things to do & see in
pottawattamie county


-- Eagles of Honor -- of Honor


-- County Parks/Recreation Areas --

Arrowhead Park • Pottawattamie County Conservation

29357 310th St. • Neola • 712-485-2295 • Fee required.

The park is situated on a 17-acre lake, offers camping, boating, fishing, and numerous other activities year round. You can stay in one of three rustic cabins, pitch a tent and rough it or use one of the 65 campsites with electric service; of which six are pull-through sites. Dump station, showers, hydrants and pit toilets available. The lake is stocked with bluegill, bass and catfish. Enjoy a hike along the trail or you can rent a canoe or paddleboat.

Botna Bend Park • Pottawattamie County Conservation

42926 Mahogany Rd. • Hancock • 712-741-5465 • Fee required.

Botna Bend Park is a favorite for campers who enjoy a small town atmosphere. This 119 acre Park is located on the West Nishnabotna Water Trail. Schedule a canoe trip down this meandering river and enjoy Iowa’s natural beauty. The park is equipped with a modern shower house and features 57 electrical sites and beautiful tent camping spots. The new kids Nature PlayScape & playground, archery range, hiking trails and picnic shelters provide recreational opportunities to visitors of all ages. Visit the enclosed pastures at the park and view the area’s only Bison and Elk herds, on display throughout the year.

Hitchcock Nature Center • Pottawattamie County Conservation

27792 Ski Hill Loop • Honey Creek • 712-545-3283 • Fee required.

Located in the Loess Hills, Hitchcock has some of the largest remaining prairie remnants in Iowa and provides refuge for plants and animals found nowhere else in the state. The 1,268 acres are open every day of the year for hiking, camping, picnicking, bird watching, snow sledding. A 22-acre modern campground is equipped with 18 RV sites, shower house, two group tent sites, three cabins, and overlook deck. There is a fully furnished lodge for meetings, events or retreats. Attend seasonal recreation programs such as hikes, Monarch butterfly tagging, Night Sky Viewing, “HawkWatch” Programs, Mushroom Hunts and more.

Old Town Park

12515 385th St. • Macedonia • 712-741-5465

Located on the historic Mormon Trail near Macedonia, Olde Town may not have any modern conveniences, but it does offer a wonderful “back to nature” feeling. Visitors can launch canoes or inner tubes for a relaxing river adventure.

-- West Nishnabotna Water Trail map --

Take a leisurely float trip down the West Nishnabotna Water Trail! Entry and exit points have been constructed at Memorial Park in Avoca, Chautauqua Park in Oakland, and Millstone Park in Carson. All entries are located in parks so needed amenities such as parking, water, and restrooms are readily available. Trail maps and brochures are printed advertising the trail and the other recreation opportunities along the way. Visit the Pottawattamie County Conservation web site for more information


-- Community Attractions --

Avoca •

Top 10 Things To Do In Avoca • top-10-things-to-do

1885 East Pottawattamie County Courthouse

203 North Elm St. • Avoca • 712-343-2477

Tours by appointment. Proclaimed “The Most Beautiful Courtroom in the State,” and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this courtroom features a 200 year old bench and canopy from an old English Castle.

Farmall-Land USA Museum

2101 N. LaVista Heights Rd. • Avoca • I-80 Interchange, Hwy 59, exit 40 • 712-307-6806 or 712-343-6354 •

Open April-Oct. Tues-Sat. 9:00-5:00. Sun. 12:00-5:00. Closed Mondays. Open by appointment winter season. Call 402-490-1574. • 26,000 sq. ft. museum which houses a collection of more than 150 IH full-size tractors, pedal tractors, toy tractors, artist prints, and other IH memorabilia. And the ladies won’t want to miss the beautiful doll collection in the “Tractor Widow Lounge.” E-mail:

Octagon House

Octagon building located in Graceland Cemetery built around 1875. This unusual structure housed mourners during inclement weather, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. For more information contact the Newton-Avoca Historical Society at 712-343-2477.

Sweet Vale of Avoca Museum

504 N. Elm St. • Avoca • 712-343-2477 • •

Open Memorial Day-Labor Day, 1:00-4:00 daily. Step back in time and see what life was like when Avoca was young. A variety of displays depict historical events. More than 75 mounted heads and animals from all over the world. Of special interest are the musk ox and arctic wolf.

