Lewis and Clark Trail

Stops Along the Trail:

Hitchcock Nature Center: 27792 Ski Hill Loop, Honey Creek, IA 51542

Lewis and Clark Monument Scenic Overlook: 19962 Monument Road, Council Bluffs, IA 51503

Narrows River Park: 2500 N 25th Street, Council Bluffs, IA 51501

Dodge Riverside Golf Club: 2 Harrah's Blvd, Council Bluffs, IA 51501

Western Historic Trails Center: 3434 Richard Downing Ave, Council Bluffs, IA 51501

 

The Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail is a trail that follows the route that Meriwether Lewis and William Clark took while exploring the newly purchased Louisiana Territory in 1804.  The trail spans 16 states and covers approximately 4,900 miles.

Did you know that Lewis and Clark visited parts of Pottawattamie County while traveling along with Missouri River from July 22, 1804, through July 26, 1804? Today, you can relive their journey by visiting several locations along the trail!

To start your journey, visit Hitchcock Nature Center. Although Lewis and Clark did not specifically visit this location, it showcases the Loess Hills, which were an important part of this portion of their journey. They had never encountered anything quite like the Loess Hills before coming to this part of the United States. Their journal entries were one of the first written descriptions of the unique landform.

Next, you can visit the Lewis and Clark Monument Scenic Overlook in Council Bluffs. This site, north of Big Lake Park, was dedicated in 1936 honoring Lewis and Clark’s historic meeting with Otoe and Missouri tribesmen. This site allows visitors to take in stunning views of the Missouri River, Council Bluffs, and the Omaha skyline.

The next stop on the trail is the Narrows River Park. Looking north along the banks of the Missouri River, the scene is reminiscent of the views that Lewis and Clark had in the summer of 1804. As you look over the water, can you imagine traveling up the river on a keelboat or pirogue as Lewis and Clark did?

If you are an art lover, you will be able to enjoy multiple Lewis and Clark Trail Markers at several locations in Council Bluffs. The public art pieces can be found at the Lewis and Clark Monument Scenic Overlook, the Dodge Riverside Golf Club (adjacent to the levee trail), and the Western Historic Trail Center.

The last stop on the trail is the Western Historic Trail Center. This center contains more than 200 metal sculptures by Timothy Woodman. These sculptures were made to interpret the Lewis and Clark, Mormon, Pioneer, California, and Oregon trails.

Lewis and Clark’s expedition is an important aspect of Pottawattamie County’s history. Visiting the trail is a great way to relive the history, explore our county, and enjoy the great outdoors!

 

Trail Map

More Trails to Explore

Pioneer Trail

Follow along this trail and experience the arduous trek west for pioneers.

Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway

Commemorate the first trans-continental highway as you follow this trail.

Stars and Bronze Tribute Trail

Pay tribute to the “Eagles of Honor”, the Freedom Rock, and other projects to Honor veterans and other public figures.

Freedom, Faith, and Fellowship: Historic County Churches Trail

Follow along the trail that illustrates the faith of our farming forefathers.

Railroad Highway Multi-Use Trail

Enjoy this trail as it links smaller communities across Pottawattamie County.

All Trails

Go back to our full list of trails!