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Best Silos & Smokestacks Partner Sites To Visit This Fall!

It’s Fall In Iowa! That means hayrack rides, harvest festivals, and pumpkin patches! It also means the leaves they are a changin’ & we have a colorful list of Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area Partner Sites to visit and Get Your Fall on!

Wagaman Mill & Museum

Wagaman Mill & Museum

Scott Fairbairn

Wagaman Mill was built in 1846 by John R. Sparks as a paddle wheel saw mill on the North Skunk River. In 1848, the mill was converted into a grist mill with the construction of a wooden dam across the river. The 1868 addition of a hydraulic turbine allowed for year-long operation and the mill has since been utilized to produce flour, animal feed, meal and electric power.

Wickiup Hill Outdoor Learning Center

Wickiup Hill Outdoor Learning Center

Fall Wetland courtesy of Frank Olsen

After an initial acquisition in the early 1960’s, the area known as the Wickiup Hill Nature Area has grown to 751 acres of wetland, prairie, woodland, and savanna. Along with the Wickiup Hill Outdoor Learning Center, this area features 8 miles of educational and hiking trails.

Indian Creek Nature Center

Indian Creek Nature Center

Random Voyager / Via randomvoyager.com

A renovated 1932 dairy barn houses the visitor center, where maple syruping, beekeeping, prairie restoration, and other programs are used to interpret the natural environment and our cultural and agricultural heritage. The Indian Creek Nature Center has several miles of trails that wind through prairies, oak/hickory savannas and a wetland.

Cedar Valley Arboretum & Botanic Gardens

Cedar Valley Arboretum & Botanic Gardensl

Cedar Valley Arboretum & Botanic Gardens

The Cedar Valley Arboretum and Botanic Gardens is a 35 acre green space for the Cedar Valley. Among our more formal gardens, we currently feature a prairie and we are also planning a butterfly meadow and an orchard featuring native fruit trees.

The Cascade Historic Limestone Silo & Agricultural Interpretive Center

The Cascade Historic Limestone Silo & Agricultural Interpretive Center

The Cascade Historic Limestone Silo & Agricultural Interpretive Center

The cornerstone of the Cascade Historic Limestone Silo & Agricultural Interpretive Center is the interpretation of the early Midwestern farmers and farmsteads displayed in the historic limestone silo built in the early 1930’s. Antique agricultural equipment, in addition to interpretive signage, provide visitors knowledge of how early farmers worked the lands, used the local natural resources and helped support the economy of America.

University of Iowa Museum of Natural History

University of Iowa Museum of Natural History

University of Iowa Museum of Natural History

Explore your world at the University of Iowa Museum of Natural History–Iowa’s gateway to the global environment. Take a trip back in time through 500 million years of our natural and cultural heritage, culminating in the landscape we live on today and the story of agriculture from the first Native American farmers through to modern day Iowa.

Herbert Hoover Presidential Library & Museum

Herbert Hoover Presidential Library & Museum

Herbert Hoover Presidential Library & Museum

Learn about Iowa’s only president at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library & Museum. Hoover campaigned on the platform to restore prosperity to American farmers. His first action as President was to call a special session of Congress to pass the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1929. The Museum is one of the thirteen such institutions operated by the National Archives and Records Administration.

Living History Farms

Living History Farms

Living History Farms / Via lhf.org

At Living History Farms you can travel at your own pace through 300 years of agricultural history, including a 1700 Ioway Indian Farm, 1850 Pioneer Farm, 1900 Farm and 1875 Town. On-site interpreters, activities and demonstrations.

Effigy Mounds National Monument

Effigy Mounds National Monument

Effigy Mounds National Monument

Effigy Mounds National Monument covers over 2,500 acres and protects more than 200 American Indian mounds. The monument’s 14 miles of hiking trails will take you past the ancient mounds, through wooded bluffs and tallgrass prairies to scenic overlooks of the Upper Mississippi River Valley.

Fontana Interpretive Nature Center

Fontana Interpretive Nature Center

Danny Murphy of Hazleton, IA

Discover the links between agriculture and environment at Fontana Interpretive Nature Center. A full service visitor center with displays that demonstrate how people make their home in a living environment. Programs are available upon request.

Brucemore

Brucemore

Brucemore

Brucemore’s 26-acre, park-like estate invites exploration of its history, gardens, grounds, and 21-room Mansion. Each season, nature’s changing beauty entices visitors to the estate offering new experiences. Concerts, theater, festivals, garden walks, holiday celebrations, and tours enliven the site and celebrate the heritage of the community.

Reiman Gardens

Reiman Gardens

Reiman Gardens / Via iastate.app.box.com

Since 1914, a “garden laboratory” has been an essential teaching tool at Iowa State University. Today, the 17-acre Reiman Gardens incorporates academic and practical concepts with lessons from crop rotation to floriculture, entomology to water resource management. Inspiring future generations as environmental stewards is accomplished with tours, classes, lectures, articles and videos enjoyed by youth, students and 100,000 visitors annually.

Calkins Nature Area

Calkins Nature Area

Calkins Nature Area

Calkins Nature Area includes timber, prairie, stream, pond, Iowa River, American Indian/Natural History Museum and live native animal displays.

F.W. Kent Park

F.W. Kent Park

Travel Iowa / Via traveliowa.com

F.W. Kent Park is 1,052-acres that features a Conservation Education Center with hands-on exhibits that connect visitors with nature. Panels in the open-air Knight Prairie Pavilion interpret the connection of prairies to agriculture. An 86-site campground, shower house, playgrounds, picnic shelters, trails, eight historic bridges, fishing pier, native and re-created prairies, forests, wetlands, 27-acre lake, beach and fishing ponds, make this an outstanding park.

Four Mounds Inn Bed & Breakfast

Four Mounds Inn Bed & Breakfast

Four Mounds Inn Bed & Breakfast

The Four Mounds Estate, a National Register Historic District and a City of Dubuque Landmark Site, is a remarkably intact 1908 gentleman’s farm along the Mississippi River bluff line. The site features the farm and grounds, river view hiking trails, three options for bed and breakfast, a small conference center, challenge ropes course and more. Includes whole house rentals and is the perfect site for an intimate wedding.

Hurstville Interpretive Center

Hurstville Interpretive Center

Hurstville Interpretive Center

Explore the links between Iowa’s prairies, wetlands, the rocks beneath your feet and agriculture at Hurstville Interpretive Center. A butterfly garden and a working bee hive allow visitors to see pollinators at work. Exhibits help visitors understand how Iowa’s early communities, such as Hurstville, developed around the resources that were available and were a focal point for farm families.

Hartman Reserve Nature Center

Hartman Reserve Nature Center

Hartman Reserve Nature Center

This over 300-acre wooded isle boasts the Hartman Reserve Nature Center and six miles of trails leading to lakes, prairies, forest, the Cedar River and the American Discovery Trail.

Scenic City Empress Boat Club

Scenic City Empress Boat Club

Scenic City Empress Boat Club

The Scenic City Empress Boat Club, a 1937 log cabin, is situated on the Iowa River and is home to the Empress Riverboat. Come enjoy our public cruises or book a private event. Soak in the beautiful scenery of the limestone bluffs, while listening to our captain’s monologue. From agriculture to industry you will be entertained by our Iowa River interpretation! The Boat Club may be shut down for the season, but you can get a great view from the trails along the river!

Mines of Spain

Mines of Spain

Foggy Morning at Catfish Creek by Ronald W. Tigges / Via minesofspain.org

The Mines of Spain consists of 1,439 acres of forest and prairie along the Mississippi River. The park is a National Historic Landmark and a state preserve. The E.B. Lyons Interpretive Center, a Scenic Byway Center, has displays on the park’s historical sites of farming, prairies, lead mining, Native Americans and wildlife. Trails connect visitors to a farmsite, forests, prairies, archaeological sites and wetlands.

Seed Savers Exchange

Seed Savers Exchange

Seed Savers Exchange

Heritage Farm, the headquarters of Seed Savers Exchange, is an 890-acre living museum of our garden heritage. Display gardens surrounding the Visitors Center grow hundreds of heirloom fruits and vegetables, while eight miles of hiking trails connect sparkling trout streams, wooded bluffs, heritage poultry, Ancient White Park cattle, and 2 historic apple orchards.

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