By Brad Lane
Featuring a wide variety of trails, dense woodland, and scenic options for overnight adventures, Stone State Park is a western Iowa jewel of a natural space. Located just north of Sioux City, Stone State Park offers adventure throughout the year with hiking trails in the summer and cross-country ski tracks throughout the winter. Stone State Park also offers quick access to the many amenities offered by Sioux City.
From art museums to historic homesteads, here’s how to make the most of your time in and around Stone State Park.
Situated in the magnificent bluffs and ravines near the Big Sioux River, Stone State Park spans 1,069 acres and boasts lush forested spaces. With many miles of hiking trails, camping areas (including cabins), and prime wildlife viewing opportunities, Stone State Park is a sight to see.
Lined with a long row of late-19th-century buildings, all with a distinct Romanesque Revival flare, the Historic Fourth Street of downtown Sioux City could be a great accompaniment for your Stone State Park adventure. Filled with restaurants, nightlife and a handful of boutiques, half of the fun of visiting Historic Fourth Street is just catching the vibe of this preserved and pretty part of town.
Celebrating the time spent in Sioux City by the Corps of Discovery, the Sioux City Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center adds a little contextual history to enhance your visit to Stone State Park. See for yourself the trials and tribulations faced by the team led by Lewis and Clark, and specifically the time in 1804 when Sergeant Charles Floyd, the first U.S. soldier to die west of the Mississippi, perished near this side of town. Full of interesting and hands-on exhibits, the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center can add a little education to your visit.
Because you are inevitably going to build up an appetite while exploring Stone State Park, a great place to top of your adventure with a delicious meal is Main + Abbey in Sioux City. Situated at the Hard Rock Casino, Main + Abbey is a gastropub with a London flair, and offers plenty of food and libations to find your fill. With a plethora of first-class American inspired entrees, and over 30 craft beers on tap, if you end your adventure at Stone State Park with dinner at Main + Abbey, you’ll be ending your day on a high note.
To find some extra educational value with your time spent at Stone State Park, it’s worth checking out the Sioux City Public Museum in downtown Sioux City. Featuring a rotating selection of local and regional artworks, spanning all sorts of forms and traditions, with every visit you can find something new at the Sioux City Public Museum. Also featuring hands-on and interactive displays, the Sioux City Public Museum is a great way to round out the day for all members of the family.
Operated by the National Park Service and located on the National Register of Historic Places, the Sergeant Floyd Monument in Sioux City commemorates the passing of the first U.S. soldier to die west of the Mississippi in 1804, and the only soldier in the Corps of Discovery who died along the journey. Upon your visit to this towering obelisk, you can learn more about the conditions of Sergeant Floyd’s passing, and further understand your knowledge of the Lewis and Clark expedition and the role the surrounding Sioux City environment played in it.
Nothing pairs better with the nature you’ll find at Stone State Park than the art you’ll find at the Sioux City Art Center. Featuring a rotating collection of regional, local, national and international art, ranging from water colors to immense lawn sculptures, there is something to catch everyone’s eye at the Sioux City Art Center. Best yet, much like Stone State Park, admission is free to enjoy the Sioux City Art Center, making for an affordable day full of adventure.
If you are looking for some overnight accommodations that aren’t the campgrounds at Stone State Park, one of the most luxurious options you can opt for in Sioux City is the Stoney Creek Hotel. Standing proudly as one of the nicest overnight stays in Sioux City, Stoney Creek Hotel offers comfortable rooms, a friendly staff and a beautiful courtyard that lends easy access to the sights and things to do in downtown Sioux City.