The combination of the Loess Hills and the gorgeous Iowa countryside make Pottawattamie County the ideal place to explore the outdoors. Whether you prefer hiking, bicycling, kayaking, or snowshoeing, there’s something here for you.

Here’s a list of some of the best places to hike in Pottawattamie County!

Arrowhead Park

Arrowhead is best known for being an ideal fishing and camping location, but did you know that there are beautiful woodland hiking trails here? Enjoy an afternoon stroll and escape from the business of everyday life at this peaceful park in Neola.

Crescent Wildlife Area

There may not be any established hiking trails here, but if you love watching wildlife this is the place to explore!  The property is located on the Missouri River floodplain and includes a 5-acre pond that attracts a variety of waterfowl species, shoreland bird species, wetland mammal species, and more. Don’t forget to pack your binoculars!

Farm Creek Public Wildlife Area

Located five miles east of Carson, Farm Creek Public Wildlife Area features two ponds and a restored native prairie field filled with beautiful native grasses and flowers. Hiking here is a great way to immerse yourself in the prairie for a rugged nature experience.!

Hitchcock Nature Center

Hitchcock Nature Center is the most popular hiking destination in Pottawattamie County. It is located in the heart of the Loess Hills and includes 10 miles of trails to explore. The trails all connect, and this allows you to be creative and choose the best path for you!

Wheeler Grove Conservation Area

This unique conservation area offers a variety of ecosystems to explore including dense woodlands, an open canopy savanna, a reconstructed prairie, and a wetland riparian. Grab your hiking boots and uncover all that Wheeler Grove has to offer. You may even spot a family of beavers playing in the pond!

Please note that hiking at Crescent Wildlife Area, Farm Creek Public Wildlife Area, and Wheeler Grove Conservation area is not recommended during hunting season since they don’t have designated hiking trails and are open for hunting. Please visit the Iowa Department of Natural Resources website for hunting season dates.

Happy hiking!

This post was originally published on November 19, 2020 on the Watta Way blog.