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Loess Hills Scenic Byway – The hills of Western Iowa are one of the deepest loess formations in the world and the site of a unique collection of woodland plants, trees, and prairie remnants. This nationally recognized Byway continues its path through the Loess Hills in western Mills County. The Byway follows 221st Street through northern Mills County to Glenwood. Take highway US 34 east and then turn south on U.S. 275. The Pony Creek Excursion Loop in northern Mills County and the Waubonsie Loop in southern Mills County provides the traveler with scenic views of the woodlands and hills which make up these unique hills.
Mills County Historical Museum – This museum contains a large collection of Native American artifacts starting with those from the “Glenwood Culture” some 1000 years ago to arrowheads, tools, etc. from tribes in the area 150 years ago. The museum also depicts life in rural Iowa over the last 100 years through exhibits of clothing, farm equipment, and household conveniences. There is also a one-room school, a large peg and beam barn, a former jail, and a Burlington railroad caboose on the site.
Mid America Motorplex – MAM is a motor sports complex that was designed to cater to all road racers, drag racers and kart racers. During the racing season, drivers throughout the Midwest come to challenge one another on either the road courses or the drag strip.
Scanlan Windows to the World – A short distance from the community of Mineola, you will find the world reknown gallery featuring the fine arts photography of John and Debra Scanlan. The Scanlan’s have traveled the world taking photographs which record the natural and historic beauty throughout Europe, the tropics and the United States.
Castle Unicorn – Located in the Loess Hills, overlooking the Missouri River Valley is one of the most unique bed and breakfast’s in Iowa. Protected by its moat, this German style Castle is surrounded by 400 acres of forest and trails.
Wabash Trace Nature Trail – This biking-hiking trail provides the adventurer with an opportunity to experience the natural beauty of rural Iowa. The trail follows the former Wabash Railroad right of way, which begins in Council Bluffs and ends near the Missouri border. Along the way, the small towns of Mineola, Silver City and Malvern provide travelers with food, beverages and entertainment.
Indian Creek Historical Society & Museum – The site contains an outstanding collection of tractors, engines, and farm equipment used by local farmers from the 1920’s. Still in working condition, the equipment is demonstrated during their annual harvest days the second weekend in September. A one-room school and log cabin are also found on the site. A community breakfast is held on the 4th Sunday of each month.
King’s Crossing Vineyard and Winery – The hills of western Iowa have been known for the fine grapes and apples which have been grown there since the early 1900’s. Rick and Karen Foster raise a variety of grapes and have used them to develop a series of fine wines. A short drive from the metropolitan area of Omaha-Council Bluffs brings you to the old world ambiance of their winery where you can enjoy their wines in a friendly atmosphere found throughout rural Iowa.
Briar Patch Farms Antiques –
Antique Junction Mall – The Antique Junction Mall contains a wide variety of antiques and collectables from over 25 dealers. The Mall is conveniently located at the intersection of Interstate 29 and U.S. Highway 34 and a short drive from the Council Bluffs-Omaha metropolitan area.
Thompson’s Corner – Using the wool of her Jacob sheep, Luanne Thompson produces home spun yarn, which she then weaves into “Ewesful” creations of apparel. Homemade soap and lotions are also available as well as the opportunity to take classes to learn these heritage skills.
Waubonsie Church –
Local Attractions and Events
On Mills County’s eastern border, Emerson was a “railroad” town, starting soon after the Burlington line was completed. Today it is an attractive city of well kept homes and a major grain shipping center. A popular restaurant, two parks, a library, a fire and rescue department and community center make Emerson the center of the farming community.
The 1st weekend of September is the annual Harvest Days celebration featuring a parade and a variety of activities for the young and old in the community.
The city was started in 1852 when its name was changed from Coonville and established as the county seat. Expanding from an agriculture based economy, including vineyards and apple orchards, the city attracted associated industrial enterprises. In recent years, Glenwood and the Loess Hills area has seen considerable residential growth due to its proximity to the metropolitan area of Omaha/Council Bluffs/Bellevue.
Mills County YMCA and Community Center – The YMCA provides a wide variety of activities and equipment to enable all ages of individuals to work on their fitness and overall wellness. Forever mission-driven, Y’s exist to mold the kind of people who care about each other, who are firm in their own sense of worth and that of others, who try to foster understanding and respect, who take responsibility for their own live and help improve the lives of others.
Mills Masquers – This local theatre group puts on a series of productions throughout the year.
