Loess Hills Wildlife Management Area - Sylvan Runkel State Preserve Professional Guide
Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook
"There’s good reason this is home to the Loess Hills Prairie Seminar: These two preserved areas encompass some of the most incredible terrain for hiking and naturalizing in western Iowa. From your ridgetop perch, billowing bunchgrasses and prairie wildflowers of every hue encircle you. Dramatic, forest-covered hills extend to the south and east. To the west the wrinkled hills plummet down to a patchwork quilt of agricultural fields in the Little Sioux and Missouri floodplains.
The one trail within the preserve follows the narrow, branching ridgeline covered with tall- and mixed-grass prairie. From atop a high point along the ridge, notice that woodlands thrive on the moist north- and east-facing slopes. Though the preserve is dominated by prairie, colonizing shrubs such as eastern red cedar, rough-leaved dogwood, and sumac climb up the ravines, which are soon invaded by woodlands."