Enjoy the beautiful fall colors of the Loess Hills of western Iowa. Visit Hitchcock Nature Center, DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge, Small’s Fruit Farm and other scenic locations in the Loess Hills.
Friday, October 28, 2022
8:30 am – 6:00 pm
Tour starts at the Comfort Inn & Suites, 7007 Grover Street, Omaha
$115 per person
Price includes coach transportation, driver gratuity, church luncheon, attraction admissions, and afternoon pie at Small’s Fruit Farm
Tour reservation deadline September 28, 2022
Highlights: 1884 Danish church in the countryside - Preparation Canyon scenic overlook - Apple pie at Small’s Fruit Farm - Moorhead Culture Center and Gift Shop - Loess Hills ranger presentation at Hitchcock Nature Center - Homemade lunch at a local community church - Steamboat Bertrand Museum at De Soto National Wildlife Refuge
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. A ranger will give us a slide presentation on what makes the Loess Hills unique. Then we will have a little time to enjoy the scenic fall colors from the center’s observation deck.
We then visit the Steamboat Bertrand Museum at DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge in Missouri Valley, Iowa. The Bertrand sank in the Missouri River in April 1865 while traveling north to deliver merchandise to the gold mining towns in Montana. Half of its cargo was recovered during an excavation in 1968, more than 100 years later. Today the artifacts are displayed at the refuge’s visitor center. The display makes up the largest intact collection of Civil War era artifacts in the United States and are an invaluable time capsule of everyday life during that period. After touring the artifacts, we will drive to the actual location of where the Bertrand sank over 150 years ago. The Bertrand recovery site is now solid ground due to the change of the Missouri River course over time.
Lunch will be in at a small Lutheran church in the community of Moorhead, Iowa. The ladies of the parish will provide a home cooked lunch just for our group. Nearby is the Loess Hills Visitor Center and Gift Shop. The gift shop contains artworks for sale by local artists and craftsmen. Leaving Moorhead, we 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 deck which provides a panoramic view of the Missouri River Valley for miles and miles.
We will complete the day with a visit to Small’s Fruit Farm where you will enjoy fresh apple pie and coffee. The family fruit farm is surrounded by apple orchards; you can pick your own apples or purchase them in the farm sales barn.