Historic Hills Scenic Byway


  • DesignationState Byway (1998)
  • LocationIA
  • Length105 miles
Dedicated Byway Visitor Information
Pathfinders RC&D
Statewide Byway Partners
Iowa Department of Transportation
Downloadable Historic Hills Scenic Byway map
Historic Hills Scenic Byway


Don’t be surprised to find yourself sharing the road with horses and buggies on the Historic Hills Scenic Byway—it’s just one of the ways you’ll feel as if you have stepped back in time. Over one hundred Amish and Mennonite businesses thrive in the Drakesville and Bloomfield areas. Many are open to the public, including Milton Creamery where locally produced cheese rivals that from Wisconsin.

Travel east to Lee County—this corner of Iowa was the first settled by Europeans. Visit Iowa’s oldest courthouse, the first church west of the Mississippi, the site of Iowa’s only Civil War battle, or trace the Mormon Pioneer Trail. In the historic village of Bentonsport, merchants keep old craftsmanship alive in their specialty shops.

With a magnificent state forest, two state parks and Iowa’s only resort state park, you’ll find plenty to do outdoors. The forests here are renowned worldwide for white-tailed deer hunting and a variety of bird species. The Des Moines River Water Trail has ten access points for paddling and fishing. Horseback rides on state forest and private trails are a highlight.

On the Historic Hills Scenic Byway, southern Iowa hospitality will greet you everywhere you go.

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