa Who Loves Waterfall Hikes

You know, rumor has it that Iowa is a flat farmland fly-over state, and we’ve never quite understood why. All it takes is a little sense of adventure and willingness to leave the highway, and you’ll uncover all sorts of beautiful, unexpected signs throughout the Hawkeye State! One of the coolest things to do is to track down the best waterfalls in Iowa, from hidden ones to others that are just off the road. If you also love waterfalls, consider the following your Iowa waterfall bucket list. Can you get them all done? Get started with some of the best hikes in Iowa ASAP:

What do you think? What would you call the best hikes in Iowa? Tell us your thoughts in the comments – we love hearing about your favorite places.

If you want to combine the best of Iowa’s fall into one brilliant road trip, gather a few nature-loving friends and hit the road for our famous Iowa Waterfall Road Trip

Address: Lake MacBride, Lake McBride, Iowa 52333, USA
Address: Pikes Peak State Park, Iowa 52157, USA
Address: Upper Iowa River Access Area, 2820 Bluffton Rd, Decorah, IA 52101, USA
Address: Siewers Spring Road, Siewers Spring Rd, Decorah, IA 52101, USA
Address: Dunning's Spring Park, Ice Cave Rd, Decorah, IA 52101, USA
Address: Boone River, Iowa, USA
The OIYS Visitor Center

Best Hikes in Iowa

July 04, 2022

What are some amazing hiking trails near me?  

We’re pretty sure that no matter which part of Iowa you reside in, you’re sure to find some truly breathtaking hiking trails that are quite close to you – no long travel times needed! Some of our favorite hiking trails in Iowa include the trails at Stone State Park, in northwest Iowa, and hiking the Hitchcock Nature Center south of there is also a wonderful treat. In central Iowa, more of our state parks seem to be calling your name, like the to-die-for trails at Ledges State Park and the famed Greenbelt Trail, which is 11.3 miles of easygoing, lowkey hiking that’s also dog friendly (yay!). In southern Iowa, you should try hiking the amazing trails at Nine Eagles State Park and Slip Bluff County Park.  

What are the most popular scenic hikes in Iowa?  

Iowa is a beautiful and vastly underrated state, if you ask us, especially when it comes to hiking. Some of the most scenic hikes in Iowa go tragically underappreciated, and we feel that’s some kind of tragedy. Iowa is a great state for hiking, and its scenic hikes prove it. Some of our most beloved scenic hikes in Iowa include the Maquoketa Caves Loop at Maquoketa Caves State Park. It’s short and sweet, at just 1.7 miles long, and it features a very special scenic area that’s even got caves! If you prefer more of a challenge, embark upon the beautiful – but tough at times – Dozer Cut, Bunker Hill, and Badger Ridge Trail Loop (yes, that’s its entire name). This 6.3-mile adventure combines some of Iowa’s most amazing trails into one adventure you won’t soon forget.  

What are the best easy hikes in Iowa to do? 

Good news, everyone: there are more than 500 easy hikes in Iowa to do alone – no challenge needed (unless you’re up for it, of course). Some of our favorite easy hikes in Iowa include some of the best ones, like the Blue Heron Lake Loop Trail, at Raccoon River Park, which is a 3.3-mile low-key stroll through the woods with all sorts of beautiful views and stops to make along the way. Another excellent easy trail in Iowa is the High Trestle Trail at Wagner Park, which is excellent for folks who are fascinated by Iowa’s history.  

Address: Lake MacBride, Lake McBride, Iowa 52333, USA
Address: Pikes Peak State Park, Iowa 52157, USA
Address: Upper Iowa River Access Area, 2820 Bluffton Rd, Decorah, IA 52101, USA
Address: Siewers Spring Road, Siewers Spring Rd, Decorah, IA 52101, USA
Address: Dunning's Spring Park, Ice Cave Rd, Decorah, IA 52101, USA
Address: Boone River, Iowa, USA