This self-guided auto tour includes Waubonsie State Park, Council Bluffs and Lake Manawa State Park, DeSoto Bend National Wildlife Refuge, Onawa and Lewis and Clark State Park, Sioux City with the Sergeant Floyd Monument, Stone State Park and the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center and the Fourth Street Historic District.
Sample Itinerary of Experience
The Southern Loess Hills Interpretive Center off of I-29 provides an introduction to the 220-mile-long National Scenic Byway that begins at Iowa’s southern border and parallels I-29 and the Missouri River to north of Sioux City.
Waubonsie State Park
This state park is six-miles south of Sidney. The park offers trail riding and hiking along the ridges and across the valleys. There are secluded campsites as well as rental cabins, youth group lodge, and a 250-acre lake for fishing, boating and canoeing.
Sidney includes the Fremont County Historical Museum and the Iowa Championship Rodeo Museum and its popular annual rodeo.
Glenwood features the Mills County Historical Museum, Earth Lodge, and Amphitheater.
Lake Manawa State Park
This 1,529-acre state park and lake south of Council Bluffs is at exit 47. The lake was formed by a Missouri River Oxbow that today provides fishing, premier power boating, paddle boats, and beaches. The park includes eight miles of mountain bike trails as well as hiking and nature trails.
This town includes the Western Historic Trails Center, Lewis & Clark Monument, the Union Pacific Railroad Museum, Kanesville Tabernacle, and Bayliss Park. Council Bluffs is the site of the Lewis & Clark Expedition’s White Catfish Camp near the Western Historic Trails Center.
Honey Creek has the scenic Hitchcock Nature Center.
Wilson Island State Recreation Area
On the Missouri River, this unique recreation area includes 544 acres of dense cottonwood stands. Campsites are available as well as five miles of trails for hiking, mountain biking, and cross-country skiing.
DeSoto Bend National Wildlife Refuge
This refuge is on the Missouri River. Take I-29 to exit 75 to US-30 westbound. Migrating birds, including bald eagles, stop here annually. The visitor center features exhibits of artifacts retrieved from the Bertrand Steamboat.
The Missouri Valley includes the Iowa Welcome Center and the Harrison County Historical Museum and Village.
Pisgah is on IA Hwy 183. The Loess Hills State Forest Visitor Center and Preparation Canyon State Park are surrounded by the beauty of the Loess Hills. The forest provides a backdrop for hiking, picnicking, nature study, and hike-in camping.
The Loess Hills Hospitality and Visitors Center helps byway travelers enjoy their adventures here.
Lewis & Clark State Park is the only visitor center along the entire Lewis & Clark Trail with replicas of every watercraft used by the expedition. It also has interactive exhibits. The 250-acre Blue Lake provides boat ramps, beaches, swimming, and fishing. There are 30 acres of picnic grounds, a day-use lodge, and overnight camping.
The Sergeant Bluff Welcome Center off I-29 includes an Iowa Welcome Center and the Sergeant Bluff Museum.
Sioux City has the Lewis & Clark Interpretative Center, Sergeant Floyd Monument, Sergeant Floyd River Museum and Welcome Center, Mid-America Museum of Aviation and Transportation, Fourth Street Historic District, Sioux City Railroad Museum, Sioux City Arts Center, Sioux City Public Museum, Trinity Heights, War Eagle Monument, and the Flight 232 Memorial. The Sergeant Floyd Monument marks the burial site for the Lewis & Clark Expedition’s only casualty.
Stone State Park and the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center
Located in the scenic Loess Hills north of Sioux City, this 1,595-acre park offers camping, fishing, horseback riding, mountain bike and hiking trails. In the winter it has snowmobiling and cross-country skiing.
Traveling south on the Loess Hills National Scenic Byway leads to Moorhead, Woodbine and Logan, then goes east on IA Hwy 44.
The Shelby County Historical Museum is located here.
Prairie Rose State Park
This park is on IA Hwy 44 near Jacksonville. The park and lake offer camping, camping cabins, fishing, swimming, canoes, and sail boating. In the winter you can ice-boat, use seven miles of hiking trails, cross-country ski, snowmobile.
Kimballton and Elk Horn
On IA Hwy 173, these towns feature the distinctive Danish Immigrant Museum, Little Mermaid/Danish attractions, and the historic Bedstemor’s Hus (Grandmother’s House).
This town includes the restored Duck Island Depot.
Viking Lake State Park
Near Stanton at the junction of US 71 and 34, this park and lake offer no-wake boating, boat rental, swimming, fishing, camping, full service restaurant and concession services, hiking and nature trails, snowmobiling and cross-country skiing.
Red Oak features the Pioneer Homes Tour, the Montgomery County History Center, and the World War II Memorial Museum.
On IA Hwy 2 and 48, you will find the Bricker Butterfly House and botanical center with native butterflies and tropical birds, gardens, displays and gift shop. Shenandoah also features the Iowa Walk of Fame and the Greater Shenandoah Historical Museum. Corning, IA to the east is the birthplace of entertainer Johnny Carson.
On IA Hwy 2, Clarinda features the Glenn Miller Birthplace Home, the Nodaway Valley Historical Society Museum, and the self-guided “Promenade around Clarinda” walking tour.
For more information: VisitSiouxCity.org
Costs and Fees
This tour description includes the communities and state parks in the trail region. Costs and fees vary.