As we kick off the new year (& new decade), you may be thinking about a New Year's Resolution or finding new things to do in western Iowa. Golden Hills can help!
Satisfy wanderlust with WanderLoess - The Loess Hills Missouri River Region of Mills, Pottawattamie, and Harrison counties offers countless recreational and cultural activities. We help coordinate this regional initiative. Find them all at WanderLoess.com.
Take a hike - Our Loess Hills Hiking Guide includes information about hiking trails in the beautiful Loess Hills. For a long, rugged hike, check out Brent's Trail, which just opened in 2019.
Take the scenic route - Get off the freeway and see our small towns. Golden Hills coordinates three of Iowa's Byways. Western Skies Scenic Byway parallels Interstate 80, the Loess Hills National Scenic Byway is a great alternative to Interstate 29, and Glacial Trail Scenic Byway is an easy weekend getaway in northwest Iowa.
Cure cabin fever with a cabin stay- Several state parks and county parks offer cabin rentals, including some year-round. The Loess Hills Hideaway Cabins in Monona County are a privately owned business near the Loess Hills State Forest. Golden Hills is working with several partners to add new cabins at Willow Lake, Arrowhead, and Pony Creek in 2020.
Support local farmers - Check out a farmers market, join a CSA, or find local food producers in your neighborhood with our Southwest Iowa Local Food Guide.
Go for a bike ride - Golden Hills is helping our small towns and rural areas become more bikeable. We coordinate the regional Frontier Iowa Trails network, work to expand bike routes, and help educate people about safe bicycling. Each September, we host the annual Loess Hills Parks & Peaks Bicycle Tour. In 2020, we are also planning a bike ride as part of the Loess Hills Prairie Seminar.
Visit Fremont County's - Check out the abundant prairies, wetlands, hills, and rivers of southwest Iowa through our Fremont County Outdoor Adventures programs.
Go paddling - The West Nishnabotna Water Trail in eastern Pottawattamie County is the only state-designated water trail in our part of the state. Golden Hills helped establish the water trail and is currently working with DNR to extend the designation into Shelby County. Many other rivers and lakes also have paddling accesses. We also have educational programs and floats through our Explore Your Watershed events.
Grow native plants - Learn how to harvest prairie seed and grow native flowers, shrubs, grasses, and trees through our Growing Natives and Native Oak Project workshops.
Go hunting - As a partner with the Southwest Iowa Communities for Pheasants and Farmers Initiative, we are working to expand wildlife habitat and public access for hunting.
Support local artists - The Southwest Iowa Art Tour is held every September in multiple communities throughout the region. Waubonsie State Park hosts artists in residence during the winter, with public programs by each artist.
Improve water quality - Learn how to build a rain garden. Install a prairie strip. Landowners and farmers in the Nishnabotna watershed may even be eligible for cost-share for conservation practices.
Learn more about the services we offer and how we can help you, your business, organization, or community. Explore the Golden Hills website and check back often to learn about all the projects and programs happening across the region throughout the year!