Iowa’s got more adventure on offer than you think

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Iowa gets the most surprising props, like its recent inclusion among the happiest states in America (and the best places to retire). Who knew?

But there’s another thing no one seems to know about the Hawkeye State: It’s overflowing with outdoor activities.

Sure, you might have heard about July’s annual RAGBRAI — the oldest, largest and longest recreational bicycle touring event in the world — but did you know you can whitewater playboat (aka freestyle) in Iowa? And hike, rock climb and gravel grind?

This is a state of rolling hills and hidden gems. A favorite of Jessica O’Riley, who works for the Iowa Economic Development Authority and has lived in the state for more than 40 years, is Devil’s Backbone Trail at Backbone State Park.

“It offers terrain that is atypical for Iowa, which makes it fun,” she told GrindTV.

Another go-to for O’Riley includes the expansive views of the Loess Hills from the tower at Hitchcock Nature Center in Honey Creek.

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