For my backpacking trip in Loess Hills, I do not want to hike the entire 200 mile byway, but I WOULD like to enjoy some of the byway’s scenery. I found this map on byways.org (http://byways.org/explore/byways/2187/travel.html) and I guess it’s as good a place as any to start.
I think I might start at the Loess Hills Wildlife Area, Turin Nature Preserve and Sylvan Runkel State Preserve, since that’s the general area of the Hills that I already know, and then head South to the Harrison County Historical Village and Iowa Welcome Center, then swing West just a little ways to the DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge. I’ll stop wherever I need to along the way and then when it’s all said and done (hopefully) head down to the zoo (via vehicle at that point in the journey).
This path is roughly 41.5 miles (detouring slightly to pass through Loess Hills State Forest instead of just passing it), and google maps thinks it should take about twelve hours to walk. I’m going to break it into three chunks and spend about four hours a day of hiking (or longer strolling leisurely instead of pushing it with a hike). This means leaving (roughly) the Thursday before Father’s Day, camping out that night, Friday Night and Saturday, then breaking camp and driving in to Omaha for the zoo on Father’s Day itself.
I’d really like some company for this, so if you’re going to be in the area leave me a comment.