3 of the Best Midwest Parks for Viewing Fall Colors are in Iowa
I don't typically enjoy the eight hour drive from Michigan to Iowa, but last weekend it wasn't so bad! I got to enjoy some absolutely gorgeous fall scenery throughout my trek, especially in certain areas of Western Michigan. The Midwest is filled with great places to check out fall colors, and that includes a few places here in Iowa.
Earlier this month, Midwest Living published a list titled, "Favorite Midwest Parks for Fall Color." Out of the 19 places on the list, there are two Iowa state parks that made the cut, and another that was given an honorable mention by social media users!
The first Iowa park on the list will come as no surprise to Iowans: Pikes Peak State Park. Located in McGregor, Iowa, Pikes Peak is known for its breathtaking views year-round, but in the fall they're even more magical! Pikes Peak offers a look at both the Mississippi and Wisconsin Rivers, as well as 11-miles of scenic trails. The article from Midwest Living reads:
"Stand on a 500-foot bluff overlooking the confluence of the rivers, walk past spring-fed streams and waterfalls, or wander through large wooded tracts cloaked in fall colors of red and gold."
The other state park to make the official list is Ledges State Park in Madrid, Iowa. According to the Iowa DNR website, the park is "one of Iowa’s most historic and unique nature destinations." The sandstone ledges are definitely one of the highlights, as well as the views of the Des Moines River, the trail around Lost Lake, and Peas Creek.
The Iowa park that was given an honorable mention by Midwest Living's social media users is Backbone State Park in Dundee. The park is named after "The Devil's Backbone," the highest point in Northeast Iowa, which the Iowa DNR says is formed from the "steep and narrow ridge of bedrock from the Maquoketa River." There are plenty of trails to check out, as well as trout streams, Backbone Lake, and limestone cliffs.
Personally, my favorite place to check out fall colors in Iowa is Palisades-Kepler State Park in Mount Vernon. Here are some of the photos I took last year on Halloween: