Iowa Nature, State Parks September 04, 2019
Iowa’s Stone State Park Is Home To Hills That Are More Than 100,000 Years Old
The Hawkeye State is full of natural wonders. Perhaps the most unique region is our western Loess Hills, where ancient winds blew fine silt into towering mounds just begging to be explored. Get close to this unusual ecosystem when you spend some time in Stone State Park.
On the outskirts of Sioux City, a stunning Iowa state park is waiting to be discovered.
Stone State Park is located along the Big Sioux River in Western Iowa and it is one of our most underrated parks.
When you arrive, you'll find miles of trails, a campground, nature center, and more.
You can enjoy a rustic retreat in a cabin or just explore for the day.
Hike through the gorgeous forest and climb high into the sky, up hills that were formed more than 100,000 years ago.
The Loess Hills were created when, between 18,000 and 150,000 years ago, glaciers crushed rock into a fine quartz silt. The wind blew these around until they turned into the landmark Loess hills today. The park itself was founded over 100 years ago by conservationists who recognized this unique environment.
The ecosystem here is delicate and fascinating. In the winter, you can spot Bald Eagles turning western Iowa into their home.
The Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center is one place where you can get up close with the prairie. There are several beautiful displays, including a 400 gallon aquarium of native fish.
In the fall, Stone State Park turns into a gorgeous display of color.
The elevation changes in the hills are unlike anywhere else in Iowa, and it's worth the drive to see this park in the middle of autumn.
There are 20 miles of trails that wind their way through the park, suitable for horseback riding, mountain biking, hiking, and snowmobiling.
Be sure to check that your trail is compatible for your intended use, as they are designated for different activities depending on terrain.
The views from the highest points of the park are absolutely breathtaking!
Interpretive displays show off just what you're looking at, and explain how nature and geology have combined to form this incredible state park.
Any nature lover will enjoy a trip to Stone State Park!
No matter the season, this underrated gem is sure to capture your heart.
Address: 5001 Talbot Road, Sioux City, IA, 51103
For more fun in the Loess Hills, read
See The Very Best Of Iowa’s Loess Hills In One Day On This Epic Road Trip.