STEAMBOAT ROCK - When it comes to tourist attractions in eastern Hardin County, most tend to flock to nature at its best at Pine Lake State Park.
For those who want to experience a little more of what nature has to offer, head north to the relatively-new Sac & Fox Overlook, just one mile north of Steamboat Rock.
The overlook, which is just a few miles from Pine Lake State Park, opened in 2010 and provides sweeping views of the Iowa River valley and a chance to experience nature in a serene setting.
T-R PHOTO BY ANDREW POTTER
The sweeping view of the Iowa River valley is a memorable one at the the Sac & Fox Overlook one mile north of Steamboat Rock.
It is operated by the Hardin County Conservation Board and its director, Wes Wiese, said it has been well-received.
"It's a great way to showcase what the greenbelt looks like," Wiese said. "It showcases the geology and the beauty of it."
A modern picnic shelter makes the area a perfect place for a lunch or small gathering. It also is hosting 18 weddings this year. At the shelter, there is a series of informational items detailing the history of the area and viewers available to get a closer look down the valley. The area is named for the Sac & Fox Tribe, who were former inhabitants of the land.
There is also a view of the Highway 20 bridge which seems to appear and then disappear among the trees in the distance. Those wanting to get a more in-depth look can take a primitive hiking trail down to the river.
Wiese said the overlook takes people by surprise as it appears in the middle of farmland in rural Hardin County.
"They can't believe that the valley is there," Wiese said. "It's well hidden and kind of a secret valley."
For more information call the Hardin County Conservation Board at 641-648-4361.
Each Monday this summer the Times-Republican will feature stories on local landmarks that help make this area unique.