Favorite Outdoor Adventure Spot in Iowa
I really love being outside in the sunshine. There’s just something about being outside that makes me feel better. And I’m excited to share with you my recent found treasure, Estherville, IA. It’s a town of less than 10,000 people and often gets over looked by Okoboji and Spirit Lake which are about 20 minutes to the west. In fact, as much as I want to share I also want to keep it a secret so I can still go and it’s not overcrowded! Estherville is my favorite outdoor adventure spot in Iowa.
It’s gorgeous. Most of Iowa is flat ground, but Estherville is in the river valley of the west fork of the Des Moines River and it has rolling hills and amazing views. During my hike in Fort Defiance State Park I even thought if I didn’t know I was in Iowa I would never guess I was in Iowa.
The park has over 300 acres and plenty of trails to hike and there is no fee to go to the park either!
They even host events at the Park like Fright Hike and the Defiance Extreme Trail Run which I can’t wait to participate in!
I mentioned they were in a river valley. They have river floats. I didn’t get to go on one, but they sound like a blast. They have a big one around their Sweet Corn Days Celebration.
They have so many parks in town too with a great walking trail and the coolest swing bridge. It is a suspension cable swinging bridge that was built in the 1930’s has been reinforced.
I also got a chance to get on the water on High Lake. We went kayaking and had a blast. You can rent kayaks and paddle boards through the Emmet County Nature Center at no charge.
I even took an 18 mile bike ride with a friend and several other bicycle enthusiasts. Half way through our journey we made a stop at the Softail Saloon and enjoyed some lemonade, water, and popcorn. Then we hopped on our bikes and made the journey back ending at Woody’s Pizza. They make their pizzas with a cracker crust and even have a gluten free version. If you’re in the area they ride every Tuesday. You can grab more info here.
And if you’re looking for a place to stay while you’re there check out the Estherville Hotel & Suites. They were so nice, the rooms were clean, and breakfast is included!
I had such a great time and can’t wait to go back. If you’re looking for outdoor adventure, check out Estherville, IA!
Connect with Estherville:
Antoinette M says
This is a beautiful place to visit! Love the hiking trails.
Sandy Klocinski says
Awesome! Looks like a great place to visit. Would love to hike the trails
I wish there was a spot like that to visit around here. The view you have is amazing.
Mandy Lanthier says
Wow great write up if my hometown! Thanks! I havent been back for 3yrs but love when we do go for a visit.
Terri S. says
It looks like you had a wonderful time in Estherville. It really looks like a beautiful place to visit and be surrounded by peace and beauty in nature. That was quite a bicycle ride – 18 miles!
Wow, this place looks amazing. I would love to visit someday.
Dana Rodriguez says
The photos you got are beautiful. I would love to visit there sometime!
I love that suspension bridge! And I’m the same, I love being outside in the sun, it makes me happy too 🙂 What a great spot to spend a day.
These photos are so pretty and peaceful. Looking forward to your next travel adventure!
Linda Manns Linneman says
This area looks beautiful. I really enjoy nature. Bike riding here would be so much fun. Also hiking some trails. Thank you so much for sharing
Mia E. says
Looks like a perfect spot for outdoor recreation. I love the look of the bridge and what fun to have a day of kayaking.
Teresa D Kunberger says
What a beautiful view in your photo I can see why you like it! I have family there maybe one day I can go see it!
Jeanna Massman says
I am an Iowa Native now living in Arizona and I am constantly confronted with how much I missed about my home state even though I lived there 62 yrs. This sounds like a wonderful example of a pure taste of Iowa.