The Most Beautiful Places to Enjoy the Fall Colors in Iowa
Fall is right around the corner! There are plenty of places here in Iowa to view the gorgeous fall colors (Palisades-Kepler State Park is my favorite!), but Midwest Living has come up with a list of the best of the best.
Midwest Living's list of 30 Great Midwest Fall Color Getaways includes three different locations in Iowa. First up is the Historic Hills Scenic Byway.
The Historic Hills Scenic Byway is located in Southeast Iowa and stretches across 110 miles. According to the Travel Iowa website, the area has, "a magnificent state forest, two state parks and Iowa’s only resort state park," as well as Iowa's second largest lake and Lower Des Moines River Water Trail. Some of the historic places you may want to stop during your drive include Iowa's oldest courthouse, the first church west of the Mississippi, and the site of Iowa’s only Civil War battle. Be sure to check out all the Amish and Mennonite businesses in the Drakesville and Bloomfield areas, too! There's even a Scenic Drive Festival set for October 14th through 16th that takes place in the cities of Bentonsport, Keosauqua, and Bonaparte.
Next on the list is the famous Great River Road. Midwest Living writes:
"The nation's mightiest river offers some of the Midwest's most dramatic fall scenery. Majestic wilderness, reborn river towns and carefully preserved history await along the Great River Road, which passes through Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota on its 2,000-mile journey from the Gulf Coast to northern Minnesota."
Great River Road spans across 328 miles here in Iowa, from Keokuk to New Albin. Travel Iowa says that some of the most scenic points you can visit include Pikes Peak State Park in McGregor, North Overlook in Clinton, Port Luisa National Wildlife Refuge Overlook in Wapello, and Mines of Spain State Recreation Area in Dubuque. Also along the route are are variety of monuments and museums, including Effigy Mounds National Monument, Toolesboro Indian Mounds and Museum, the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium, and the Buffalo Bill Museum.
And finally, there's the Loess Hills! Located in Western Iowa, the Midwest Living article reads:
"The Loess Hills, which the wind sculpted from silt deposits as glaciers retreated eons ago, dominate a narrow section of western Iowa in the Big Sioux and Missouri River valleys. Enjoy the area's fall foliage from the Loess Hills National Scenic Byway, a 220-mile route that links prairies, forests, overlooks and parks, like Hitchcock Nature Center, stretching to the Missouri."
The Loess Hills National Scenic Byway stretches from Hamburg to Akron, Iowa, and there are lots of stops you'll want to make on your trip. Some of the scenic recommendations from Travel Iowa include the Broken Kettle Grassland, Waubonsie State Park Overlook, Murray Hill Scenic Overlook, Murray Hill Scenic Overlook, and Preparation Canyon Scenic Overlook. Loess Hills Lavender Farm, the Union Pacific Railroad Museum, Hitchcock Nature Center, and The Todd House are some of the other unique attractions along the byway.
You can check out all the other beautiful places to see the fall colors in the Midwest HERE.