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Welcome to Iowa

Iowa means “beautiful land” in the language of the region’s Native Americans, and there’s no better word to describe the Hawkeye State. Wedged between the Mississippi and Missouri rivers, it epitomizes the spirit of the American Midwest, with its rolling hills, pastoral farmland and charming Midwestern cities. If you’ve come for adventure, Iowa won’t disappoint. Explore fish-filled lakes, long-distance trails and farm-fresh food in a fertile region.

Four cyclists with helmets ride on a bridge with an interesting canopy.

High Trestle Trail

Treat Your Adventurous Side

From paddling to trekking, there are several thrilling ways to experience Iowa’s gently rolling landscapes. Hike 21 miles of trails at Backbone State Park in the state’s northeast region to reach spellbinding views of the Maquoketa River and nearby valley. Keep your eyes peeled for foxes, deer, raccoons and a host of other wildlife at Springbrook State Park west of Des Moines. Canoe or kayak through lush forest and limestone bluffs along the Yellow River. Or uncover 19 Native American burial mounds at Lacey Keosauqua State Park.

A tractor in the foreground, red barn and brown silos in background.

Traditional american red farm with tractor

Hot Hunting

Hunters won’t have a problem bagging trophy bucks here. Iowa is renowned for producing massive white-tails, which can be found in Shimek State Forest, Hawkeye Wildlife Management Area, Brushy Creek State Recreation Area, Loess Hills State Forest and Rathbun Wildlife Management Area.

Go Fish

Lakes and ponds across the state are regularly stocked by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, which means you have excellent chances of reeling in loads of crappie and bluegill. Many access points along the Mississippi River make it easy to take your boat out and catch pike, walleye, bass and catfish. The Missouri River is one of the few places in the state where you can snag blue catfish, while the streams in northeast Iowa are known for phenomenal trout fishing.