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5 Fantastic Family Attractions In Iowa You Need To Experience In 2022!

National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium

The Mississippi River separates the border of Iowa with Wisconsin and Illinois, so it makes perfect sense that the river is culturally and historically significant in and around the state of Iowa. The National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium is part zoo, part museum, and part science center, featuring exhibits, live animals, and an incredible 4D immersive theater, among several other attractions highlighting the importance of the river to the enviroment and the people. The museum/aquarium offers fun educational opportunities for people of all ages. The Aquarium is located at 350 East 3rd Street, Port of Dubuque, Iowa. For more information, click here.

Blank Park Zoo

Blank Park Zoo is home to over 1,500 animals and over 100 different species. The 49 acre park is located in Des Moines and aims to inspire and educate. The zoo offers a wide variety of fun family experiences, guests can feed giraffes or watch lion cubs play. Other highlights include the red panda, and the cave, which houses fruit bats, and dwarf caimans, hissing cockroaches, and boa constrictors. Another popular feature within the park is the free range aviary, its home to a variety of forest-dwelling birds. There is also an aquarium that features several environments including coral reefs, rivers, and waterfalls. The Zoo is located at 7401 SW 9th St, Des Moines, Iowa. For more information, click here.

Adventure Land Resort

Adventureland Resort is the largest amusement park in Iowa, and is located just outside Des Moines. There are more than 100 rides, shows, and attractions featured at this family-owned resort. The park has opportunities the whole family can enjoy, from kitty rides, to massive roller-coasters, water-rides, to Ferris wheels. If that wasn’t enough, there is also an impressive water-park, known as Adventure Bay and it has a wide variety of water based fun activities. There are multiple swimming pools, a wave park, a relaxing lazy river, splash pads, and incredible water-slides. Adventureland Park also hosts several shows and other entertainment from live music, puppet shows, and stand-up comedy throughout the week, has plenty of concession stands selling a range of food and drinks, and modern restrooms. The park is located at 305 34th Ave NW Altoona Iowa. For more information, click here.

Arnold’s Park

Located in the town of Arnold’s Park in the heart of Iowa’s Great Lakes region, is Arnold’s Park the amusement park. The park features more than 30 rides, shows, and attractions, and provides a fun filled atmosphere for guests of all ages. The park has several rides of notoriety, however the Legend roller coaster and the 65 foot Ferris wheel really stand out and offer incredible views over West Lake Okoboji. The Queen ll offers a different type of ride experience. This riverboat is a beautiful old steamer that provides cruises on the lake. Live music, shows, and other acts, entertain guests at the Majestic Pavilion.  Arnold’s Park also offers world-class shopping, casual dining at several restaurants and bars, and a beautiful beach and lakeside boardwalk. Arnold’s is located at 37 Lake St in Arnold’s Park Iowa. For more information, click here.

Crystal Lake Cave

The cave system has been described as an underground labyrinth of wondrous mineral formations. With every step you take through the cave you will see a wide range of pristine stalagmites, helictites, and rare anthodites. Crystal Lake Cave offers two amazing tours, through this underground wonderland. The tour is well lit, and is ran by friendly, expert guides. The Crystal Lake Caves gift shop is packed with all kinds of mineral-related keepsakes, and the kids will love the Mining Sluice, where they can uncover precious gemstones, fossils, and other hidden treasures using water and a sifter. The cave is located at 6684 Crystal Lake Cave Rd Dubuque, IA. For more information, click here.

5 Epic Minnesota Waterfalls That Deserve A Spot On Your Bucket List In 2022!

High Falls at Tettegouche State Park

AMB-MD Photography / shutterstock

At 100 feet, these falls on the Baptism River are among the highest in the state. You can take one of two trails to reach them, with the shorter walk about a mile and a half. Several different photographs are possible from above, on the boardwalk, or the stairs that lead down to the base. A little further on, you will find Two-Step Falls. When they are in full flood, the two cascades of water flowing down are especially impressive, so pick your time to go – springtime or after heavy rains are ideal. For more information, click here.

