“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”
― Eleanor Roosevelt
What do you think of when you think of Iowa? Corn fields, right? What if I told you that Iowa is not only known for its crop fields, but also for many places of adventure?! It’s the truth! Iowa is full of wonderful surprises such as the birthplace of John Wayne, small town carnivals, or how about some hidden waterfalls? (OK, maybe these are not all surprises) but Iowa is full of adventure.
When I think of adventure, I think of Bilbo Baggins stepping outside of his comfort zone and leaving his cozy, little hobbit-hole to take part in the very adventurous Quest of Erebor. Now let’s look at what adventure really means here in Iowa and not in The Shire. That was a reference to the Hobbit in case you have no idea what any of that means! Adventure can be used as a verb or a noun and is most commonly known in its noun form meaning: an exciting or very unusual experience. YES, there are adventurous places in Iowa that are worth seeing outside of the usual fields of corn and beans.
Where are these places? Where can I find out more information on these places? Can I bring my dog? Do we have lions and tigers and bears, or anything that might make me say, “oh my!?” Great questions! Instead of me telling you about some awesome places I’ll go ahead and give you the tools to truly find out for yourself. Here is a list of some very resourceful links to find out more information on these awesome places in Iowa:
Let’s start off with the grand-daddy of all Iowa park sites.
The Iowa DNR website has so many directorial options to choose from such as “Things to Do” or “Places to Go.” This is a great place to start checking out what Iowa has to offer and more information about the wildlife.
Next is a state park directory, but don’t let that fool you because it provides a descriptive outlook on each park as well as activities each one has to offer.
This website is the perfect tool to find out what state parks are near you as well or more specific parks such as RV or equestrian. Nothing like adding sprinkles to a cupcake… but this website actually has a search bar that says, “Find An Adventure!”
My third favorite park link is this one.
This link is great because it gives you options on the first page of some state parks with an included picture! This park website is also a great choice to find more specific parks dedicated to certain activities or reservations. Got a horse you want to bring to the park? Sites like this one and the previous sites are great to find a park perfect for your needs!
Trails anyone? This website is an awesome place to find trails in Iowa.
Alltrails website offers a list of different hiking trails throughout Iowa and their level of difficulty. I don’t know about you, but I’d like a map of the trail I’m hiking and an idea of hard its going to be so that way I’m not dog-tired a 4th of the way into what I thought would be a nice little hike. Looking for multiple activities in Iowa or just a certain region? Try this.
If you’re looking for a website that is going to direct you to parks but you also want a site that will suggest other places of activities then this is the one for you! It has more to offer to someone who is looking for more than just the outdoor wildlife experience.
A more local place to search from as well as find out what is going on around you is the Des Moines Register.
The Des Moines Register has so much to offer to those who are looking more for activities happening in Iowa as well as places to go.
A more broad approach to finding activities as well as places not only in Iowa but in the surrounding states would be through this website.
I love this site because not only does it direct me to some popular places to visit in Iowa but I can use it to find places to visit in the surrounding states as well! I love looking into what places I can check out if I’m near the state border!
Last but not least, is a road map of waterfalls to find in Iowa!
This site is spectacular! It shows you some of the wondrous places of beauty in Iowa. If you search Iowa on this website, it will also bring you up different things to do or places to eat as well. I utilize this site just as much as the others because they’re all so fantastic!
These websites are everything you need to find an adventure in Iowa! Why give you specific places when I can give you the tools to create and personalize your own trip instead!? Don’t forget that no matter where you go in life, it is all but one grand adventure!!