Out And About: Exploring The Great Outdoors In Siouxland

When vacation time hits, you may find that it serves as an excellent break from the glowing screens and interior lights that dominate so much of our day-to-day. In our busy lives, it can be hard to find a moment outside to yourself at all, much less make time to spend fully immersed in the wild and wonderful natural world. A trip to Sioux City could be just the fix you need, with year-round outdoor excitement for the entire family. From a quiet place to sit and observe to a fast-paced ride down a tubing hill, if you’re looking for an off-the-grid destination with something for everyone, Siouxland is the place.

Stone State Park

Whether a traditional campout brought you to Sioux City or you’re simply looking to escape into the wild for the day, Stone State Park is a convenient way to get away without having to stray too far from the city streets. A sprawling sanctuary, the park boasts waterfront views, dense forests, and over 15 miles of trails. Designed with the outdoor enthusiast in mind, you can do a little bit of everything here, from snowmobiling to mountain biking to cross-country skiing (depending on the time of year you visit!) Plenty of camping sites and structure rentals are also available, so you can rest and relax without even leaving the park.

Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center

What if we told you there was an engaging, educational Siouxland spot that combines a passion for nature with the modern luxury of temperature control, conveniently tucked away in Stone State Park? You can find just that at the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center on Sioux River Road! Stay outdoors and explore your choice of conservation areas, wildflower gardens, or hiking trails designed to guide you to beautiful peaks. If you’re in the mood for an indoor adventure, they have a 14,000 sq. foot building packed with hands-on exhibits, space to observe fish and birds, and many displays to teach you the story of the gorgeous Loess Hills. Oh, and did we mention admission is always free?

Cone Park

No matter what season you find yourself in the heart of Siouxland, you’ll get all the outdoor family fun you can handle at Cone Park. Think of a frosty, snow-capped winter day that would usually have you in front of the TV or curled up with a good book. Now, imagine hitting the ice rink with the kids or taking a thrill ride down a 700-foot hill in a snow tube! Winter is no reason to stay cooped up inside, but even when the weather warms up, they’ve got hiking, a splash pad, and even a unique “Summer Tubing” experience for you to look forward to! While you’re there, grab a snack inside the lodge, or treat yourself to rest around the crackling fire pit.

Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve

Just a short drive from the heart of downtown Sioux City lands you in beautiful McCook Lake, South Dakota, home of the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve. Founded on a desire to give visitors a place to reconnect with themselves and the outdoors, the preserved limestone trails span nearly 10 miles of gorgeous outdoor space for walking and biking. Observe the serenity of the forest floor, or let the prairie lead you to its native wildlife and greenery. Don’t forget to schedule a guided tour of the period-restored Brusseau Cabin, Lamont Country School, or any of the historical buildings on-site, and give yourself a real feel for what daily life felt like in years past.

Siouxland Freedom Park

While the outdoors often means fun in the sun (or the snow, or somewhere in between), there is something to be said for combining the natural world with education and reverence, and Siouxland Freedom Park is the perfect place to do just that. In addition to dog-friendly greenery and walking trails, their main attraction is a stunning reproduction of DC’s Vietnam Memorial Wall. Located just over the Nebraska border, this park provides visitors the ideal opportunity to appreciate the sacrifice of our service members in a peaceful, open-air environment.

Get ready to make your own Siouxland memories in the great outdoors. Find out more

View the Free
Visitor Guide