Minnehaha Falls

AMB-MD Photography / shutterstock

The popularity of these 53-foot falls in Minnehaha Park is understandable because of their proximity to the city and the fact that you can hear the water soon after you enter the park. The flow is at its height after the winter snow melts, but there are plenty of visitors in the winter when the falls freeze over. Winters are cold in Minneapolis, so the icicles of the falls are guaranteed. They are the falls mentioned in Longfellow’s ‘’ Song of Hiawatha.’’ Aside from the views from above, you can go down either side of the falls to get different angles. For more information, click here.

Ramsey Falls

PBouman / shutterstock

The nickname for this park is ‘’Little Yellowstone,’’ and the highlight of any visit is certainly the Ramsey Falls, which have some good vantage points. While it is a two-hour drive from the city, this park has become a popular day-trip for families. The parking lot is just a short distance from the falls themselves, though, in total, there are four miles of paved trails for hikers. Campers will find plenty to do apart from looking at the falls. A museum and a small zoo are two other attractions. For more information, click here.

Willow River Falls

John Brueske / shutterstock

These stunning falls descend over several ledges into a 200-foot deep gorge en route to the St. Croix River. You have just a short walk from the beginning of the trail before you will hear and see the cascades. Four different places offer the chance of different photographs. The park covers a little under 3,000 acres, and with so many trails, it is a shame just to spend a single day there – camping facilities mean that you don’t have to. There is even a beach to enjoy in the summer months and excellent picnic facilities near the Little Falls Lake. For more information, click here.

Cascade Falls

dvande / shutterstock

This is a volcanic region formed billions of years ago. On just a three-mile stretch of river flowing into Lake Superior, there is a descent of around 900 feet. A convenient campsite is close to one of the main falls, so there is no reason to hurry away. The highest of the Falls is around 30 feet – one of four within the last 400 yards to the lake. There are trails either side of the water, with a bridge, making it potentially a loop. Springtime or just after heavy rains are the best time to visit. For more information, click here.

A State Park Near Branson Missouri, Set To Reopen With A New Name!

Late last week Missouri Governor Mike Parson announced the reopening and name of a new state park near Branson. The park formerly known as Ozark Mountain State Park will now be called Shepherd of the Hills State Park.

This picture is owned by Mathew Thompson

The plan is to open the park by the spring of 2024. The park will consist of 400 acres of rolling meadows, there will also be 6 different tributary streams found within. There are more than 700 known plant species and 53 different types of birds found at the park as well.

The director of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources said they are taking all comments and suggestions into consideration. So if you have any ideas for the parks development, you should contact Dru Buntin.

Governor Parson says the park honors the area’s history, and this is an historic event for the state parks system! “We are not only unveiling a new name, but we are also honoring a talented writer whose book brought tourists to the area so many years ago and continues to do so today.” he said.

In his book, “The Shepherd of the Hills,” Harold Bell Wright’s description of the region’s beauty detailed why he was drawn to the area, but it also caused readers to want to see it for themselves.

“As Missouri celebrates more than 200 years of statehood, it is fitting to recognize those whose lives have contributed to its rich history,” Buntin said. “Capturing the imagination of a nation, the vivid descriptions of the Roark Valley and the personalities of the Ozark Region were the impetus for the explosion of tourism and population growth in the Branson area.”

Renaming the park honors Wright’s contributions to the region. His description of the region drew thousands of visitors to the area for more than a century and will continue to do so for generations. The announcement happened on what would have been Harold Bell Wright’s 150th birthday.

The Park is located at 4424 Sycamore Church Road, Branson. For more information about the event, please contact Carl Bonnell, at 417-334-4704.

For more information, click here.

5 Adrenaline Pumping Missouri Adventures Thrill Seekers Will Love!

Off Road Adventure

ATVs at Shepherd of the Hills in Branson?  Yep!  Ozark Off-Road ATV Adventures lets you enjoy some of the prettiest acreage in the area, and get a cool adrenaline rush at the same time!  Technologically advanced CanAm Commander and CanAm Maverick vehicles are used for one hour excursions, giving riders plenty of time to explore.  You’ll receive basic instructions to get you comfortable with the vehicle and give you an understanding of the terrain you’ll encounter, and then head out with a trained tour guide for a 30-minute excursion. For more information, click here.

