Missouri Valley Chamber of Commerce
Missouri Valley Local Attractions
DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge lies on a wide plain formed by prehistoric flooding and shifting of the Missouri River. Each spring and fall since the end of the last ice age, flights of ducks and geese have marked the changing seasons alongthis traditional waterfowl flyway.
During typical years, snow and blue geese utilize the refuge as a resting and feeding area during the fall migrationbetween the Artic nesting grounds and the Gulf Coast wintering areas. Bald eagles follow the geese into the area, with many wintering here until March. Countless deer, cottontails, racoons, coyotes, and fox squirrels are seen along refuge roads and in fields. Backwater areas of DeSoto Lake and several wetlands in the refuge serve as habitat for beaver, muskrat, and an occassional mink.
A Visitor Center with natural and cultural exhibits, 12 miles of paved and gravel roads along the Missouri River, numerous hiking trails, and the Bertrand Excavation site offer unequaled natural wonders. The Visitor's Center is open 7 days a week 9:00 to 4:30; closed some federal holidays.
During the 19th and early 20th centuries, more than 400 steamboats sank or were stranded between St. Louis, Mo., and Ft. Benton, Mt. The 1860-era sternwheeler Bertrand was discovered on the refuge in 1968 and unearthed the following year. Today, visitors may view the site of the discovery and tour DeSoto Visitor Center that exhibits the many thousands of artifacts recovered from the hull of the Bertrand. Call 712-388-4800 or go to their website, fws.gov/midwest/desoto.
The Loess Hills Scenic Byway is a mosaic of designated roads through the Loess Hills region of western Iowa. The scenic byway main route begins in Missouri Valley and consists of 220 miles of paved highway or county roads paralleling Interstate 29. When traveling on the byway, the traveler has the option of selecting 13 excursion routes for additional experiences.
The Loess Hills Scenic Byway in Western Iowa has been named one of the nation's most outstanding scenic byways." State officials and area residents developed the bywy, a chain of rural and local roads and attractions in the hills. Road signs mark the route.
The Sawmill Hollow Family Farm is located about 9 miles north of Missouri Valley in the beautiful Loess Hills. It was the first organic aronia berry farm in the United States. Over the past 10 years, the farm has researched and developed an entire product line from the aronia berry. The farm has a country store in which they sell their products and plants. The third weekend in September owners Vaughn, Cindy and Andrew Pittz host the annual North American Aronia Berry Festival with tours, speakers, educational programs, plant & product sales, aronia berry wine tasting, children's activities and music. For more information on tours, product lines, or to become a grower call 712-648-2432 or go to their website, sawmillhollow.com. Hours of operation are Wednesday through Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Directions: take exit 75 off I-29 then follow US 30 east to First Street in Missouri Valley (first stop light). Turn north onto IA-183/CR-L20 and follow north approximately 5 miles until L-23. Turn right (east) on L-23 and go approximately 2.8 miles to Kennedy Ave. then turn left 1/2 mile to 2159 Kennedy Ave.
Wisecup Farm Museum offers self-guided tours through yesterday as you walk through a large display of Minneapolis Moline farm machinery. New to the museum are a 1947 stub-nosed truck, an antique organ, a milk wagon replica, and more.
Inside the 1917 refurbished barn are tools, two buggies, a sleigh, and a 1946 GMC truck. On the surrounding property is a working windmill that pumps water, a one-room school house, as well as a covered pedestrian bridge where visitors are encouraged to sign their names. Check their website, wisecupfarmmuseum.com, for the calendar of events that are held at the barn each year. They include the annual Wisecup Country Music Vocal Contest, an annual Bluegrass Festival, and an old fashioned Halloween Party and Christmas at the Farm with Santa!
Located east of the I-29/Highway 30 interchange. 712-642-2114. Open Memorial Day through September, Tuesday & Sunday 1 to 5 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. FREE admission!!
MISSOURI VALLEY has a full plate of exciting events and popular attractions. Our town has all flavors of entertainment, from cultural to nature, educational to just plain fun! We have something for everyone! Check out the attractions below and make a plan to visit our area soon. Contact us for more information.
Watson Steam Train & Depot Museum has resurrected an attraction of yesteryear to once again steam around the rails in the Missouri Valley City Park.
