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The Hitchcock Nature Center exists to develop and foster appreciation and understanding of the Loess Hills as a globally significant landform through environmental education, land management, and low-impact recreation.
Hitchcock Nature Center (HNC) is a 1,103 acre preserve owned and operated by the Pottawattamie County Conservation Board. HNC is located in the globally significant Loess Hills of western Iowa. The Loess Hills are a rugged landform that extends in a narrow band (3-10 miles wide) along the Missouri River. These massive drifts of silt were deposited by windstorms carrying glacial material from the Missouri River valley during the Ice Ages. Following deposition, periods of erosion sculpted the hills into the picturesque bluffs, precipitous peaks, and rugged ridges that seem to spring up from nowhere out of the flat Missouri River floodplain. Within the Loess Hills can be found the majority of Iowa's remaining natural areas including remnant prairie and bur oak woodlands. These disappearing plant communities provide the last remaining habitat for many rare plant and animal species.
Nearly 10 miles of trails wind through parts of the preserve and afford the opportunity for visitors to experience the globally significant Loess Hills firsthand. Visitors can head into the Lodge for more geologic history.
Hitchcock Nature Center Hours: 6:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Loess Hills Lodge (Interpretive Facility) at Hitchcock Nature Center Hours:
Summer Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Sunday 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Winter Hours: Friday-Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. & Sunday 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Take the elevation at the intersection of Bluestem Meander & Hidden Valley
What is the elevation change between that intersection and the destination?
What river valley can you see from this point?
Loess soils exist all over the world, but the depth of our Loess Hills exists only in one other place. In what country do they exist and what is the river valley are they associated with?
What kind of bedrock can be found in this area?
Email the answered questions to receive your points. Please e-mail your responses to Hitchcock@pottcounty.com and use EarthCache as the subject.
Land Manager, Chad Graeve, 712-328-5832
(No hints available.)
Last Updated: on 7/22/2015 1:59:00 PM Pacific Daylight Time (8:59 PM GMT)
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum