The Carolyn Benne Nature Trail details the natural history of the area on an interpretive walk through the park and features one of the best scenic views in the park. The popular Tunnel Trail gets its name from a tunnel that runs underneath the park road. Buffalo Run Trail leads to Dakota Point Overlook, aptly named with views of South Dakota to the west. Another viewpoint, Elk Point, has excellent views of the southern half of the park.
The trails in the southern half are more rugged and wild as they do not cross park roads or enter campgrounds. Perhaps the best trail in the park, Mt. Lucia, leads to a viewpoint at the southern end of Stone State Park. You can connect with trails leading to Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center at the overlook. The trails in the southern half are your best bet for a slice of woodland wander that is easily accessible due to its proximity to Sioux City and Interstate 29.
Hike a trail and let prairie grasses tickle your chin. Explore bur oak forests with 150-year old giants. Climb the ridges and imagine what Lewis and Clark might have seen. The 2.5 miles of trails explore prairie ridges and woodlands. A section of Whitetail Ridge Trail is accessible for people with mobility difficulties. Hikers park in lower lot (below gate) after 4:00pm. Trails are open year-round from 4:30 AM to 10:00 PM.
Sioux City Prairie is one of the nation’s largest native prairie tracts found in an urban setting. An area uniquely and delicately balanced between the city and the wild, it allows visitors an escape from city life by immersing themselves in a tallgrass prairie.
Sioux City Prairie is a TNC-owned 150-acre tallgrass prairie preserve. The prairie and wooded valleys of this well-drained, high-relief landscape support a variety of plants and animals typically found further west in the Great Plains. The preserve also supports a diverse population of birds and it provides critical habitat for many species of prairie butterflies.
Enjoy a 2-mile trail loop that extends through Cone Park and Sertoma Park. For more trails in Sioux City visit the Parks and Recreation Trail Page, or call Parks and Recreation at (712) 279-6126. Off shoot trails offer non-paved hiking trails.
Trails of the area take the visitor through a variety of habitats. A self-guided nature trail brochure is available at the trail head. Numerous bluebird boxes have been erected in the area and visitors may catch a glimpse of the brilliant blue birds.
Park facilities are open May 1 through October 31.
Located one-half mile west of Smithland on Hwy 141 near the Southwood Conservation Area, this 160 acre area is a perfect spot for a picnic or a walk through the woods. Park facilities are open and pressurized water systems are available May 1 through October 31.
Encompassing more than 2,082 acres of public land in the hills adjacent to the Little Sioux River Valley, Oak Ridge is divided into four units with six public parking accesses between Oto and Smithland. This natural, undeveloped area is available for hiking and public hunting.
This 210-acre area is located four miles southeast of Anthon. It is an undeveloped public wildlife area for hiking and hunting. Wildlife and wildflowers are abundant.
Shagbark Hills was acquired in 1976 for wildlife habitat. The area contains a native stand of shagbark hickory trees unique to the area. The undeveloped 379-acre area is located one-half mile south of Correctionville and is open for hiking and public hunting.
Hiking the Byways is a regular series by Golden Hills RC&D that features publicly accessible lands open to hiking on the three scenic byways in western Iowa that Golden Hills RC&D coordinates: Glacial Trail Scenic Byway, Loess Hills National Scenic Byway, and Western Skies Scenic Byway. Each Friday a blog post covers hiking areas in one county on one of the aforementioned byways. For questions about hiking on the byways, contact Seth Brooks (email@example.com).