PETERSON, Iowa--Experience the sights and sounds of the Glacial Trail Scenic Byway during "Trek the Trail," an event full of games and activities Saturday, June 26 from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. along the scenic byway.
The event is being held the same day as "PATOOT," Peterson's Annual Tour on Old Tractors. The antique tractors will also make their way along the byway, enjoying the activities, stops and stations set up along the way.
Participants in the byway tour will receive "passports" that will be stamped at the stations and stops along the path. Visitors who receive a certain number of stamps will get a prize that can be collected at the Prairie Heritage Center, a stop on the trail located three miles west of the town of Peterson.
The Heritage Center is simply one of the points of interest on the recently updated scenic byway.
Through a series of transportation grants, the byway underwent a transformation as it received new signs, a logo, a website, increased marketing, and a name change from Old O'Brien Glacial Trail to the Glacial Trail Scenic Byway,
Designated in 2000, the 36-mile route takes in a four-county area of O'Brien, Clay, Buena Vista and Cherokee counties. They byway takes visitors on a ride through landscapes carved by glacial scouring and retreat, leaving a unique landscape of rolling hills and valley basins.
As the trail winds back and forth over the waters of the Little Sioux River, travelers of the trail have the opportunity to visit the Linn Grove Dam Area, the Prairie Heritage Center and Waterman Prairie Complex, Hanging Valley - where remnants of an ancient river bed can be viewed on the nearby hillside, and Brooke Creek Crossing, a place to enjoy a stream that flows north before emptying into the Little Sioux River.
The byway is also rich with cultural heritage as archeological evidence of people living on and near the byway dates back thousands of years to prehistoric farm towns and early Euro-American settlements.
Visitors to the byway drive through the historic town of Peterson, home to many of the historical firsts in Clay County. While visiting the Fort Peterson Blockhouse and the Peterson Museums Complex, trail guests can visit the county's first settlement, post office, courthouse, sawmill, schoolhouse and much more.
Another historic stop along the byway is the town of Old O'Brien. In a short span of approximately 15 years, the promising town, and original county seat, rose and quickly vanished. After a vote in 1872 to move the county seat from O'Brien to what later became Primghar, the area where the town once stood became known as Old O'Brien.
Just miles down the road from these historic sights, modern steel windmills tower above the trail travelers, a sign of modern innovation providing renewable energy for the surrounding areas.
The byway begins in Clay County on Highway 10 at the intersection with County Road M-36, a few miles east of Peterson. It runs south on M-36 through Linn Grove to Buena Vista County Road C-16. The byway then goes west on C-16 until Cherokee County Road M-12 where it goes north to Iowa 10 in O'Brien County. From there it follows Iowa 10 through Peterson to M-36, it's point of origin.
For information about "Trek the Trails" or the Glacial Trail Scenic Byway, contact the O'Brien County Conservation Board by phone, 712-295-7200, or by e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org.