Avoca Public Golf Course and Clubhouse

1701 N. Willow • Avoca • 712-343-6979

Open Daily 8am.-10pm.



Carson •

Dreamland Theater

107 Broadway • 712-484-2281 • Carson

Restored theatre offering the latest 3D digital movies. Open Fri-Sun. with shows at 7:30 p.m

Pottery by the Creek

13063 432nd St. • Carson • 712-310-4534 • •

Call ahead for an appointment. Pottery and ceramic sculpture by Paul Koch. Visit Paul at The Painted Camel in downtown Macedonia.

Carter Lake •

A great recreational spot, Carter Lake is named for an oxbow lake formed by flooding in 1877.

Eagle of Honor •

950 East Locust St. • Carter Lake

A magnificent bronze eagle sculpture fountain by Russell Christensen is a community landmark in Carter Lake.

Council Bluffs •

Council Bluffs, Iowa, what a surprise! Genuinely nice people proudly welcome you to a community laced with trails, water and diamonds. Music, nature, and the latest bedding wrap you with the promise of lasting memories and a good night's sleep. The stunning beauty of parks and sunsets bring the amazing sky that much closer. Here's your invitation to experience our Iowa Spirit for yourself in Council Bluffs.

Ditmars Orchard •

19475 225th St. • 712.256.7053

Started as a family project in 1994 now one of the largest orchards in Iowa. Features apples, pumpkins, strawberries, apricots, peaches and cherries. They also carry a wide selection of native Iowa wines that can be purchased by the bottle or by the glass. Events throughout the growing season.

Tom Hanafan River’s Edge Park
& Bob Kerry Pedestrian Bridge •

(712) 328-4650 North 40th Street and Avenue B in Council Bluffs

The Tom Hanafan River’s Edge Park is a public access green space along the scenic Missouri River. Its public use green space is a venue for an assortment of community events and is the Iowa gateway to the Bob Kerry Pedestrian Bridge, the longest pedestrian bridge to link two states. This architectural marvel, completed in 2008 is 3000 feet long with two main pylons rising 210 feet in the air. Walk this scenic route and get a bird’s eye view of the Missouri River from 60 feet above. Admission is free.


Crescent •

Loess Hills Vineyard & Winery

1120 Old Lincoln Hwy • Crescent • 712-545-3054 •

Open Thurs. 12-8 p.m., Fri.-Sat., 12-p.m., Sun. 12-6 p.m. Sample some of Midwest Iowa’s finest wine while enjoying a breathtaking view of the Scenic Loess Hills of Western Iowa.

Living Loess •

Eight artisan attractions located within 20 miles of each other nestled in the Loess Hills of Pottawattamie and Harrison Counties of Western Iowa. Every third Saturday from 9 am to 3 pm (May through October) enjoy special programs and discounts! Visit Living Loess attractions and get a firsthand look at the scenic views, history, art and products being created here. Living Loess on You Tube.


Mt. Crescent Ski Area • Screaming Eagle Zip Line

17026 Snow Hill Lane • Honey Creek • 712-545-3850 •

The longest zip line in Iowa & Nebraska, and one of the longest in the entire U.S.A.  An intense high flying zipline ride 5 football fields long reaching speeds of over 40 mph.  

Zip Line Video


Mt. Crescent Ski Area

17026 Snow Hill Lane • Honey Creek • 712-545-3850 • •

Great skiing, snowboarding, and tubing in the beautiful Loess Hills. Double chair lift, quad chair lift, complete ski school program, equipment rentals, snow-making equipment, ski lodge with lounge and restaurant. Rent the lodge for special events. Check the website for hours and dates.



Griswold •

3 Bee Farms

14922 535th St. • 712-778-4256 •

2010 marked the 80th anniversary of this 1300 tree orchard. Produce from A to Z available at the onsite retail store, The Apple House. Fun Family events each weekend in the fall featuring hayrides, corn maze, family games and pumpkin patch.


Hancock •

Botna Bend Park

42926 Mahogany Rd. Hancock • 712-741-5465 •

Offers camping, fishing, picnic area, hiking trails, playground, kids Nature PlayScape, archery range, West Nishnabotna Water Trail access, and canoe and kayak rentals. Visitors can also view elk and bison that roam freely inside fenced areas.


