Iowa is known for its landscape of rolling plains and cornfields. The University of Iowa borrowed its athletic nickname from the state of Iowa many years ago. The name Hawkeye was originally applied to a hero in a fictional novel, The Last of the Mohicans, written by James Fenimore Cooper. Author Cooper had the Delaware Indians bestow the name on a white scout who lived and hunted with them.
Iowa state parks will launch the new year, and the start of a year-long centennial celebration, with outdoor hikes across Iowa on January 1, 2020. First Day Hikes are being organized at 49 parks, the most to participate since the statewide event began nine years ago. Most hikes are one to two miles in length, and many include hot beverages either before or after the hike. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is planning numerous events to mark the 100th anniversary of state parks throughout 2020. Hikers can expect to be surrounded by the quiet beauty of nature in winter, and experience spectacular views, beautiful settings and the cultural treasures offered by Iowa’s state parks. Many parks will also provide hot beverages and snacks after the hike. Participants should dress for the weather, including warm, sturdy boots for winter conditions.
First in the Nation: Shaping Presidential Politics since 1972, Des Moines
Featuring images, film clips, newspaper articles and more than 100 artifacts from 1972 to 2016, the State Historical Museum of Iowa’s caucus exhibit helps voters and others understand the state’s unique role in presidential politics. Visitors explore candidates’ journeys through Iowa caucus cycle including their first exploratory visits all the way through their frenzied final hours. The exhibit, open now, runs through February 2020
Iowa is the “World Capital of Trails” with over 3,000 miles of trails for all ages, skill levels and seasons. Currently, cyclists, hikers, walkers, runners and other outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy nearly 1,700 miles of multi-use land trails across the state.
Only in Iowa will you find the world-famous Bridges of Madison County, made famous in the book and later, the movie of the same name.