Being a native Iowan, I can easily say that fall is my favorite season! The cooler weather and change of scenery is something I look forward to every year. Sometimes it can be difficult to anticipate when the peak fall colors will be showing, but luckily the Iowa DNR sends out Fall Color Reports that help estimate the peak viewing dates based on the portion of the state you live in. They are predicting that October 15 thru 22 will be the best viewing time for Southwest Iowa.

Here are some of the places that I recommend you check out!

1. Hitchcock Nature Center

Hitchcock Nature Center is undoubtedly a beautiful place to visit no matter what season it is, but fall is extra special. Not only do you get to see the leaves change color, but you also get to see the prairie do the same. I recommend climbing the HawkWatch Tower to get the best view!


2. Vincent Bluff State Preserve 

Hiking to the top of Vincent Bluff State Preserve allows you to get a 360-degree view of the entire Council Bluffs metro! I highly recommend stopping here so you can see how beautiful CB is in the fall.


3. Fairmount Park

This historic park, in the heart of Council Bluffs, has tons of beautiful old trees that are stunning in the fall! There is a scenic overlook that gives you a great view of the westside of town and the Omaha skyline.  


4. Wabash Trace Nature Trail 

Hop on your bicycle and enjoy a scenic ride on the Wabash Trace! Portions of the trail are completely covered by trees and it feels like you are riding through a tunnel of stunning fall colors.


5. Arrowhead Park (Neola)

Arrowhead Park is a wonderful place to spend a weekend camping while watching the seasons change. Escape the craziness of life and unwind at this beautiful spot.


6. Olde Town Park (Macedonia)

This small historic park is the perfect spot for a quiet fall picnic under some of the most gorgeous old trees! You can also take in views of the West Nishnabotna Water Trail while visiting.


I hope this list helps you plan a festive fall day! If we are missing your favorite place to see the fall colors, let us know. Email Emma Schwaller at If you take your camera with you, be sure to enter your fall photos in the UNleashCB Fall Photo Contest for a chance to win a GoPro HERO7 White!

This post was originally published on September 30, 2020 on the Unleash Council Bluffs blog.