What in the World?- On the Trail for Stranger Things

Council Bluffs-  Her eyes are said to follow you as you walk around! 

The Black Angel depicts a dream of death and is located in a turn of the century cemetery. 

This bronze actually named the Ruth Ann Dodge Memorial for the wife of General Grenville Dodge was crafted by Samuel French of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. You can see this statue at North 2nd Street and Lafayette Avenue on the edge of Fairview Cemetery.

The Historic Squirrel Cage Jail- had no escape from the pie shaped cells- that is until the central cylinder was rotated to the only opening.  A paranormal favorite, this jail was finished in 1888 and was the only three story jail of 18 such jails that were built in the United States. Now a museum at 226 Pearl Street, it is open to the public- but you may not want to go alone.


Carter Lake- You may not know where you are, it’s that confusing.  Iowa?  Nebraska?  You would think the state in which a city resides would be obvious.  But the Saratoga Bend created a tug-of-war between Nebraska and Iowa in 1875 when the Missouri River shifted 1.25 miles South and East, leaving an ox bow lake and this city on the Nebraska side of the river. In 1892, the Iowa Supreme Court determined the city of Carter Lake is part of Iowa. You can see the bend in the river and the lake today in the shadow of the Omaha skyline.


Honey Creek-They say it’s relaxing when a goat stands on your back.

The latest rage is Goat Yoga, and two goat farms near Honey Creek feature this popular trend.  Honey Creek Creamery, 25593 Old Lincoln Highway, www.honeycreekcreamery.com, and Doe’s and Divas Dairy, 31140 185th Street. www.doesnaddivas.com, will put the Zen into your day.  Both dairies feature yoga sessions led by trained instructors.


Neola- A deer won’t snort on your food, but you might think so!  With a name like Buck Snort and menu items like Swamp Donkey Burger, no wonder this community restaurant has wild animals proudly displayed above the diners’ heads.  Located at 113 4th Street in Neola, this restaurant is so popular it has several locations.  Check out their website www.bucksnortrestaurants.com


Avoca-Eight giant legs and huge black body looks menacing regardless of the time of day- or night!  The Volkswagen Beetle Spider is a sculpture really made of a car and other metal parts.  Stand under it if you dare at 649 South Chestnut Street.

Step into a former mausoleum, funeral parlor, and sexton’s office.  The odd octagon-shaped Graceland Cemetery Chapel was constructed about 1875 in Graceland Cemetery, Avoca’s public cemetery. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986.


Shelby.  Just off Interstate I-80, this agricultural symbol is the tallest corn stalk at 76 feet tall!  This steel sculpture highlights the major commodities produced by Iowa farmers- corn, beef, and pork. 


Walnut. This shop specializes in the unique and unusual.  The name Rusty Farm Girls sounds rough and old, but inside 202 Antique City Drive the place is loaded with delightful and primitive treasures.  In fact, the entire downtown is named Antique City Drive, so it gives you an idea of the vast selection of one-of-a-kind strange, unusual, or unique items waiting to be discovered.


Oakland- In the middle of the prairie, it may seem strange to run across prehistoric animal fossils and rocks.  But the oddities and everyday pioneer existence are preserved in the Nishna Heritage Museum, 117 Main Street.  Take your phone or camera!


Here’s a drive-by location, but a great one for that selfie photo!  If walls could talk…Rosemont, a rarely found Queen Ann Victorian Estate, lies on Highway 59 in Oakland, Iowa.  Built in 1912, this stately stone residence features oak woodwork, pocket doors, tin ceiling kitchen, a completely restored third floor, and more. This estate has been left intact for over 100 years and rests on gorgeous grounds that include a pecan orchard.


Macedonia. You would never know this town used to be elsewhere.  As one of the oldest and most historic towns in Southwest, Iowa, Macedonia was first founded on the east side of the Nishnabotna River in 1846.  But frequent flooding and the arrival of the CB&Q Railroad, the community was moved to its current location in 1880.  Macedonia has illustrated its rich history with ironwork railings in its picturesque downtown.  Another trail, the Mormon Trail winds through the town into the countryside nearby.

A must- see, believe it or not stop in downtown Macedonia is the Stempel Bird Collection, 311 Main Street. 

A collection of over 300 mounted birds including many rare and endangered species, some over 100 years old!  This collection, while unusual, is known as one of the finest in the state, preserved by Dr. Stempel, a self-made ornithology expert.


Treynor. Another drive-by spot, but a great one for posting in the unusual category. The Round Barn of Treynor was built in Section 26 of Keg Creek Township, just 3.3 miles from Highway 92 on Iowa 242, close to Pioneer Trail.  It seemed so logical, but it turned into a farm experiment that didn’t work.  The Treynor community began east of Council Bluffs in the late 1880s   One more interesting fact is outside the town was an Air Force radar base that operated during the early years of the Cold War.. 


Carter Lake - Wavecrest Park

112 Shoreline Drive
Carter Lake, IA 51510

Historic Squirrel Cage Jail

226 Pearl Street
Council Bluffs, IA 51503
(712) 323-2509

Honey Creek Conservation Area

28120 145 Street
Honey Creek, IA 51526
(712) 545-3283

Nishna Heritage Museum

117 Main Street
Oakland, IA 51560
(712) 482-6802

Stempel Bird Museum

311 Main Street
Macedonia, IA 51549
(712) 486-2323

Volkswagen Beetle Spider

649 S Chestnut St.
Avoca, IA 51521

The Buck Snort (Neola)

113 4th St
Neola, IA 51559
(712) 485-9090

Trail Map

More Trails to Explore

West Nishnabotna River Water Trail

Float along this 27-mile water trail ideal for canoes, kayaks, and tubes.

Wine Your Way Through the Hills Trail

Learn how Iowa is reclaiming its wine producing heritage on this trail.

Freedom, Faith, and Fellowship: Historic County Churches Trail

Follow along the trail that illustrates the faith of our farming forefathers.

Loess Hills National Scenic Byway (TM)

Marvel at this national trail that is rated among the best trails in the nation.

Stars and Bronze Tribute Trail

Pay tribute to the “Eagles of Honor”, the Freedom Rock, and other projects to Honor veterans and other public figures.

All Trails

Go back to our full list of trails!