2022 T-Bone Trail · Family Adventures · Iowa Food · Northwest Iowa · Outdoors All Year

Useful “Tips” From the Locals, Award Winning Jerky & Wide Open Views in Osceola County, Iowa

*The land where you’ll find Iowa’s highest point and Iowa’s second highest point! The Northwest Iowa road trip can’t be complete without a visit to at least one of them! Our trip to Osceola County was funded and sponsored by the Western Iowa Tourism Region. Some of the services, meals and goods were complimentary. The views expressed in this blog post are of our. Now, let’s Gallivant!

You don’t even need to be good at golfing to appreciate a day like this at Sibley Golf Course. Just volunteer to drive the golf cart. That’s what I do!

Osceola County, Iowa

We’re hugging the Minnesota border once again in Northwest Iowa! Wide open splendor is what we look forward to when we visit Osceola County with its own style of prairie filled beauty. The sunshine was out all day long and so were we!

Roadside America

Take a few minutes and try to think of some silver medalists throughout history. It can be hard to do, but there are some glorious and downright historic second place finishers. One of those is Ocheyedan Mound State Preserve near Ocheyedan, Iowa!

This is the spot I must visit whenever I’m in Osceola County. Iowa’s second highest point was once considered #1 until Hawkeye Point was discovered over by Sibley. Click on the video below and see how you can enjoy this ancient formation.
Sometimes it’s just fine to be second on the list.
The view from the summit of Ocheyedan is a memorable one. Iowa’s state preserves will seem to pop-up even more once you start visiting them more often. I’d like to thank the glacier that was responsible for leaving this natural roadside attraction behind for all of us to enjoy.

The town of Harris lured us in with the promise of a few things. One of them was the rock hound inspired roadside attraction directly on Main Street.

That’s right, folks! There’s two grottos filled with fossils, shells, rocks and crystals in NW-Iowa! Simply known as the Mini Grotto of Harris, it was originally constructed by the town’s postmaster in the 1950s.
E.O. Allen collected rocks from all 50 states and some from around the world when he created this rocky handcrafted formation in Harris.

Stay Active

Trails, trails and more trails for us in Western Iowa this summer! We sought them out more than ever and they helped us discover countless acres and scenery we would have never experienced without them. Osceola County helped us with our goals and we racked up the miles while we were here!

Willow Creek Fen is a small park with an important purpose, and that’s supplying a wildlife habitat for all the local critters who call Osceola County home.
It’s designed for the wildlife to enjoy, but it’s also here for us humans! The sounds, views and beauty can make for memorable moments during your road trip at these areas. They’re perfect for a relaxing break at any point of the day.
Across the street from the fen is Willow Creek County Park. Another useful perk for staying active in Osceola County!
Willow Creek is near the town of Ocheyedan and it features more of that prairie vibe I always feel out here in Osceola County. Walking trails around the lake, into the timber and through the grassland.
Peaceful with that touch of Western Iowa relaxation. Listening to fish jumping out from the water for insects was the loudest sound we heard at Willow Creek.
Pack up the gear, Rainbow Trout lovers! Willow Creek stocks their lake with this prized fish!
On HWY 9 and just west of Harris is Rush Lake. We were just minding our own beeswax when that familiar brown and yellow sign showed up and we knew another stop was going to happen.
Here I am without a kayak once again! Rush Lake is a quiet location to anyone wanting to find that rural serenity during a road trip.
Rush Lake also provides a walk through the Osceola County timber along its banks. These are the moments that stay with me during a long summer.

Let’s Eat Steak

Ashton, Iowa was our T-Bone Trail location for this Gallivant into Osceola County! Charlie’s Bar & Grill is where the locals made sure to give us a few “tips.” Charlie’s is located on Ashton’s main drag inside what is now a repurposed bank. Click on the video below and see what’s so “safe” about this restaurant….

It’s too bad there wasn’t more dudes with beards in this video…
A seat at the bar with the Charlie’s regulars and a plate of these magnificent steak tips! Topped with tons of mushrooms and onions with professionally cooked hash browns. A true Western Iowa staple!
My preferred technique with any style of steak supper. A big bite of everything on my plate with every forkful!