Glenwood Lake Park – The Park has a small campground for travelers as well as a number of shelters used for picnics and gatherings of families and friends. Fish in the lake, watch the geese, walk the path around the lake or through the park, play on the playground equipment, or simply enjoy the fountain in the center of the lake. The Mills County Historical Museum is also located on the park grounds.
Native American Earth Lodge – A replica of the Indian earth lodge used between 1250-1500 AD by a Native American group identified as the Glenwood Culture. Artifacts of this culture and other Native American groups that lived in the area are on exhibit in the Mills County Historical Museum at the Glenwood Lake Park.
Davies Amphitheater – Located in the Glenwood Lake Park, this facility offers quality,
family entertainment throughout the summer months. The facility won the 1981 Iowa Architectural Award for design. Local churches have held services and weddings in this lovely setting and the facility is available for rent by the public.
DAR Trails Marker –
Stations of the Cross – Located on the grounds of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Church, this meditation garden provides an opportunity for the visitor to reflect upon the events associated with the crucifixion of Christ. Originally located on the grounds of St. Joseph Hospital in Omaha, these cobblestone stations were transferred to Glenwood so that future generations would be able to prayerfully reflect upon this historic event. The scenic Iowa countryside in the background makes the stations a special place to visit.
Glenwood Golf Course – An opportunity for golfers to demonstrate their skills as they take on the challenges of this publicly owned 9-hole golf course.
Sports Complex – Baseball, softball, soccer, and football fields, as well as tennis and basketball courts provide a variety of athletic opportunities for youngster and oldsters to participate in.
Keg Creek Days – On the 4th weekend in August, the community gathers to celebrate both the history of Glenwood and the significance of the farming community to it. Visitors can spend the day touring the Mills County Historical Museum, watch the children’s games, enter a pie in the pie baking contest, shop at the booths of various vendors, or inspect the large number of antique tractors that are on display. Weather permitting, a tractor pull and a plowing exhibition will also take place.
Homecoming – In early fall, hundreds of Glenwood Community High School alumni, “return home” to join in the community celebration of Homecoming. While the traditional football game and parade are the focal points of the celebration, the graduates from 5-10-15-20-25, etc years ago join in the official celebration.
Farmers Market – On Wednesday afternoons, locally grown produce, home baked breads and pies, and craft items are available at the Glenwood Lake Park.
An active railroad village of the 1800’s, Hastings is now a community containing historic homes and churches.
A small residential community with historic homes which started on a branch of the Burlington’s Hastings-Carson built in 1879. The hub of the various community activities is a modern community center completed in 2001.
Community dinner on the 1st Thursday of November at the United Methodist church, annual Ground Hog dinner.
One of several villages formed along the railroads which passed through Mills County in the 1800’s. Today, Malvern is a pleasant rural community with a coffee shop, bed & breakfast, restaurant, a new library and Carnegie Conference Center, a 9-hole golf course and swimming pool. Malvern’s population is nearly 1,300 people and still growing due to new housing developments in and around the community. Travelers driving down highway U.S. 34 or riding through the community on the Wabash Trace will find traditional and unique businesses along a newly renovated main street.
Fairview Country Club – On the southern edge of Malvern, this publicly owned 9-hole golf course, with artificial greens, is surrounded by scenic farmland.
Municipal Swimming pool – This municipal pool provides welcome relief from the heat of the day as well as the healthy exercise associated with swimming.
Pioneer Log Cabin –
Carnegie Library –
Heritage Homes driving tour –
Heritage Mural –
Viner’s Antiques Car and Toy Collection –
Mills County Fair, Memorial Day Ceremony, Festival of Trees & Holiday Home Tour
The original residents of the unincorporated town and surrounding farm community were of German descent and German was spoken in almost every store. It has a large, active Lutheran Church on the highest hill in town. On “Taco Thursday”, hundreds of bicycle riders on the Wabash Trace Bicycle Trail make the Mineola Steakhouse the place to gather for an evening of fun.
German Heritage Dinner at St. John’s Lutheran Church the 3rd Saturday of February, Craft Show with baked goods the 2nd Saturday of October.
In the early days was a major rail center with as many as 125 trains per day and much railroad employment. Today, Pacific Junction is primarily a bedroom community with a growing industrial base around it.
Whistle Stop Days, the 1st Weekend of September with parade, car & tractor show, country music, and other activities.
Silver City started just before the Wabash railroad was completed in 1879. An attractive residential town featuring a library, fire and rescue services, a restaurant and bar also serves as a favorite stop for many of the bicyclists who ride the Wabash Trace Nature Trail.
Farmers market every Saturday from June through September, Methodist Church Dinners, Silver City Daze,