Altoona’s Great(er) Outdoors

greater outdoors

Summer in central Iowa means toasted smores, outdoor music, fishing, hiking, camping, picnicking—and, of course, cycling. So much cycling.

Here in Altoona, we believe that the greatest outdoor experiences happen off the beaten path.  And, since Altoona’s off the beaten path – in more ways than one – we like to think that our town is one of the greatest places to explore Iowa’s great outdoors.

This season, there’s so much outdoor fun to explore in Altoona. Here are a few ideas to get you started!

Biking & Breweries

Need we say more? Altoona’s local trails connect to the legendary Central Iowa trails system, which means you can safely bike here from anywhere in the Des Moines metro on two wheels. While you’re here, roll through a local brewery – like Brightside Aleworks – for a craft beer and some much-deserved R&R.

Rock out (outdoors) during live music Sundays

Kick back and enjoy totally free live music during Free Music in the Park at the Haines Park Outdoor Stage in Altoona. Shows start at 6PM on the following Sundays: May 31, June 21, July 26 and August 30. Admission is free, but you may want to bring a few bucks for pop & popcorn from C.A.P. Children’s Theatre.

Have S’more Fun!

We’re sorry for the bad pun, but there’s nothing quite like kicking back and toasting a marshmallow on a clear summer night. In Altoona, there are plenty of nearby campgrounds to pitch a tent and sleep under the stars.

Find the Great Outdoors… Indoors?

Everyone knows that Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World is the best place to get gear for the great outdoors. But the massive 145,000 SF facility in Altoona literally brings the outdoors indoors.

The entire store is a tribute to the vast diversity of the Iowa landscape. Using more than 3,500 area artifacts, wildlife mounts are displayed alongside local period prints depicting early Iowans enjoying sporting adventures. Bear, deer, mountain lion and other wildlife are set amidst boulders surrounding the 30,000-gallon freshwater aquarium.

In Altoona, Your Next Adventure is Right Around the Bend

While there are plenty of beautiful natural spaces to explore right here in Altoona, some of Iowa’s greatest parks are right around the bend. With its central location and incredible restaurants, hotels, shopping centers and other amenities, Altoona is a great place to stay when you’re exploring outdoor destinations like nearby Lake Red Rock and Neil Smith Wildlife Refuge.

Ready for an adventure off the beaten path? You can begin planning your Altoona trip here.