Honey Creek •

Hitchcock Nature Center

27792 Ski Hill Loop • Honey Creek • 712-545-3283 •

Open 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. year-round. Located on the Loess Hills Scenic Byway, this park and wildlife preserve offers scenic views of over 1,268 acres of Loess Hills bluffs and native prairie. Recreation includes hiking trails, accessible boardwalk trail, picnic shelters, archery range, wildlife viewing/hunting blind, tent and modern campsites, the Loess Hills Lodge Interpretive Facility, and a 45’ observation tower.

Loess Hills Lodge Interpretive Facility At Hitchcock Nature Center

March-November, Tuesday-Saturday 9 am-5 pm & Sunday 1-5 pm; December-February, Friday-Saturday 9 am-5 pm & Sunday 1- 5 pm. A unique exhibit gallery featuring a variety of hands on activities for visitors of all ages. Children can visit Curiosity Cove to make animal prints, build their own habit, read nature stories and compete in a scavenger hunt. Other features include a raptor exhibit and information on the formation of Iowa’s Loess Hills and the communities they support today.


Macedonia •

Grist Mill

Bringing the arts to Southwest Iowa since 1977. This 132 seat theatre in addition to stage performances offers visual art shows, garden tours and concerts.

313 Main St. • P.O. Box 136 • Macedonia • 712-486-2216 • •

The Painted Camel Gallery

Fine art and craft gallery featuring regional artwork.

320 Main St. • Macedonia • 712-310-4534

The Painted Camel will be part of the 2016 Southwest Iowa Art Tour.  



Original Mormon Trail Settlement Site

10,000 pound red granite boulder commemorating Old Macedonia where the Mormons approached the West Nishnabotna River crossing on June 12, 1846.

Pioneer Trail Museum

316 Main Street • Macedonia • 712-486-2323 • •

Open May-October. Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 9:00-noon, except Wednesday afternoons 1-4:00 p.m. or by appointment.

Call 712-486-2568 or 712-486-2323.

Stempel Bird Collection

311 Main St. • Macedonia • 712-486-2323 • •

Tours by appointment. • A collection of more than 300 mounted birds including many rare species and some over 100 years old. Known as one of the finest in the State, Dr. Stempel a self-made authority in the areas of ornithology has left a legacy to future generations to observe species rapidly becoming endangered and may soon be extinct.


McClelland •


21557 270th St. • McClelland • 712-566-2202 • email: •

SCOLA is a non-profit educational organization that receives and re-transmits television programming from around the world in native languages. Tours of the facilities with an orientation to the SCOLA programming by appointment.


Minden •

Breezy Hills Vineyard & Winery

31735 Tamarack Rd. • Minden • 712-485-2083 •

Winter/Spring Hours: Sat 10-5, Sun 1-5. Summer Hours: Tues-Fri 11-6, Sat 10-6, Sun 1-5, closed all Mondays. • Stop for a glass of one of their award winning wines, while enjoying panoramic views of the Western Iowa countryside. Music events are held periodically throughout the summer.


Neola •

Arrowhead Park

29357-310th St • Neola • 712-485-2295 • • 147-acre park surrounding a 17 acre fishing lake offering modern camping, cabin rentals, picnicking, equestrian facilities, ice skating, playground, shelter rentals, sand volleyball, nature trails, basketball court, ice fishing, fishing docks, paddle boat, and canoe rentals.

Russ & Penny’s Visions Art Gallery: Paintings & Bronze Sculpture by Two Iowa Artists

510 Front St. • Neola • 712-485-2618 • •

For over 30 years, artists Russ and Penny Christensen have been creating bronze sculptures and paintings.

Phoenix Theater

307 Front St. • Neola • 712-485-8051 •

Neola's "Phoenix:" movie theatre was built in 1913. It was the area's highlight of entertainment for nearly 50 years. New stadium style seating and 3D digital movies will be sure to create a great experience for all.


Oakland •

Big Grove Country Inn Bed & Breakfast

18807 450th St. • Oakland • 712-482-6840 •

Enjoy the comforts of this country bed and breakfast. See a 1850s log cabin, which forms the heart of the house, an 1878 one room country schoolhouse, and a 1890s country wedding chapel. See website for events.

Loess Hills National Scenic ByWay

712 S. Hwy 6 • Oakland • 712-482-3029 • •

For more information contact: Golden Hills R C & D.

