Hitchcock Nature Center's Loess Hills Lodge is an excellent place to begin your journey of the Loess Hills landform. The exhibit gallery invites visitors to
- Discover how the Loess Hills were formed and identify common prairie plant species found on the preserve.
- Learn more about our nationally recognized HawkWatch as you learn how to identify raptors in flight, and listen to their unique calls.
- View examples of native prairie plants & learn more about our land stewardship program.
- Explore Curiosity Cove, a hands-on learning area for children of all ages. Enjoy the tracks pin board or find antlers, leaves, insects and more at the discovery amoeba table.
- Discover the world of Iowa songbirds & view the Loess skyline from our ADA accessible mounted deck binoculars.
- Climb the 45' observation tower for a 360 degree view of the Loess Hills.
- Access trailheads for over 10 miles of hiking trails.
- Access our walk in archery range for some target practice.
- Enjoy lunch on the covered deck or at one of our picnic tables.
- Purchase unique nature gifts in our gift shop. Perfect for the nature lover on your list!
Loess Hills Lodge Rentals
The Loess Hills Lodge at Hitchcock Nature Center has the perfect facilities for your next family gathering, civic group event or work retreat. Located in the heart of the beautiful Loess Hills, this facility features scenic overlooks, equal access restrooms and two unique rental spaces. Rental of either space at the Loess Hills Lodge includes the use of provided tables & chairs along with admission to the park for all of your guests.
The Goldfinch Room is equipped with conference tables and chairs for seating up to 50 guests. Overlooking area woodlands, it is located on our main floor along with our exhibit gallery and overlook deck.
The Bluestem Room is equipped with conference tables and chairs for seating up to 70 guests. Facing out to our patio, it is located on our lower level allowing access to the patio area and observation tower.
Weekend rentals are available for the full day only. Rental hours are Saturday & Sunday 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Weekday rentals are available by the half day only. Rental hours are Tuesday - Friday 3:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. subject to availability.
Daytime rentals beginning prior to 3:00 p.m. are subject to facility availability and must be booked through staff at the Loess Hills Lodge. Monday rentals are not available. Rental hours indicate the time in & out of the building including preparations & clean up, not duration of your event. The Loess Hills Lodge will begin taking rental reservations for the following year beginning on September 1st.
Weekend Rental - Saturday or Sunday, 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. (Full Day Rental) - $350.00 per room, due at time of reservation. Cash, check, or credit card are accepted, subject to cancellation policy.
Weekday Rental - Tuesday thru Friday, 3:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. (Half Day Rental) - $175.00 per room, due at time of reservation. Cash, check, or credit card are accepted, subject to cancellation policy.
*Fees are subject to change.
All rentals at the Loess Hills Lodge are subject to a $300.00 room deposit & a $300.00 alcohol deposit (if applicable) to be paid no more than 7 days in advance of your rental. This deposit will be returned within 10 business days of the completion of your rental provided all rental policies & procedures are followed and the room & facilities are returned in satisfactory condition. Please see our Rental Policies & Procedures for more details.
Loess Hills Lodge Rentals FAQ's
Can I come in & tour the facility?
Yes! While we can occasionally accommodate drop in tours due to staffing we ask that you contact us and arrange an appointment in advance. Please email Kate Simmons, Community Relations Coordinator to set up a time to visit the rental facilities.
Are we able to serve alcohol at our event?
Yes! Rental parties are permitted to serve alcohol with the payment of a $300.00 alcohol deposit in addition to the required $300.00 room deposit. Only beer & wine are permitted, no kegs or hard liquor. This includes mixed drinks.
Do we have access to a kitchen?
Kind of! Both rental rooms feature a small kitchenette for guest use. This kitchenette includes a full sized refrigerator with freezer, microwave, & sink. No kitchenware including serving utensils, cutlery, or other appliances are included, please plan accordingly.
Can I have my event catered?
Yes! Please see our Policies & Procedures for regulations regarding catering at the Loess Hills Lodge.
Can I rent an outdoor space for my event?
No. While both rental rooms do include direct outdoor access neither include the exclusive use of any outdoor space and we do not permit renters to commandeer any of our outdoor spaces for private use. Renters are welcome to utilize & enjoy our public outdoor spaces during their rental period but may not block or restrict public access to any area of the park outside of their rental room.
Why aren't rentals available on Mondays or prior to 3;00 p.m. Tuesday through Friday?
The Loess Hills Lodge rental spaces are primarily classroom spaces for our Environmental Education Department which utilizes the space to conduct public programming and on site field trip programs for area school children. The facilities must remain open and available for educational use with rentals as a secondary use. Therefore weekday rentals during the morning hours are subject to facility availability. Please email Kate Simmons for information on daytime rentals during the week.
Are tables & chairs included in my rental?
Yes! Tables & chairs are included with your rental fee. Renters are responsible for setting up the tables & chairs when they arrive and for taking them down and storing them after their event is complete. Please remember that rental hours are the time in and time out of the building, not the duration of your event, so you will need to make sure and allow time for room set up.
Where can I find your rental policies & procedures?
They are available for download below under "Related Items" or you may email Kate Simmons for a copy.
For more information or to make a reservation for the Loess Hills Lodge, please contact Kate Simmons at 712-545-3283 x5830 or email your preferred date & room selection to email@example.com.