Fall Foliage in Pottawattamie County

Nothing beats a relaxed autumn afternoon checking out Iowa’s stunning fall foliage. Over the next few weeks, we’ll see vivid colors popping up throughout the county. We’ve compiled a list of unforgettable places to see the best hues in Council Bluffs, and throughout Pottawattamie County, so you can spend more time viewing than searching. Grab your camera and get ready to fall in love!

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’re visiting.

After a long day taking in the fall foliage, unwind with a relaxing stay in a Council Bluffs hotel! Click on our hotel options to browse and book today. Don’t forget to use our Trip Planner Tool to help you plan your unforgettable getaway! As you browse the website, look for the pin icon to save things to do, places to eat, events to attend, blogs, and more. Once you’ve curated your list, you can send it to yourself, share it with friends or family, and easily access it anytime.

Places in Council Bluffs

Fairmount Park 

Photo taken by Kim Reiner

Cost: Free
Hours: 6:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. 

This historic park is a fall lover's paradise! From hiking on the trails to seeing some of the best views of the west side of Council Bluffs and the Omaha skyline, this park is a must-see for fall colors. 

Iowa School for the Deaf Nature Center Trail 

Photo taken by Buck Christensen

Cost: Free
Hours: Open 24/7

Talk a walk around Iowa School for the Deaf! Their nature trail is well maintained and takes you through their beautiful campus lined with colorful trees and prairie grasses. 

Lake Manawa State Park 

Photo taken by Tara Kerns

Cost: $5 for out-of-state visitors
Hours: 4:00 a.m. - 10:30 p.m. 

Experience fall at Lake Manawa State Park! Whether you take a drive around the lake, spend time hiking the trails, or set up for a picnic, you'll get to experience all the sights and sounds of autumn. 

Lewis & Clark Monument Scenic Overlook

Photo taken by Kate McNutt

Cost: Free
Hours: 6:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. 

See the Missouri River as Lewis and Clark did back in 1804 at this beautiful monument! Located in the Loess Hills, the site gives visitors the opportunity to take in the stunning views of the river and metropolitan area. 

Lincoln Monument 

Photo taken by d3adpool

Cost: Free
Hours: 6:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. 

The Lincoln Monument takes you up into the hills and allows you to see some spectacular views of the city! Watch as the fall colors mimic the beautiful hues of an Iowa sunset. 

Tom Hanafan River's Edge Park 

Photo taken by Ryan Lenihan

Cost: Free
Hours: 6:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. 

Fall in love with fall as you sit underneath the beautiful honey locust and river birch trees at Tom Hanafan River's Edge Park! Use the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge to access the fall foliage on the Omaha side of the river. 

Vincent Bluff State Preserve 

Photo taken by Megan Recker

Cost: Free
Hours: 6:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. 

The Vincent Bluff trail takes you on top of the Loess Hills and allows you to see the entirety of the Council Bluffs metro! The prairie grasses are a firey hue and the surrounding trees burst with colors this time of year. 

Wabash Trace Nature Trail 

Photo taken by policetacteam

Cost: $2 per day or $20 per year 
Hours: 6:30 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. 

Walk underneath the canopy as you explore the Wabash Trace Nature Trail! The majority of the crushed limestone trail is surrounded by beautiful native trees that won't disappoint you with their fall tones. 

Places in Pottawattamie County 

Arrowhead Park 

Cost: $3 per vehicle 
Hours: 6:30 a.m. - 10:30 p.m. 

Unwind at Arrowhead Park, just a short drive from Council Bluffs! Check out the stunning fall tones from a canoe, the trails, out the front window of your cabin, or from the shoreline. 

Botna Bend Park 

Cost: $3 per vehicle 
Hours: 6:30 a.m. - 10:30 p.m. 

Not only does Botna Bend have some of the most gorgeous maple trees, but they are also home to a bison and elk herd! Escape the crowds and enjoy time with your newfound bison and elk friends. 

Hitchcock Nature Center

Photo taken by onelapse

Cost: $5 per vehicle 
Hours: 6:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. 

Nestled in the Loess Hills, Hitchcock Nature Center is a nature lover's wonderland. The park is best known for its hiking and striking views. Climb the HawkWatch tower to get the best views and keep an eye out for bald eagles! 

Old Town Park 

Cost: $3 per vehicle 
Hours: 6:30 a.m. - 10:30 p.m. 

Get that back-to-nature feel at Old Town Park! The park is situated on the West Nishnabotna River Water Trail, allowing you to launch a canoe to view the fall foliage. 

Rock Island Old Stone Arch Nature Trail 

Cost: Free
Hours: Open 24/7

Venture further out into Pottawattamie County and check out the Rock Island Old Stone Arch Nature Trail! This four-mile paved path is great for taking the kiddos in the stroller to check out the views and enjoy the changing weather. 

The Fun Doesn't Stop There!

Hidden gems and long-standing favorites abound in Council Bluffs, whether you want to unplug or amp up. Of if you're looking to unveil the nightlife or create your own still life. Discover the fantastic food scene, or take in the unbelievable scenery. You don't have to search far for your new favorite place in Council Bluffs! Check out our recent blogs to get the insider's scoop on all things CB.

For a complete list of attractions, click here!

For a complete list of places to eat, click here!

Don't forget to book your hotel stay with one of our properties by clicking here!

This post was originally published on August 23, 2022 on the Unleash Council Bluffs blog.
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