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Hitchcock Nature Center

Mission: The Hitchcock Nature Center exists to develop and foster appreciation and understanding of the Loess Hills as a globally significant landform through land management, environmental education and low-impact recreation.

Attention

Pottawattamie Conservation parks are open for day use & camping without restrictions at this time. Pottawattamie Conservation is taking extra steps to maintain safety for our visitors including increased cleaning of public restrooms, indoor facilities, & cabins, providing hand sanitizer in high use areas for our visitors, & adjusting our public programming offerings.

 

We remind our visitors that COVID-19 is present in our communities & ask that all park visitors please maintain appropriate social distancing at all times, wash hands frequently, & recommend wearing a mask when visiting indoor spaces at your county parks. Please limit your groups to 10 or fewer individuals when visiting indoor spaces & please obey all posted signage in your county parks.

 

The Loess Hills Lodge welcome desk & gift shop at Hitchcock Nature Center is currently open:
Thursday through Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Sunday from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

 

The exhibit gallery at the Loess Hills Lodge remains closed to visitors at this time.

 

Thank you for understanding.

Hitchcock Nature Center
27792 Ski Hill Loop
Honey Creek, Iowa 51542
(712) 545-3283

Directions:
From Interstate I-29 take the Crescent exit and travel east to The Old Lincoln Highway. Hitchcock Nature Center is located 5 miles north of Crescent off of The Old Lincoln Highway.

Park Hours:
6:00 am to 10:00 pm

Park Admission:
$3.00 per vehicle, payable with exact change or check at the gate Park Map

Become a Member

Join the Pottawattamie County Foundation for as little as $20.00 to gain a year of access to Pottawattamie County parks. Join Today

Nestled on the rugged western edge of Iowa's Loess Hills, Hitchcock Nature Center (HNC) currently consists of 1,268 acres located near the center of the globally significant Loess Hills landform. The Loess Hills harbor some of the largest remaining prairie remnants in Iowa and provide refuge for plants and animals found nowhere else in the state. Hitchcock is open every day of the year for hiking, camping, picnicking, bird watching, snow sledding, star gazing, or simply enjoying nature. 

Hitchcock Nature Center is also the headquarters of two county-wide conservation programs:

Hitchcock Nature Center Trails Map

Hitchcock Nature Center Brochure

Loess Hills Lodge Interpretive Facility

Park Features

Adventure Packs

Archery Range

Geocaching & Earthcaching

HawkWatch

Every year, from September through December, birds-of-prey enthusiasts gather at Hitchcock Nature Center to observe and count thousands of eagles, hawks, and other raptors as they migrate south. The broad expanse of the adjacent Missouri River Valley, combined with prevailing westerly winds that move through the Loess Hills, creates the perfect conditions for migrating raptors as they soar on thermals and topographic induced upward wind deflections in their journey south. This “hawk highway” sees thousands of birds each year and helped launch the raptor counting efforts at Hitchcock.

Hitchcock’s HawkWatch began in 1991 by a group of passionate volunteers who devoted their time to counting each raptor they saw migrating through the Loess Hills. The program has grown since—receiving the Governor’s Volunteer Award in 2004 and becoming Iowa’s first important bird area in 2003. Hitchcock has become part of a network of raptor counting sites and has been recognized as one of the top twenty five hawkwatches in North America. Today, the HawkWatch thrives on the same dedication and passion of its volunteers. The numbers counted and data collected are entered into a national database that helps with raptor research and further learning opportunities.

Hitchcock HawkWatch
Visit our Hitchcock Nature Center profile at www.hawkcount.org for current HawkWatch data including species counts. 

HawkWatch Season
The Hawkwatch season lasts from September through December. Here are the best months to view your 

Hunting

Loess Hills

Playground

Seasonal Activities

Trails

Park Facilities

Backcountry Campsite #1- Hohneke Pond

Starting at $7.50

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Backcountry Campsite #2 Fox Run Ridge

Starting at $7.50

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Backcountry Campsite #3 Cottonwood

Starting at $7.50

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Backcountry Campsite #4 High Point

Starting at $7.50

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Backcountry Campsite #5 Badger Ridge

Starting at $7.50

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Backcountry Campsite #6 Shea Way

Starting at $7.50

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Backcountry Campsite #7 Heritage

Starting at $7.50

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Hitchcock Cabin 1

Starting at $51.50

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Hitchcock Cabin 2

Starting at $51.50

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Hitchcock Cabin 3

Starting at $51.50

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Hitchcock Nature Center Modern Tent Camping

Starting at $10.00

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Hitchcock Nature Center RV Campground

Starting at $15.00

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Modern Group Tent Campsite

Starting at $50.00

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The Bluestem Room at the Loess Hills Lodge

Starting at $175.00

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The Goldfinch Room at the Loess Hills Lodge

Starting at $175.00

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Park Staff

Chad Kunze

Hitchcock Nature Center Park Ranger
chad.kunze@pottcounty-ia.gov
(712) 545-3283 x5833

Read Bio

Hitchcock Nature Center Map

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