Monday, November 8, 2021

Loess Hills State Parks

Missing mountains and beautiful hikes, we went to one of my favorite areas: the Loess Hills. I love this area in the fall because of the gorgeous deep colors. We've done some fantastic hikes in the northern Loess Hills area, such as Hitchock Nature Center and Preparation Canyon State Park. This time we opted for two southern Iowa state parks in the Loess Hills and they did not disappoint one bit! First, we went to Waubonsie State Park in Hamburg, Iowa. We arrived early afternoon, with a quick stop at an apple orchard for the most delicious apples we've ever had! Too bad I don't recall which variety we selected (insert giant forehead smack here), but they alone were worth the two and half hour drive. The orchard is set directly outside the entrance to the state park, so it's easy to get to and hard to miss.

We got right to hiking when we arrived in the state park. We did the Overlook Trail followed by the Mincer Trail and Sunset Ridge Loop Trail. AllTrails had this hike at 2 miles, but it was over 3 when we were all said and done (not counting the extra walking we did to bathrooms and a few sightseeing areas along the trail). It was beautiful! Not quite as exciting as hiking on the side of a mountain, but the side of the hills was a great substitute.

Our next park was actually a unit of Waubonsie, Blackburn State Park. It was small and beautiful! There was also a 2+ mile trail along the ridges of the Loess Hills, but we only did around a half mile of that trail before turning around. The sun was setting and we didn't want to get caught on a trail in case our trail app wasn't accurate (as it wasn't earlier).