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Looking to travel? New Iowa app lists fun spots from breweries to bison wallows

January 24, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 41.6%. 3 min read.

Looking for some road trips?

You can learn more about this at the Driftless Area Education And Visitors Center. Other attractions: Iowa's oldest smokehouse; the Decorah Fish Hatchery where trout are reared; Siewers Springs, a good spot for picnics, and a huge eagles' nest in DecorahAlso in or near Decorah: the Hotel Winneshiek, a 34-room grand historic hotel; Seed Savers Exchange, a nonprofit that conserves heirloom seeds;  Toppling Goliath Brewing Co. , known internationally for its IPAs and barrel-aged stouts; and the Vesterheim, The National Norwegian-American Museum & Heritage Center that houses more than 33,000 artifacts, 12 historic buildings, a Folk Art School, and a library and archives. Also on this route: the Yellow River State Forest that has one of the top 50 hikes in America called the Backpack Trail. Glacial Trail Scenic BywayYou'll find lots of natural areas here: Barnes Area, Bertram Reservation and the Prairie Heritage Center, offering hiking, hunting, canoeing and live bison.

Grant Wood Scenic BywayHighlights here include Baldwin Marsh, a 67-acre area with wetlands and prairies; Bellevue State Park with Mississippi River overlooks, a nature center, butterfly sanctuary and two camping areas; and Maquoketa Caves State Park. Historic Hills Scenic BywayThe American Gothic House & Center next to the historic American Gothic House — the inspiration for the iconic and much-parodied "American Gothic" painting by Grant Wood — will bring you up to speed on the artist. Also: the Airpower Museum, the Bloom And Bark Glass Blowing Studio & Natural Farm, the Dutch Country General Store in Bloomfield with "something for everyone and free ice cream cones every day" and the Dutchman's Store featuring bulk food, candy, fabric and crafts. Iowa Valley Scenic BywayThe Amana Heritage Society owns and operates a number of historic properties open to the public, including the Amana Heritage Museum in Amana consisting of the Amana village Schoolhouse, the Noe House, and the washhouse/woodshed.

You can make your own sound waves using the park’s interactive equipment. Lincoln Highway Historic BywayThis route includes the 1915 Lincoln Highway Bridge & Park; the Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad that operates passenger excursions in Boone County;  the Harrison County Historical Village & Iowa Welcome Center that offers a scenic overlook of the Loess Hills; the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library; The Sawmill Museum; and the Union Pacific Railroad Museum. Loess Hills National Scenic BywayYou can travel the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge, a 3,000 foot-long, 15 foot-wide bridge connecting Council Bluffs to Omaha, Nebraska, across the Missouri River.

It opened in 2008. Also on this tour: Broken Kettle Grasslands, the largest remaining natural prairie in Iowa and home to nearly 200 bison, and the Wabash Trace Nature Trail, one of Iowa's premier trails, stretching more than 62 miles. River Bluffs Scenic BywayThe Effigy Mounds National Monument preserves prehistoric American Indian burial and ceremonial mounds dating from 500 B. C. to 1300 A. D. on 2,500 acres of forested land along the Mississippi River. Also on this jaunt: Pikes Peak State Park, famed for its majestic views of the Mississippi, including an overlook atop a 500-foot bluff above the confluence of the Wisconsin and Mississippi rivers. The Volga River State Recreation Area is another stop. Western Skies Scenic BywayAlbert The Bull Park, featuring the World's Largest Bull, and the Coon Rapids Giant Corn are photo opps.

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