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Iowa Scenic Byways



Dragoon Trail- Lightly armed cavalry soldiers, or dragoons, scouted Iowa soon after it came under U.S. control in 1832, and established outposts which today are cities such as Des Moines and Fort Dodge.
Driftless Area Scenic Byway- This beautiful scenic byway zigzags its way through the preglacial landscape in extreme northeastern Iowa.
Grant Wood Scenic Byway- Travel the landscape immortalized by Iowa native Grant Wood.
Great River Road - Iowa- The Iowa section of this long route along the Mississippi River travels past wildlife refuges, some of Iowa's oldest communities, and several working dams and locks.
Iowa Valley Scenic Byway- This byway meanders across the Iowa River Valley in east central Iowa. It encompasses the historic Amana Colonies, known today for its communal society and fine craftsmanship.
Lewis and Clark Trail - Iowa- As Lewis and Clark travelled west they mapped the land and recorded its flora, fauna and native peoples. The Iowa section of this historic trail follows the Missouri River, and passes near several marinas, nature preserves, and historic parks.
Loess Hills Scenic Byway- This byway showcases the unique ridge terrain that developed over loess, a rich yellow-brown soil left behind by the ice ages.
Mormon Trail - Iowa- Tens of thousands of Mormons blazed this trail across the plains as they fled religious persecution in the east.
Old O'Brien Glacial Trail Scenic Byway- This unique byway in northwest Iowa offers views of rolling hills and forested river valleys, as well as a rich history of native and European peoples.
River Bluffs Scenic Byway- The roller-coaster scenery of northeastern Iowa is showcased in this loop tour.
Western Skies Scenic Byway- This western Iowa route beckons with wide-open skies and prairie landscapes. Windswept meadows are home to picturesque windmills.
Woodlands Scenic Byway- Living and ancient history and scenery combine as this road crosses the Mormon Trail and curves through woodlands and Amish country.

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General Information

Description - Iowa offers two National Scenic Byways, Great River Road and Loess Hills Scenic Byway, close to ten state designated byways, the Lewis and Clark Trail and the Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail.

The Iowa section of the long route, the Great River Road, along the Mississippi River, travels past wildlife refuges, some of Iowa's oldest communities, and several working dams and locks. The Loess Hills Scenic Byway weaves through a landform of windblown silt deposits along the eastern edge of the Missouri River Valley. This unique American Treasure possesses natural features that are found in only two places in the world.

Recreation - Byways provide access to numerous cultural, historical, natural, recreational and scenic sites. Some of the most popular activities along the byways include hiking, camping, picnicking, biking, fishing, photographing scenery, viewing historic sites and of course scenic driving.

Location - Byways travel through scenic and historic areas throughout the state.


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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Scenic Driving Iowa Scenic Byways
Yes
ICON Viewing Scenery Iowa Scenic Byways
Yes


More Information

Additional Information:
Iowa - This mid western state is a leader in agriculture and livestock production with 95 percent of the prairie land cultivated, according to the National Geographic Society.

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