Friends of the Loess Hills State Forest & Preparation Canyon State Park
Golden Hills provides support to the Friends of the Loess Hills State Forest and Preparation Canyon State Park as part of our efforts to improve outdoor recreation and land stewardship in the region.
About the Friends Group
The Friends group is dedicated to improving the Loess Hills State Forest and Preparation Canyon State Park through volunteering, fundraising, and other support.
The State Forest and State Park are public conservation and recreation areas located near the Loess Hills National Scenic Byway in Harrison and Monona counties. Both are owned and managed by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Download a pdf brochure about the Friends group here.
About the Forest & Park: The Loess Hills State Forest is open daily and includes more than 50 miles of hiking trails across four units (Little Sioux, Mondamin, Pisgah, and Preparation Canyon). Hunting and primitive camping are allowed throughout the State Forest, and several ponds are popular for fishing. Learn more at the official Loess Hills State Forest website (Iowa Department of Natural Resources). Preparation Canyon State Park is open 4:00am-10:30pm daily. The State Park has 10 primitive hike-in camping sites but dispersed camping is not allowed elsewhere in the state park.. More details available from the official Preparation Canyon State Park website (Iowa Department of Natural Resources).
Brent's Trail is a rugged trail through the State Forest between Murray Hill Scenic Overlook and Gleason-Hubel Wildlife Area. Learn more and download a map of Brent's Trail here.
Brent's Trail Extension Opening Hike
Save the Date!
Brent's Trail is growing! Iowa Department of Natural Resources has added just over 4 miles on the southern end of the popular hiking route. Join Friends of the Loess Hills State Forest & other local partners for a grand opening event and hike the new trail! A few guides will be available to help navigate the route, and the trail is being signed with the well-known metal oak leaf signs. Saturday, August 28, 2021 10am - 3pm Meet at the parking area at 1715 138th Trail - Pisgah, IA. If parking is full, park along the side of the road and pull off as far as you safely can to allow traffic to pass. The new extension adds just over 4 miles to the popular hiking trail through Harrison County's beautiful Loess Hills. This hike route is about 6 miles one-way and includes a couple miles of the existing trail in addition to the new section.
Shuttles will NOT be provided, so you will need to figure out a ride to your vehicle at the end or plan to hike back. One good option is to bring a buddy and park one vehicle at the end point (1545 165th Trl), then carpool to the starting point (1715 138th Trl). The hike will end at 1545 165th Trail, where there is a small parking lot. The community of Little Sioux's homecoming event is this same weekend, and you are encouraged to head into town after hiking for food and drinks.