Girls Day Out, Part 2: Loess Hills

Growing up in the far northwest corner of Missouri, I am no stranger to the Loess Hills. However, until recently, I’ve not given much thought to their beauty. I’d never really looked at them as more than giant, timber-covered bluffs until I began seeing all these beautiful shots on my Instagram feed from photographers, hikers, and bicyclists who were posting these gorgeous shots from trail heads and lookouts in the Loess Hills State Forest area. So, after doing some research, talking with some fellow Instagram-ers, and figuring out where these scenic spots were located, Jo Zilla and I packed up our gear and headed west.

Our first stop was the Hitchcock Nature Center near Honey Creek, Iowa. With eight trails (we hiked Fox Run Ridge) and a look-out tower, it provided some great hiking and excellent views across Iowa and into Nebraska.

Tal at HNC watermarked

Photo by Jo Zilla

Partner in crime watermarked

HNC views watermarkHitchcock Nature Center Loess Hills landscape watermarkedHNC windy path watermarkeddead trees in a sea of green watermarkeddead trees in a sea of green bw watermarked

Our next stop was Preparation Canyon State Park near Pisgah, Iowa. We hiked the main ridge, which barely scrapes the surface of this park. The views are breathtaking and I’m pretty set on making a trip back here in the fall. As pretty as it was in June, I can’t wait to see what it’s like in late September-early October.

PC trail view 1 watermarkedPC trail view 2 watermarkedPCSP trail headon B&W watermarkedPreperation Canyon 1 watermarkedPreparation Canyon Pano watermarkedInto the woods at PCSP AV watermarkedbare roots PCSP watermarkedwildflowers at PCSP watermarked

And what is a road trip if you don’t pull over to photograph a cool old silo and a field of hay with an old antique tractors beneath a tree?

Old Brick Silo 1 LE watermarkedOld Brick Silo 1 b&w watermarkedOld Brick Silo 2 watermarkedsilo, hay, hillside BL70per watermarked

Hay bales on the hillside watermarkedHay bales on the hillside b&w watermarkedhayfield antique tractor scene watermarked

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