11 Brief But Beautiful Hikes In Iowa You Can Take In Under An Hour
Iowans are lucky to live in such a beautiful place, even though it often gets dismissed as a flyover state. Prove to yourself that the Hawkeye State is full of stunning natural beauty by heading out on the best hikes in Iowa to really enjoy it! What are your favorite hiking trails in Iowa? Did yours make the list? Check it out:
Where will you go on your next adventure? What are some of your favorite hiking trails in Iowa? Let us know in the comments! And, if you have any pictures from your adventures, feel free to share those with us as well!
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Best Hikes in Iowa
What are the best kid-friendly hikes around Iowa?
Iowa isn’t exactly the most mountainous place. Thankfully, for those of us who prefer our hiking trips to be nice and easy, Iowa is an excellent place for, well, exactly that. As a result, there are loads of great hiking trails in Iowa perfect for the whole family, thanks to being both brief and quite easy. Some of our favorite kid-friendly hikes around Iowa include the famous Maquoketa Caves Loop, which is just 1.7 miles long and leads to adventure the kids will love (the “Caves” part of its name is a big hint). Another excellent hiking trail in Iowa suitable for kids is the Chute and Heritage Trail Loop, found within the Hitchcock Nature Area, which is a little longer at 2.3 miles but definitely worth it!
Where are the most amazing scenic hikes in Iowa?
Of course, there are some trails that are easy, some that are scenic, and some that are both, and honestly, those ones might be our favorites. Some of the most scenic hikes in Iowa – many of which are a little on the long side if you wanted to bring the kiddos – include awe-inspiring treks like the Sycamore Trail at Sycamore Park, a 6.9-mile hike through lush greenery along the water. Nearby is one of the loveliest lakes in Iowa, too, so it’s a double-win! Another excellent scenic hike in Iowa is the one you’ll find at Hickory Hill Park known as the Hickory Hill Loop, which is 2.6 miles long and stunning.
What are the best easy hikes in Iowa?
Of course, “easy” doesn’t necessarily need to mean “brief” — there are lots of amazingly scenic hikes in Iowa that may be lengthy but they’re still easy. Hike the Clive Greenbelt Trail for 7.3 miles of beautiful urban greenery and a very satisfying experience overall. Or do the Saylorville Lakeshore Trail at Jester Park, an 8.6-mile trek around Saylorville Lake. For an EXTRA-long adventure, do the High Trestle Trail – it's an amazing 24.9 miles of easygoing, low-key scenery.