Mountain Coaster

 

The Copperhead Mountain Coaster lays claim at being the longest, fastest, and most scenic in Missouri. This fast paced ride is nearly a mile in length, and travels 1,450 feet uphill before racing back down another 3,350 feet. As you twist and turn flying downhill the coaster can reach speeds of up to 50 mph. The Copperhead runs both day and night and is quite a sight to see lit up with LED lights under a beautiful starlit sky. Riders must be at least 38 inches tall, and closed toed shoes are required! Shepherd of the Hills is located at 6021 W. 76 Country Blvd, Branson MO 65616 For more information, click here.

Scuba dive at Bonne Terre Mine

The Bonne Terre Mine is the perfect place for adventure!  The Bonne Terre Mine is the largest man made cavern in the world, and dates all the way back to the 1860’s. Inside the Mine, you will find Billion Gallon Lake, which is the largest subterranean lake on Earth. Today, divers can explore the underwater ghost town and see beautiful artifacts from days past, including entire buildings, a locomotive, mining equipment and more, all preserved about 100 feet under water. This is also home to the world’s largest freshwater dive resort. The mine serves as one of the most popular diving locations in the country, in fact National Geographic listed the mine as one of the top ten diving resorts in the world.  Dive tours are available for certified scuba divers. Or you can become certified through the Bonne Terre Mine. Bonne Terre Mine is located at 185 Park Ave., Bonne Terre, MO 63628.  Just 13 miles from beautiful Farmington.  For more information click here.

Timber Ridge Ropes Course

This massive 4 story obstacle course is a perfect way to get your blood pumping. The course features more then 60 different obstacles, including 2 zip lines, a balance beam, a swaying ladder, uneven bars, and a free fall of 40 feet off the  quick jump platform. To add to the excitement the obstacle course takes place, high above a pit full of alligators and snakes. The pit is here, for two very important reasons.  First it serves as a habitat, and home for 5 alligators, and one 20 foot python.  Second the pit adds a sense of adventure to those attempting to complete the course. The Ropes Course is located at Fun Mountain at 612 Devil’s Pool Rd, Ridgedale. For more information, click here.

Underground Kayaking

Located deep in the heart of the Midwest, lies a one of a kind kayaking experience that you will never forget.   Operated by Marsan Canoe and Kayak Tours, this amazing Adventure takes you into the depths of the long forgotten PPG no.9 glass mine. This experience is so rare, that I could not find any comparable trip in the entire United States. The 3 hour tour takes you up to 400 feet below ground, as you navigate your kayak through the flooded former sand mine.  On your tour you will pass such sights as the “Birth Canal,” “Gilligan’s Island,” “The Squeeze,” ” The Car Wash” and the “Townsend Center”which is the largest opening in the mine. All tours are run by expert guides of great personality, who do an outstanding job both guiding the tour and providing an interesting/entertaining history of the mine. To reserve your spot call (636) 208-5026  to find out more about this amazing kayak tour click here.

5 Iowa Beaches That Will Make You Feel A Million Miles From Home

Honey Creek Resort Beach

Honey Creek Resort/Facebook

Honey Creek Beach is located on beautiful Lake Rathburn, and is a perfect place for your next family vacation. There are water activities galore, including kayaking, SUP, and even fishing and pontoon boats are available. Guests can also enjoy biking and beach vollyball. In the event of rain you can take your party inside to the Honeycreek waterpark. All of this and your only a short walk away from restaurants, and bars. The resort is located at 12633 Resort Drive Moravia, Iowa. For more information, click here.

City Beach 

Clear Lake, Iowa/Facebook

Located on Clear Lake, south of the central business district, this .83-acre park provides a beach area for sunning, swimming, and water sports.  City Beach gives you the opportunity for a quick dip and to enjoy the lake environment.  Restrooms and outdoor shower available.  Convenient and free parking. For more information, click here.

Pikes Point

Pikes Point State Park is located southwest of Spirit Lake, Iowa. It is a small park on a point of land that projects into West Okoboji Lake. The beach is situated on West Lake Okoboji, is home to one of the most popular swim beaches in the area. Pikes Point is a nice setting for a family picnic, with several picnic tables and beautiful lake views. There is also a popular swim platform in the swimming area, providing a perfect place to sunbathe. The park is located at 21301 155th St, Spirit Lake Iowa. For more information, click here.

