newest state forest is located in western Iowa in Harrison and
Monona counties. Currently the forest is 9,080 acres in size. When
acquisition is complete, it will be approximately 20,000 acres.
Hills are a unique geographical formation that reaches its fullest
development only in western Iowa and China. The hills are composed of finely ground wind blown silt
from glacial deposits. As the glaciers melted, the Missouri Valley
became a major channel for enormous quantities of water. Each winter
as the glacial melt waters froze, large areas of flood deposited
sediments were left exposed to the wind. Silt, clay, and fine sand
from these areas were lifted and blown to the east and deposited in
the dune like hills we see today.
forest is open to hunting except for areas within 200 yards of
residences and the headquarters area. Hiking and cross-county
skiing is also available.
Preparation Canyon Unit has a small lake with good fishing. An
overlook on the north edge provides a spectacular view of the forest.
Canyon State Park is
located on the northeast corner of the unit. The park offers
picnicking, hiking and backpack trails with campsites.