Nishna Heritage Museum

117 N. Main • Oakland • 712-482-6802

Apr.-Dec. 31. Mon.–Fri. 11 a.m.–3 p.m. and by appointment. Take a trip back in time when life was simpler. This museum has several displays, including collections of dolls, tools, clothing from the Victorian era, household items, etc. Don’t miss the quilted map of Iowa created in 1900.

Thistleberry Cottage

17429 390th Street • Oakland • 712-484-3936 •

A comfortable, interesting, and affordable shopping experience for things you love.


Shelby •

Carstens 1880 Memorial Farmstead

32409 380th St. • I-80, Exit 34 • Shelby • 712-544-2341 •

Tours by appointment. • This 1880 farmstead is a living history exhibit of how farming practices have evolved from hand labor to horse machinery to tractors giving visitors a look at the things that have formed our rural heritage. Our motto is, “Preserving and celebrating Iowa’s farm history.” Unique seasonal activities and demonstrations make history and the rural spirit come alive. National Register of Historic Places.

Rock Island Old Stone Arch Nature Trail

Shelby City Hall • 419 East St. • Shelby • 712-544-2404

An 1883 report by the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad listed only four 30’ arch culvert bridges -- the Shelby bridge was one of them and has been named the first railroad structure built in Shelby County. Most railroad bridges in Iowa were wood or timber, but limestone for the trestle was believed to have come from a quarry in Earlham, Iowa, not far from the railroad’s main line in that area.

Agricultural Symbol

I-80 Exit 34 • 76’ steel sculpture highlighting the major commodities produced by area farmers -- corn, beef and pork.


Treynor •

Prairie Crossing Vineyard and Winery

31506 Pioneer Trail • Treynor • 712-487-3812•

A family-operated vineyard and winery perched atop rolling hills. Panoramic views of the vineyard and countryside while enjoying some of the best wines in Iowa.


Underwood •

Community Center-UMBA Hall

712-566-2222 •

9,600 sq. ft. hall for receptions, dances and meetings. Skating Fridays Oct.-Apr.


Walnut •

Back Alley Barn Quilt Project

A fun project was begun in the spring of 2010 to beautify the back alleys of downtown Walnut. Why the alleys, you ask? Many of our customers must use the alley ways to pick up their purchased items from the shops. We realized that the alleys were somewhat of an eyesore and decided a great way to brighten them up would be to add some barn quilts and landscaping.

Burma Shave Signs Walnut

Our Iowa Magazine hatched a plan to erect a set of "Burma-Shave" signs in each of Iowa's 99 counties. Walnut was fortunate to have been chosen as the single set of signs for Pottawattamie County. The signs have been installed on Antique City Drive, which is the main thoroughfare from Interstate 80 into Walnut. Take a trip through the 99 Iowa counties to discover each set of old-fashioned and nostalgic "Burma-Shave" signs. We think that the signs will add to the fun that visitors to Iowa can anticipate!!!

Iowa’s Antique City • Walnut Welcome Center

607 Highland St. • Walnut • 712-784-2100 •

Turn-of-the-century brick streets, globe street lights and hitching posts. Over 17 antique shops.

Monroe One-Room Country Schoolhouse

610 Highland St. • Walnut • 712-784-2100 or 712-784-2244

Contact the Visitors Center for tour information. • 1920s country schoolhouse.

Rolling Hills Bank

300 Antique City Dr. • Walnut

National Register of Historic Places

Built in 1880, this structure is Mission/Spanish Revival, Classical Revival styles of architecture.

Walnut Creek Historical Museum

304 Antique City Dr. • Walnut • 712-784-2100 or 712-784-3663

Open Memorial Day through Labor Day, Sat and Sun 1-4 p.m. and by appointment

Many of the items in the museum date from 1870s & 1880s, when Walnut was a thriving prairie town of 1,000 people. Housed in the former Masonic Lodge, the museum includes kitchen and parlor room exhibits, furniture, and clothing.

Walnut Mural Tour

The Walnut Mural Project. Twenty seven artists used their imagination and creativity to develop murals and signs, enhancing the ambiance of " Iowa's Antique City". While visiting, make it your project to find them all and find the letter on each one, spelling WALNUT. This can be a fun family adventure!