The Watson Steam Train - a restored coal-fired miniature steam train built in 1948 - features an Ottaway steam engine, its tender, and passenger cars. In 2012, the attraction will also add a miniature gas-powered replica of an Alco FA-1 diesel locomotive from the late 1950's.
Kids of all ages can enjoy rides around the 1,800 feet of track that features a double loop, bridge, and tunnel.
Inside the depot/museum visitors can view a display of HO-guage trains, a collection of 160 brass replicas of every Union Pacific engine ever built, a small pedal train and track, a refurbished motor car, a collection of 85 train-themed plates, and a 6 ft. x 21 ft. winter-themed model train display featuring the fictional Iowa town of Winterview, in "Noel County" where it is always December 24th. Open May through October, Saturdays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays noon to 6 p.m. Also watch for the date in December of the annual "Polar Express" when Santa visits the Watson Station!
The Loess Hills Lavender Farm is a 15 acre farm located at 2278 Loess Hills Trail, just 9 miles north of Missouri Valley in the beautiful Loess Hills.
In 2009, Mary & Tim Hamer (owners/growers) planted 960 lavender plants to start the farm, In 2010 another 500 were planted. The farm provides a tourism outlet for the Loess Hills while enhancing the natural beauty of the hills. The Loess Hills dirt gives this alternative crop the soil richness and drainage it needs to thrive.
A newly erected Lavender product store holds a wide variety of lavender products for sale and there is also an area where you can learn how the Loess Hills Lavender Farm came about and has progressed since its start in 2009.
For more information, or to arrange a tour, call Mary at 712-642-9016 or visit the website at loesshillslavender.com.
Dahl's Berry Farm is all about berries. They sell black, red, and purple raspberries. Blackberries are also for sale if they don't eat them all! And, don't forget about the luscious strawberries!
Pruning starts in late February, the blooms come in May, then in late June the berries begin arriving. Dahl's Berry Farm has also started growing late fall raspberries for all you berry enthusiasts!
Look for Dahl's Berry Farm at the Farmer's Market at the Harrison County Historical Village east of Missouri Valley on highway 30 every Thursday afternoon from May through October.
Dahl's is located at 471 Park in Magnolia, Iowa. 712-648-2310
Harrison County Historical Village and Welcome Center. In 1937, a local resident and pioneer historian moved a log cabin and some artifacts to its current Highway 30 site. The site evolved into a village featuring a country store, blacksmith shop, and an 1868 rural school.
The evolution didn't stop there. A one-mile walking trail through 14 acres of re-established Loess Hills prairie was built in 2011, as well as an elevated handicap-accessible observation deck, an outdoor play space, and a 30-seat indoor auditorium.
Visitors will see an 1880's peddler's wagon, an original Lincoln Highway marker (one of about a dozen still in its original location), Indian artifacts, pioneer equipment and tools, early medical equipment, firearms, and more.
Year-round information and assistance, including free state maps, travel guides, and Loess Hills Scenic Byways maps are available. Crafts, food items, Iowa wines and souvenirs are available in the gift shop.
Join us every Thursday from May through October for the outdoor Farmer's Market where you can sample and purchase local produce, flowers, baked goods, and decorative items. For more information, contact Kathy Dirks at 712-642-2114 or at kdirks@historicalvillage com. Hours: Mon. - Sat. 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., Sunday noon - 5 p.m., excluding Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Day, and Easter.
The Museum of Religious Arts is located along the Loess Hills Scenic Byway. The Museum opened in 1995 and is dedicated to preserving the Judeo-Christian heritage for future generations. Exhibits include life size wax figures by Leone Chaney portraying nine biblical scenes including the Last Supper, a display of the ten commandments engraved on sand-colored marble from Mont Sanai, and an outdoors exhibit of life-size sculptures on Jesus Walking on Water, and reproductions of artworks by child prodigy artist and poet Akiane Kramarik.
The Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. Closed most major holidays. Bus tours are welcome.
Located 7 miles east of I-29 Exit 75 on Highway 30, 2697 Niagara Trail, Logan, Iowa. 712-644-3888
Missouri Valley Antique Mall & Craft Corner 13,000 square foot antique mall with a craft/gift corner in the back of the store. All on one level.
The Antique Mall is open 7 days a week: Monday - Saturday 9:30 am - 5:30 pm Sunday Noon - 5:30 pm
Located 1 mile west of the I-29 and Highway 30 Interchange: 1931 Highway 30, Missouri Valley, IA. 712-642-2125