West Lake Beach

West Lake Park is located just outside the Quad Cities, near Davenport. The park has four lakes that are perfect for fishing and swimming. There are picnic facilities, disc golf, paddle-boat rentals, a playground, and two campgrounds. The beach is a great place to relax and enjoy a summer day. For more information, click here.

 

Big Creek Lake Beach

The beach at Big Creek Lake is over 1,300 feet long and has a playground, volleyball courts, picnic tables and wide open spaces. There are sailboats, and kayaks available to rent, as well as bikes and hydra bikes. The area is also a popular place for fishing, hiking and disc golf. The park is located at 8794 NW 125th AVE Polk City Iowa. For more information, click here.

Check Out This Camper With A Built In Porch!

Perch & Nest

Our family’s farmhouse on wheels is probably the most popular and sought after Perch & Nest tiny home to date. Designed and built in 2017 to house our family of four while mimicking the vintage feel of our 125-year-old homestead, this home quickly gained national attention as the featured tiny at the NC Tiny House festival, earning a dedicated episode of HGTV’s House Hunters, and continuous features in various online and print publications. If you are wanting to try tiny, see our design and construction in person, or just spend a night in the city of arts and innovation, this may be the overnight rental for you!

Facts & Features:

  • 36′ long, 8.5′ wide, 13.5′ tall
  • 2 lofts + 1 twin nook
  • Retractable Screen Porch & Panoramic Door/Wall
  • 100% Recycled Composite Decking
  • 100% Recycled Denim Insulation
  • P&N Signature Wall Material
  • Zero VOC Flooring & Paint
  • Built In Appliances
  • P&N Signature Soaking Tub/Shower
  • Handcrafted “Radiator Cover” Storage

For more information, click here.

Ranking The 10 Best Iowa Hawkeye Wrestlers Of All-Time

The legendary Iowa Hawkeyes Wrestling Team are one of the most storied programs in college sports history. So it wasn’t easy at all to create this top 10 list. This is just for fun so don’t take it too seriously. Let me know how you would rank Iowa’s top 10 guys in the comments.

10 Royce Alger

Royce was a 3x Iowa state champion in high school as well as a 3x all-american in college. Alger won NCAA titles his junior and senior year at 158lbs, going undefeated in his final 78 matches. After graduating Alger became a 3x U.S. Open Champion and a two-time Pan American Gold Medalist. As well as a 2x World Cup Gold Medalist, and a 1990 World Silver Medalist. It’s noteworthy to mention that Royce was also a 2x UFC veteran.

9 Lou Banach

Lou Banach won NCAA championships in 1981 and 1983. His overall collegiate record was 92-14-3. In 1984, Lou won a gold medal in Freestyle Wrestling in the 220-pound-weight class at the 1984 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles. He and his brother Ed became the first American twin wrestlers to win gold in the same Olympics.

8 Brent Metcalf

In High School, Metcalf went undefeated with a career record of 228-0, won four consecutive Michigan state titles, and earned six junior national titles. At Iowa Metcalf won two NCAA titles, and was awarded the Hodge Trophy for the 2008 tournament. On his was to the title he defeated NCAA Champions Jordan Burroughs and Bubba Jenkins. Metcalf finished his collegiate career with a record of 108-3. In 2014 Metcalf won the world cup championship at 65kg.

7 Terry Brands

Terry was a 3x all-american and 2x NCAA champion, winning titles in 1990 and 1992 at 126lbs.  He had a career record of 137-7 with the Hawkeyes. After graduating he was a two-time world freestyle champion at 58 kg, winning titles in 1993 and 1995. Terry also competed in the 2000 Olympics and won a bronze medal.

6 Jim Zalesky

Jim was a four-time All-American at Iowa from 1981 to 1984. He won the NCAA individual title in the 158 pound division in 1982, 1983, and 1984. He went undefeated his last two years, ending his college career with an 89 match winning streak. At the 1984 NCAA Championships he was named Most Outstanding Wrestler. Amateur Wrestling News named him “Wrestler of the Decade” for the 1980s. This occurred as part of a streak during which the University of Iowa wrestling team won seven consecutive national titles.

