Iowa's commitment to agriculture is evident on almost any scenic drive through its rolling hills. Breezes caress fields of oats, and the corn crop produced here makes this state the nation's leading ethanol producer. The fertile fields have supported populations for thousands of years, including ancients who constructed hundreds of effigy mounds that continue to boggle visitors and scientists.

Two Iowa scenic drives showcase this fertile land. The Great River Road follows the Mississippi along Iowa's eastern border, while the Loess Hills Scenic Byway cuts through a geography so unique that you'd need to travel to China to find anything remotely like it. The following links will take you to articles that contain photos, maps, and detailed descriptions of these two scenic drives. Here's a preview:

  • Great River RoadFans of the mystic flock to the Effigy Mounds National Monument -- 195 effigy mounds created by Eastern Woodland Indian Cultures thousands of years ago -- and stay to explore the Mississippi's diverse geology and scenes.
  • Loess Hills Scenic BywayFrom this scenic byway, explore famous trails including the Lewis and Clark, Oregon, Mormon, and California trails, and see stunning natural features distinct only to this region and China's Yellow River Valley.