Enjoy the beautiful fall colors of the Loess Hills of western Iowa. Visit Hitchcock Nature Center, Preparation Canyon overlook, an aronia berry farm and other scenic locations.
Thursday, October 19, 2023
8:00 am – 5:30 pm
Tour starts at Lithuanian Bakery, 7427 Pacific Street, Omaha NE
$109 per person
Price includes coach transportation, driver gratuity, homecooked lunch at church, attraction admissions, and afternoon pie and ice cream at Smalls Fruit Farm
Tour reservation deadline September 15, 2023
Highlights: Loess Hills presentation at Hitchcock Nature Center - Preparation Canyon scenic overlook - Moorhead Culture Center and Gift Shop - Homemade lunch at a small Lutheran church - Aronia berry product sampling at Sawmill Hollow Family Farm - Ice cream and apple pie at Smalls Fruit Farm
Today discover the beauty and serenity of the Loess Hills of western Iowa. We begin our journey with a visit to Hitchcock Nature Center in Honey Creek, Iowa. Discover what makes the Loess Hills unique via a slide presentation. Later spend a little time enjoying the scenic fall colors from the center’s observation deck. Maybe catch a glimpse of a hawk or eagle passing through the area.
Our next destination is the Sawmill Hollow Family Farm in Missouri Valley, Iowa. Set on 150 acres in the Loess Hills, the farm is America’s first aronia berry farm. The berry is famous for being a natural antioxidant. From the comfort of the lodge, enjoy a tasting of foods made with the berries. These products include gourmet aronia salsa, aronia berry jelly, aronia berry syrup and even aronia chili starter. Sawmill Hollow also produces a variety of premium aronia berry wines.
Lunch today will be at a small Lutheran church in Moorhead, Iowa. The women of the parish will provide a homecooked lunch for our group. Nearby is the Loess Hills Visitor Center and Gift Shop. The gift shop contains artworks for sale by local artist and craftsmen. This afternoon we depart Moorhead to explore the historic 1884 Ingemann Danish Lutheran Church nestled in the Loess Hills countryside. This little wooden church was built by early Danish settlers in the area. Nearby is Preparation Canyon State Park with its scenic overlook. The overlook deck provides a panoramic view of the Missouri River valley for miles and miles. It’s also a wonderful place for group photos or a personal photo with a friend.
We will complete the day with a visit to Smalls Fruit Farm where you will enjoy fresh apple pie, ice cream, and coffee. The family fruit farm is surrounded by apple orchards. Once everyone is settled in with their apple pie and ice cream, the Smalls family gives a brief presentation on the history and operations of their family’s business. Covering five generations, the orchard has been in the same family since 1895. After enjoying the pie and ice cream, shop for apples and cider in their sales barn.