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Take a Walk
on the Iowa side

WanderLoess-Logo5-shadow-1000px

Take a
on the Iowa Side

Things to Do

Get outdoors. Visit an art gallery. Eat local food. Our region has myriad opportunities for everyone to discover and enjoy. Start your exploration here! Hover above any of the choices below to learn more about that particular area. Click for a more indepth look at that particular category.

Local Flavor

farm, food & drink

Local Flavor

Nature & Outdoors

Rivers & Ridges: Explore!

Nature & Outdoors

Arts & Culture

Creativity, History & Heritage

Arts & Culture

Local Flavor

Local Flavor

Nature & Outdoors

Nature & Outdoors

Arts & Culture

Arts & Culture

Explore the Area

Paddling & Fishing

Paddling & Fishing

Back Country Hikes

Back Country Hikes

Lewis & Clark

Relive the Expedition

Lewis & Clark Expedition

Local Locamotives

Local Locomotives

Get Your Art On

Get Your Art On

Scenic Top Ten

Top Ten Scenic Views

Additional Resources

Places to Stay.

You and your family have preferences when choosing a place to stay, and Iowa accommodates. From luxury hotels to your local lodging, we have it all in WanderLoess Hills!

Choose an area below to be taken to their particular website with accomodation information and booking options.

Best Camping Around…

If its the simple life you need, there’s no place to connect with the great outdoors than the Hills of Iowa. Below is a list of campgrounds, RV parks and related areas that will best suite your particular preference.

What’s Happening in Iowa

There is always something going on in Iowa, whatever the season! Head to a local festival, or check out the local concert scene. See below for postings, happenings, and events going on in the area. Click each event for more information.

There are no upcoming events at this time

Map and Directory

Search for your perfect spot using the locator map below. Results are shown in colorful markers on the map, as well as list below. Clicking on a marker or list location will give more information about that particular area, along with options to open in Google Maps for directions. You can use the filter dropdown to select only those categories you wish to view in your particular region.

Filter by

About Our Organization

Our name explained…

[wän -dər-luhs]

It all started with an Instagram hashtag by some local bicycle riders. WanderLoess is a play on words–“wanderlust” meaning a desire to travel and explore, and “loess” (pronounced ‘luss,’ rhyming with ‘bus’) being our local soils. Wander evokes exploration, curiosity, and learning about local places. We are focused on our local communities which are unlike anywhere else in the world.

Soil is important to every place, but especially so in rural, agricultural areas like Western Iowa. Loess is a German word for “loose” and describes the soils throughout our region. In addition to the globally-significant Loess Hills landform on the eastern edge of the Missouri River Alluvial Plain (floodplain), the Southern Iowa Drift Plain landform to the east of the Loess Hills also consists of deep loess soil deposits.

Our History…

WanderLoess was conceptualized in 2015 during a planning process for Harrison, Pottawattamie, and Mills counties. The project, called the Loess Hills Missouri River Region Parks to People Plan, identified rural arts and cultural program development as a priority for Southwest Iowa.

​The program was initially called “Porchlights” and was envisioned to include “Coordination of talented artisans, naturalists, chefs and performers translates into an exceptional online and off-line events calendar which delivers education, recreation, local food experiences, arts, and entertainment.”

​WanderLoess is a “museum and folk school without walls,” where local residents and visitors can learn about the myriad arts and cultural activities happening throughout the region. We aggregate sites and events in a one-stop shop for all things arts and culture in Southwest Iowa, in addition to hosting a few events of our own.

Who We Are…

Our Mission: To create and promote enhanced connections and destinations of culture, nature, and community for the betterment of all.

Our Vision: An exceptional, preserved landscape framing communities that embrace and integrate culture, history, agriculture, nature, and recreation.

WanderLoess is coordinated by ​Golden Hills RC&D, a grassroots nonprofit based in Oakland, Iowa, as part of the Loess Hills Missouri River Region Parks to People plan. Funding for coordination is provided by Harrison, Pottawattamie, and Mills counties and Iowa West Foundation.

Get in Touch…

We would love to hear from you with any suggested sites or areas to add to our new site. Feel free to drop us an email, give us a ring, or just drop by!

