I asked my hubbie if he would help me in participating on doing this. We compromised by if he went with me I would only ask that he walk with me on the Eastern branch of the levee and also Riverfront Park since the western branch is so much longer and more of a challenge as a hike. And if we needed a challenge at least the Western branch would still be out there if we chose to accept it.
Anyway the first portion of our hike was on our return from York, NE, and we took a chance to enjoy the walk from the parking region and the east side of the dam to the entrance gate. Along the way we came upon a few discoveries such as the beach off the levee with a dead shrew on the path down, observing the houses on the left walking down the levee access and enjoying the changing colors of the night.
We tackled Riverfront Park on our way back from Des Moines. I preferred this part of the adventure more than the levee access since it actually takes you into the woods and closer to the bank. Unfortunately since they are working on parts of the path a lot of it was closed off or took you even further into the strip of woods.
But this all paid off for us when we got a chance to observe a rufous morph Eastern screech owl not even that far away from us. That is most definitely our best part of the trip on both times. And also in this case we ended up getting lost in the woods, found a way out to the adjacent field and finally access to the levee to get us back to our car just a bit after night had finally come.
Would love to explore it maybe a bit more in warmer weather when there are more plants and animals around though.
Eastern Branch - Oct 20, 2019
Riverfront Park - Nov 17, 2019