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Buena Vista County is Aptly Named - The Views Are Mighty Good Here!
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Buena Vista County is Aptly Named - The Views Are Mighty Good Here!

I might be a little biased, but I think Buena Vista offers some of the prettiest scenery in the state. Let’s head to the northwest corner of the county to take it in.

But before we get there, hold on to your hat because we’re about to drive through the largest wind farm in the state—with 400 wind turbines along a 13-mile stretch of road.

This part of the county sits on “Buffalo Ridge,” an area of rolling hills that stretches from South Dakota into Minnesota and Iowa. Winds average 17 miles per hour here.

These giant turbines, “planted” in rows as straight as the corn and soybeans growing beneath them, generate enough electricity to power 114,000 households.

Beyond the wind farm is the Glacial Trail Scenic Byway, a 36-mile loop through Buena Vista, Cherokee, O’Brien and Clay counties. No need for speed limit signs along this drive because you’ll naturally want to slow down and take in the forested valleys, Little Sioux River and wildlife you’ll see along the way.

To fully appreciate the Little Sioux River, pack a lunch and canoe the historic Inkpaduta Canoe Trail. It’s a peaceful way to spend the day, even though the trail is named for the path Wahpekute Dakota Chief Inkpaduta took during the 1857 Spirit Lake Massacre.

Drop your canoe in the river in the former mill town of Linn Grove for a daylong trip, or in Sioux Rapids for a shorter trip.

This content previously appeared in the popular “Road Trip” series in Our Iowa Magazine. Learn more about the publication at


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