Things to Do

Get outdoors. Visit an art gallery. Eat local food. Our region has myriad opportunities for everyone to discover and enjoy. Start your exploration here! Hover above any of the choices below to learn more about that particular area. Click for a more indepth look at that particular category.

Local Flavor

farm, food & drink

Local Flavor

Nature & Outdoors

Rivers & Ridges: Explore!

Nature & Outdoors

Arts & Culture

Creativity, History & Heritage

Arts & Culture

Local Flavor

Local Flavor

Nature & Outdoors

Nature & Outdoors

Arts & Culture

Arts & Culture

Explore the Area

Paddling & Fishing

Paddling & Fishing

Back Country Hikes

Back Country Hikes

Lewis & Clark

Relive the Expedition

Lewis & Clark Expedition

Local Locamotives

Local Locomotives

Get Your Art On

Get Your Art On

Scenic Top Ten

Top Ten Scenic Views

Additional Resources

Places to Stay.

You and your family have preferences when choosing a place to stay, and Iowa accommodates. From luxury hotels to your local lodging, we have it all in WanderLoess Hills!

Choose an area below to be taken to their particular website with accomodation information and booking options.

Best Camping Around…

If its the simple life you need, there’s no place to connect with the great outdoors than the Hills of Iowa. Below is a list of campgrounds, RV parks and related areas that will best suite your particular preference.

What’s Happening in Iowa

There is always something going on in Iowa, whatever the season! Head to a local festival, or check out the local concert scene. See below for postings, happenings, and events going on in the area. Click each event for more information.

There are no upcoming events at this time

About Our Organization

Our name explained…

[wän -dər-luhs]

It all started with an Instagram hashtag by some local bicycle riders. WanderLoess is a play on words–“wanderlust” meaning a desire to travel and explore, and “loess” (pronounced ‘luss,’ rhyming with ‘bus’) being our local soils. Wander evokes exploration, curiosity, and learning about local places. We are focused on our local communities which are unlike anywhere else in the world.

Soil is important to every place, but especially so in rural, agricultural areas like Western Iowa. Loess is a German word for “loose” and describes the soils throughout our region. In addition to the globally-significant Loess Hills landform on the eastern edge of the Missouri River Alluvial Plain (floodplain), the Southern Iowa Drift Plain landform to the east of the Loess Hills also consists of deep loess soil deposits.

Our History…

WanderLoess was conceptualized in 2015 during a planning process for Harrison, Pottawattamie, and Mills counties. The project, called the Loess Hills Missouri River Region Parks to People Plan, identified rural arts and cultural program development as a priority for Southwest Iowa.

​The program was initially called “Porchlights” and was envisioned to include “Coordination of talented artisans, naturalists, chefs and performers translates into an exceptional online and off-line events calendar which delivers education, recreation, local food experiences, arts, and entertainment.”

​WanderLoess is a “museum and folk school without walls,” where local residents and visitors can learn about the myriad arts and cultural activities happening throughout the region. We aggregate sites and events in a one-stop shop for all things arts and culture in Southwest Iowa, in addition to hosting a few events of our own.

Who We Are…

Our Mission: To create and promote enhanced connections and destinations of culture, nature, and community for the betterment of all.

Our Vision: An exceptional, preserved landscape framing communities that embrace and integrate culture, history, agriculture, nature, and recreation.

WanderLoess is coordinated by ​Golden Hills RC&D, a grassroots nonprofit based in Oakland, Iowa, as part of the Loess Hills Missouri River Region Parks to People plan. Funding for coordination is provided by Harrison, Pottawattamie, and Mills counties and Iowa West Foundation.

Get in Touch…

We would love to hear from you with any suggested sites or areas to add to our new site. Feel free to drop us an email, give us a ring, or just drop by!

WanderLoess is coordinated by ​Golden Hills RC&D, a grassroots nonprofit based in Oakland, Iowa, as part of the Loess Hills Missouri River Region Parks to People plan. Funding for coordination is provided by Harrison, Pottawattamie, and Mills counties and Iowa West Foundation. With the help of our many partners making this destination dream a reality.

Our Partners

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