Harrison County Attractions



DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge


1434 316th Lane

Missouri Valley, Iowa 51555


Refuge open daylight hours only.

Visitor Center open 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily.

Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day.



DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge lies near Missouri Valley, Iowa, on the wide plain formed by prehistoric flooding and shifting of the Missouri River.  Approximately, 7,820 acres are managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  DeSoto's primary purpose is to serve as a stopover for migrating ducks and geese.  During typical years, 550,000 snow geese utilize therefuge as a resting and feeding area during fall migration.  Prime viewing time is November; peak viewing time is around Thanksgiving.


A Visitor Center is open to the public throughout the year and houses the famous Steamboat Bertrand Museum Collection.  The Bertrand sternwheeler sank in the Missouri River on its way to deliver mining supplies to Montana in 1865.  Artifacts excavated in 1968 are on display at the Visitor Center.  The center also offers films and bird viewing areas and special temporary exhibits.


Visit the DeSoto website for more information at https://www.fws.gov/refuge/desoto.




Loess Hills State Forest


The Loess Hills State Forest Headquarters and Visitor Center is located at 206 Polk Street in Pisgah, Iowa.  The new visitors center is a central location to launch an exploration of the Loess Hills.  The visitors center features: interpretive displays of the forest and forestry, art display from the Fragile Giants Art Tour by the Brunnier Gallery at Iowa State University, landscaping with plantings of native species with interpretive walkways, parking accommodations for motor coach tours, meeting room, and restrooms.  For additional maps and information, stop by the center or call them at 712-456-2924.  Information is also available at Loess Hills State Forest website.




Loess Hills Scenic Byway


Bordering the Missouri River Valley in western Harrison County, you'll discover historical natural wonders in the unique and beautiful Loess Hills (pronounced "luss").  These rolling bluffs are a geologic wonder.  The deepest deposits of Loess soil are found in western Iowa and China.  These deposits form the high bluffs called the Loess Hills.


The Loess Hills National Scenic Byway is a mosaic of designated roads through the Loess Hills region of western Iowa.  The counties included are: Plymouth, Woodbury, Monona, Harrison, Pottawattamie, Mills, and Fremont.  The Loess Hills National Scenic Byway in western Iowa has been named one of the nation's "10 most outstanding scenic byways" by Scenic America, citing the "unique scenery and geologic and cultural interest."


Visit the Loess Hills National Scenic Byway website,  https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/byways/byways/2187, for more information.




Western Skies Scenic Byway


The 140 mile long Western Skies Scenic Byway gives far views on both sides of the roadway of terraced hillsides and farmsteads nestled into deep valleys.  The route spans the four counties of Harrison, Shelby, Audubon and Guthrie.  The Harrison County portion of the scenic byway begins at Missouri Valley and continues through Logan on Highway 30 to Highway 44 and then east, or to Woodbine and then east on F-32.


Contact the Harrison County Village and Iowa Welcome Center at 712-642-2114  or go to http://www.traveliowa.com/aspx/trails.aspx?id=12 for more information.




The Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway


The Lincoln Highway, America's first cross-country road, has been called America's Main Street.  The Lincoln Highway, which later became U.S. Highway 30, began in 1913 as an assortment of existing turnpikes, wagon roads, and trails between New York City and San Francisco.  By the time it was merged into a new federal highway system in the late 1920s, it had matured into a (mostly) paved, well marked, and highly promoted highway.


Lincoln Highway markers can be seen in Dunlap, Woodbine, Logan, Missouri Valley, and the Harrison County Historical Village.  Woodbine's Lincoln Highway is the best original brick street on the Lincoln Highway in Iowa.  Red, white, and blue Lincoln Highway insignias on some utility poles mark the original route.


Visit the Lincoln Highway website for more information at





Lewis & Clark - Corps of Discovery


In 1803, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark were commissioned by President Thomas Jefferson to learn and report about western geography, climate, plants, and indigenous people encountered on their grand journey to the West by search of the fabled Northwest Passage.   Lewis and Clark camped at several sites in what is now Harrison County.  Travelers of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail may view interpretive panels in Harrison County at Wilson's Island, DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge, Remington Access, and near Little Sioux.


Contact the Harrison County Village and Iowa Welcome Center at 712-642-2114

or go to http://www.nps.gov/lecl for more information.




Additional Tourism Links



Western Iowa Tourism

Iowa Association of County Conservation Boards

Missouri Valley Chamber of Commerce




© 2017 Harrison County, Iowa