Take the road less traveled on Iowa's Glacial Trail Scenic Byway

This 36-mile loop takes some surprising turns.  Visitors will encounter "Rolling plains of glacial drift" creating spectacular views of rolling hills, forested river valleys, the Little Sioux River, and the quaint country villages of Peterson and Sutherland in Northwest Iowa.  Also, in the corridor, a traveler might see rising from the horizon like flowers, modern steel windmills providing an alternative, renewable energy source for homes and businesses in the area.

Natural Attractions:

Prairie Heritage Center

Environmental education at its best, this 4,786 square foot building was placed atop a bluff, to provide some of the most breath-taking views of nature, historic hills and valleys and the Little Sioux River.  Classrooms, exhibit areas, demonstration plots and interpretive trails are available to aid in understanding the prairie ecosystem and history of the area.

The center sits on 38 acres, plus 235 acres of adjacent prairie and preserved public lands are just waiting for adventurous hikers interested in exploring the area.

Dog Creek Park: located 3 miles southeast of Sutherland offers camping spots on a first come, first served basis and cabins to sleep six that include electricity, heat/air conditioning, refrigerator, and microwave. (Approximately $40.00). Call 712-295-7200 to reserve cabin.

Mill Creek Lake State Park and Recreation Area: Camping first come, first served basis.
Cabin rentals for six people and 12-person cabin available. Located ½ mile east of Paulina on Highway 10.  Call 712-295-7200 to reserve cabins.

Park amenities at both sites include swimming, fishing (largemouth bass, channel catfish, bluegill/sunfish, perch, crappie, bullhead), hiking, boating (electric only), picnicking, shelters and boat ramp.


Linn Grove is a small community nestled in the rolling hills of Buena Vista County.  It is located on the Inkpaduta Canoe Trail, a 131-mile-long historical river trail that was not affected when the Little Sioux River was channelized.  The community is also very close to the nearby Chan-Ya-Ta site, which contains the remains of a 1000-year-old prehistoric village.  Take a timeless trip through the community, down the main street, and on the historic Little Sioux River as you begin your byway drive here.

Peterson (population 400) is home to three museums and five additional historic structures including the only remaining fort in Clay County from the 1860's.

A "must-see" is Jim's History Barn which is a privately-owned museum located in a quiet residential district.  The museum specializes in military, American Indian artifacts, hunting and fishing items. The owner and most popular tour guide, Jim, has a story to accompany nearly every exhibit.  Among the most unusual items on display is a white-sheeted Klan costume, a uniform belonging to one of Saddam's generals, even a human skeleton.  Jim gives a lot of private tours, mostly family tours, and accepts free will offerings.

Open by appointment or chance. 712-295-6552.


If you like surprises, finding an Internationally acclaimed Stained Glass Studio on West Southern Street like  Bogenrief Studios …. that also gives tours Monday through Friday, 8am- 4 pm or by appointment on the weekends, is sure to be memorable.  
Mark and Jeanne have been creating exquisite and highly detailed Works of Art in Glass for over a quarter of a century, Creating Works of Art that truly push the limits of glass, as a medium, even as they are inspired by Antique, Traditional and Historical themes.

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