5 Joe Williams

Joe was a 4x IHSA  state champion at Mt. Carmel High School. At Iowa he was a 4x all-american, and 3x NCAA champion. He finished his college career with a 129-9 record. Joe’s senior year he was a perfect 34-0, and was named the Most Outstanding Wrestler at the NCAA tournament. Between 1999 and 2007, Joe won 7 U.S. National Titles, as well as a bronze medal at the 2005 World Championships.

4 Barry Davis

Barry grew up in nearby Cedar Rapids and was a 3x state champion with a 102-6 career record in high school. His winning ways continued into college, as he became a 4x all-american, and 3x NCAA champion under legendary coach Dan Gable. In 4 years he compiled an incredible record of 162-9! His 162 wins is a school record that may never be broken. After college Barry competed internationally, and in 1984 he won an Olympic Silver Medal in Los Angeles.

3 Lincoln McIlravy

Lincoln arrived in Iowa in the fall of 1992, already a 5x South Dakota state champion. It didn’t take long for him to prove himself on the college mats. Lincoln won his first NCAA title later that season as a true freshman. He followed that up again as a sophomore, before falling in the national finals his junior year to Steve Marinetti. Lincoln returned his senior year, defeating NCAA Champion Chris Bono in the finals to win his 3rd NCAA title. He ended his college career a 4x all-american with a record of 96-3. On the international stage Lincoln competed in two world championships as well as the 2000 Sydney Olympics, were he won a Bronze medal.

2 Ed Banach

When Ed showed up in the Iowa wrestling room, he and his brother Lou were often criticized for how hard they wrestled during practice. However, when that hard word turned into success on the mat most of the criticism stopped. By the time he had graduated Ed was a 4x all-american and a 3x NCAA champion. His career record of 141-9, sent him to the NCAA finals 4x. If that wasn’t enough, Ed also holds the school record of 73 pins in his college career. After graduation, Ed represented the United States in the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. He and his brother Lou became the first American twin wrestlers to win gold in the same Olympics.

1 Tom Brands

Tom was as intense of a competitor, as anyone who had ever put on an Iowa singlet. Brands finished his college career with a 158-7 record, and was a 4x all-american!  Capping his career by winning 3 straight NCAA titles, and earning an outstanding wrestler award at the 1992 NCAA tournament. Upon graduation Tom continued to excel on the mat winning gold at the 93 World Championships, the 94, and 95, World Cup, he followed that up with a Gold medal at the 96 Olympic Games in Atlanta.

Honorable Mention: Mark Ironside 2x NCAA Champion, T.J. WIlliams highest winning percentage in school history, Spencer Lee 3x NCAA Champion. Joe Scarpello first 4x all-american at Iowa Chris Campbell 2x NCAA Champion.

Compare this team with Oklahoma State and Penn State‘s top ten.

5 Amazing Wisconsin Campgrounds You Need To Visit In 2022!

Smokey Hollow Campground

“It’s all about the stuff!” is the moto of Smokey Hollow Campground in Lodi, Wisconsin and we can tell you Smokey Hollow does not disappoint! This family centered campground is all about having fun things for families to do together throughout every day. There are inflatables, giant sized shopping carts to ride in, firetruck water fights, dance parties, sundae bars and the list just goes on and on and on. This is a very popular private campground in Wisconsin that many families go to year after year.   Lodi, Wisconsin where Smokey Hollow is located has a Susie the Duck Day in August, a family festival with a lot of fun but most importantly rubber duck races!! The campground is located at W9935 McGowan Rd, Lodi, WI. For more information, click here.

The Hayward KOA

The Hayward KOA campground is located on 28 acres in the beautiful Wisconsin Northwoods. The campground has won the Kampgrounds of America, president’s award for the last 6 years! They have 157 RV sites, and 31 cabins as well as tent and teepee sites. There is also a 80,000 gallon pool, a 300 foot water slide, miniature golf, a mining sluice, and wagon rides, just to name a few of there many attractions.  If you’re looking for outstanding camping in the Wisconsin northwoods,  you’ve found it at the Hayward KOA! The campground is located at 11544 US Hwy 63, Hayward, WI. For more information, click here.

