Loess Hills in Western Iowa
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Our family had the BEST time Hiking and Exploring the Loess Hills State Forest! I kept thinking – we can’t still be in Iowa?
Loess Hills Scenic Overlook Trail
We spent about an 1 1/2 on the Loess Hills Scenic Overlook Trail. The trailhead starts from a wooden ramp leading up to a large platform then it’s just a few steps down to the trail.
This trail was fun but not always cleared of debris. There are a few different trails that lead off of the main trail pictured. We ran out of time to explore them. Our poor dog Toby got so tired that he had to be carried out.
From now on we bring Toby’s K9 Sport Sack on all adventures! Click HERE to receive a coupon for 5% discount on your order. Here’s a picture of Toby during a bike ride. We wish we would have had this great piece of gear when in the Loess Hills.
Murray Hill Scenic Overlook Trail
We also visited Murray Hill Scenic Overlook. This hike was shorter and somewhat easier but was mostly up hill. There is a dirt parking lot at the trailhead. I packed a frozen ice cream treat that we all enjoyed after our hour or so hike.
*NOTE NO Bathrooms or WATER at these trails – Bring your own water or head down to the forest headquarters (See map at end of post)
The views are truly breathtaking! We are looking forward to hiking here again and I would love to come at sunset!
Class B Roads
Throughout the Loess Hills are Class B roads . I had to keep reminding my husband that we driving in a mini-van not a Jeep. We did park along some nicer gravel roads so we could walk down a few of the lesser maintained roads. The kids liked drawing pictures in the soft dirt along slopes.
My favorite things about this area is that it’s close (only a couple hour drive from central Iowa) and it’s accessible. Even if hiking isn’t on your Bucket List, you can still enjoy the views, the drive and nature!
While you are in the area, stop in Pisgah at the Loess Hills State Forest Visitor Center. This little gem has restrooms, interactive displays, good maps & resources and helpful, friendly volunteers.
Visiting the Loess Hills in Western Iowa was part of our family camping trip to Lewis and Clark State Park.
Everywhere we went in the Loess Hills was beautiful! We were there before the lavender bloomed at Loess Hill Lavender Farm. We wished we could have seen those beautiful fields of purple.
Harrison County Historical Village and Welcome Center is a great educational museum for the whole family.