The Yogi Bear Jellystone Campground in Wisconsin Dells

The Yogi Bear Jellystone Campground in Wisconsin Dells will absolutely blow you away. Far more than a ordinary campground, there’s so much to do right there on site that you might find yourselves not even wanting to leave the grounds. It’s such a great place that it was voted campground of the year in Wisconsin in 2018.  They have tent and RV camping, along with log cabins and yurts available for rent.  The campground also has an on-site waterpark, and 18 hole miniature golf course.  If that wasn’t enough,the staff puts on themed parties every weekend. The campground is located at S1915 Ishnala Rd, Baraboo, WI. For more information, click here.

Wisconsin Riverside Resort

Just a few miles north of Governor Dodge State Park is a private campground we love Wisconsin Riverside Resort. This is a perfect RV park campground with a variety of RV amenities such as full hookups at camping sites, an onsite restaurant and camp shop. Dining on the patio is an extra special event that we don’t often get while camping. Riverside Resort offers many river activities including camping on a sand bar! Now, that is a unique experience! This camping trip took us to the Wisconsin River for fishing, kayaking and tubing down the Wisconsin River. This private campground is located only a half hour away from Governor Dodge State Park, so you can spend a day there hiking, and swimming too! The campground is located at S13220 Shifflet Rd, Spring Green, WI. For more information, click here.

Holiday Shores Campground and Resort 

If I had to pick one private Wisconsin campground that is our favorite, it would be Holiday Shores Resort in Wisconsin Dells. We spent two weeks at Holiday Shores which is right on the Wisconsin River and offers a beautiful sandy beach with a specified swimming area and inflatables, a heated pool, fully stocked camp store and food counter, kids club, and an endless list of activities. For the nature lover, it offers a front seat to the upper dells via the Wisconsin River, with watercraft rental (jet skis, ski boats, pontoon boats for tubing and skiing, paddle boards, paddle boats), boat slip rental and even personalized jet ski tours of the upper dells. For a secret hiking trail, go to site one right by the river, and you will find the trail head. This is actually on DNR land, and the hike is beautiful! If you have family members that just don’t like to camp that is ok, there are many camper, cabin and motel rentals available. Summer time is always a great time to camp but don’t forget fall in Wisconsin is beautiful. In Wisconsin Dells they celebrate fall with Wo-Zha-Wa (Fun Times in Ho-Chunk language) Festival, usually in mid-September to celebrate the end of the summer. The campground is located at 3901 River Rd, Wisconsin Dells, WI. For more information, click here.

5 Amazing Parks In Oklahoma You Have to Explore In 2022!

Robber’s Cave State Park

https://stateparks.com/robbers_cave_state_park_in_oklahoma.html

In the scenic, hilly woodlands of the Sans Bois Mountains of southeast Oklahoma, Robbers Cave State Park is a favorite of rappellers, equestrians, hikers and outdoor lovers. This park is named for the famous outlaw cave hidden in the formation of 300 to 1,500-ft sandstone hills and cliffs. The park and adjoining wildlife management area offer acres of discovery and enjoyment including seasonal trout fishing and hunting, miles of hiking and equestrian trails, rugged cliffs for climbing and stunning fall foliage viewing. For more information, click here.

 

Natural Falls State Park

Located near the Oklahoma/Arkansas border in the scenic Ozark Highlands region of northeast Oklahoma, Natural Falls State Park features a stunning 77-foot waterfall cascading through rock formations and creating a hidden, serene atmosphere at the bottom of a narrow V-shaped valley. A railed observation platform allows hikers to overlook the falls and another observation deck with seating is located at the foot of the falls offering two vantage points to enjoy one of the most scenic wonders in the state. The beautiful scenery looks familiar to many visitors because scenes from the 1974 movie, “Where the Red Fern Grows” were filmed in the park. For more information, click here.

Alabaster Caverns State Park

Enter one of the largest natural gypsum caves in the world at Alabaster Caverns State Park. This rare cave is open to the public, and the only gypsum show cave in the United States. Daily guided tours of Alabaster Cavern leave promptly on the hour from 9am-4pm. For safety reasons, a maximum of 40 visitors are allowed on each tour. A fee is charged for the tour. The cavern tour includes guided interpretation on a well-lit path.  For more information, click here.

Gloss Mountain State Park

Photo by: Donald Devine

An hour west of Enid in the rural town of Fairview rests a true Oklahoma treasure: Gloss Mountain State Park. The Gloss Mountains, sometimes called the Glass Mountains, have a high Selenite content that mimics a shiny glass exterior. Though there are no lodging or campsites located in Gloss Mountains State Park, guests can enjoy the Cathedral Mountain hike from sunrise to sunset. The spectacular scenery makes this a truly unique Oklahoma state park. For more information, click here.

Beavers Bend State Park

Melissa Stubblefield Hyde

Beavers Bend State Park is located in the mountainous region of southeast Oklahoma along the shores of Broken Bow Lake and the Mountain Fork River. Guests traveling down the winding roads through the forests of pine and hardwood trees will find adventure, beautiful scenery and plenty of activities inside this state park. The scenic beauty of Beavers Bend State Park makes it one of Oklahoma’s most popular areas. Towering timbers, crystal clear waters and rugged terrain make this state park an outdoor lover’s paradise. Visitors to Beavers Bend State Park will enjoy hiking, biking, boating, fishing, water skiing, nature center activities, river float trips, canoeing, horseback riding and much more. Trout streams are stocked year-round and the park features two catch-and-release trophy areas.  For more information, click here.

5 Epic South Dakota Waterfalls That Deserve A Spot On Your Bucket List In 2022!

Sioux Falls Park

Steven Frame / shutterstock

If you were asked to pick the highlight of the 120-acre Sioux Falls Park, you would likely pick the falls themselves. At over 100-feet high, thousands of gallons of water pour down every second. Sioux Falls dates back to the middle of the 19th century, and many historic buildings remain within the park itself. Queen Bee Mill is a seven-story structure that was only in use for a mere two years, yet it still stands today. Enjoy the art, Stocklands Ag Experience – an agricultural museum – and the Falls Overlook Café, where you can relax and take in the magnificent setting. For more information, click here.

Spearfish Falls

Jason Patrick Ross / shutterstock

The history of Spearfish Falls is very interesting. The railroad ran across the falls in the early of 19th century, a great experience for passengers. But a century later, the water was diverted to create hydroelectric power to a nearby gold mine. Suddenly, the falls were dry; they did not appear again until 2003 when the creek returned to its original route. South Dakota’s mines are long gone now. The railway has been closed for many years but its remains are in evidence. The walk to reach the falls is fairly simple; park your car at the Latchstring Restaurant and go ahead. For more information, click here.

Cascade Falls

Looking for an outdoor place for swimming in pleasantly warm water? Cascade Falls is the place for you. Its name tells the story: hot water emerges from a spring two miles above the falls and the natural pool below the falls just beckons you in to relax. The temperature averages 67 F. The setting is lovely and the water has helped the area to grow some lovely flora. Kids are able to enjoy shallow parts of the pool, which has deep areas as well. There is a little picnic spot for you to enjoy too. For more information, click here.

Roughlock Falls

John Brueske / shutterstock

The State Natural Area taking the name of these falls is a delight for waterfall lovers. Roughlock Falls is just off the main canyon and comprise two cascades pouring off ledges to create a lovely sight. Hikers are in for a treat and visitor facilities include parking, restrooms and an area given over for picnicking. Trails begin above the falls and head down to the base as well as lookout points. All are well-maintained and you can select from a number of viewpoints to get yourself a good photograph. For more information, click here.

Hippie Hole

There are two hiking choices to reach Hippie Hole in the Black Hills; one is just an easy walk from a nearby parking lot to the top of the falls and the other a real challenge. You will need plenty of water on a hot day if you accept the challenge; you will be walking downhill and must avoid the poison ivy. Either way, you will enjoy the waterfall once you arrive. Jumping from the falls to the pool below is a popular activity but you should not do that without some thought. You can sunbathe or swim and enjoy a picnic, but please take your rubbish home with you. For more information, click here.

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