Let’s Go Shopping

Downtown Sibley has produced some good times for us over the past couple of summers. Donuts, craft beer, sausages, refreshing coffee and lovable locals. We’ve made it back and found more reasons to keep coming back!

The Porch on Main added ice cream, more coffee and a unique boutique to that Sibley list above!
Another team of lovable locals! Stephanie Neppl is pictured on the left and we’d like to give her a big’ol thank you for coordinating this Gallivant back to Osceola County. This was a fun group that welcomed us into town!
Locally made campfire skewer! We put this to good use over the course of the summer and had Sibley on our minds with every marshmallow and hot dog that made an appearance on this trusty camping tool. Click on the video below and see what else you can find at The Porch on Main!
I need to make plans for copious amounts of ice cream next time!
The places we Gallivant to always have a way of luring us back in. Giant portions of ice cream is an excellent tactic to make that happen. You get to sign this wall if you conquer the ice cream challenge at The Porch on Main!


We’ve made a lot of good friends during our Western Iowa travels on The T-Bone Trail and you most defiantly include AmericInn hotels on that list. We’ve had the pleasure to stay at many of their Iowa locations with Sibley’s AmericInn joining the t-bone party!

Located directly off of HWY 60 and just a short drive to Sibley is this AmericInn property! 1726 Pierce Avenue 712-320-8437
The red, white and blue welcome in Sibley, Iowa! This AmericInn obviously has a festive staff and spirit.
The all-time greatest island you can see when you check into a hotel. A coffee bar! The folks who operate the AnericInn-Sibley kept it nicely stocked with their hot caffeinated bean juice and with the utmost attention to this daily necessity.
The beds were made with the room nice and clean! Never had anything less at any AmericInn I’ve stayed at.
The moment when you just wrote something genius on your blog post. Or when there’s a home run that just happened during a baseball game you’re watching on the flat screen TV in Sibley. But let’s go with that first one.
Remember all those trails we walked earlier? The AmericInn-Sibley had the perfect amenity to help relax all those hardworking joints of mine.
I always like to put out the reminders of hotels like this for when the winter months come roaring back. Think about AmericInn-Sibley when the family is getting cabin fever and needs a getaway with a lot of belly flops! Sometimes all you need is a pool when the temps are chilly outside.
Let AmericInn-Sibley do the early morning cooking! Their hot and complimentary breakfast will always be a nice touch when you’re traveling and especially when it’s with the entire family.
Is it Christmas or 4th of July everyday at the AmericInn-Sibley? Both work just fine for me!

Another AmericInn down and I hope to see several more! I can scratch Sibley’s off the list and I highly recommend that you do the same when you’re in the area. Professional and helpful staff that didn’t show any signs of a hiccup the entire time. Hope to see you all again!

Bonus Beef

Those good times with delicious beef inspired meals didn’t end with those juicy steaks tips from Charlie’s while we were exploring Osceola County. It’s taco time in Sibley, y’all!

I say we all order tacos whenever we want because it’s gotta be Tuesday somewhere! El Queretano Mexican Restaurant is located on 4th Ave-Sibley so you can walk on over when you’re shopping and visiting the downtown district. Just look at those authentic bundles of beefy joy! This place had some of the best salsa I’ve had on The T-Bone Trail….
Pile on the seasoned ground beef and shredded cheese! Nacho mania at El Queretano!

I need very few reasons for making the executive decision when it’s hamburger o’clock. It makes the decision that much easier when you tell me that my purchase is going to a good cause. The local Sibley grocery store is Super Foods and they host the Burger Barn!

They make it easy to find the Burger Barn. Just go to 407 9th Street and look for the smoke rising from its huge grill!
You’ll find locals flipping burgers all afternoon long when they have the Burger Barn open. Today they were raising money for the Osceola County Sesquicentennial, and I wasn’t about to wait another 150 years to partake in this benefit. Click on the video below and see the Burger Barn in action!
A burger party 150 years in the making!
We like to make smiley faces with our Burger Barn burgers because Burger Barn burgers give us smiley faces!
Part of our Bonus Beef coverage includes a trip to the place where it’s raised. Dean Ackerman’s farm is just outside of Sibley and he showed us around and introduced us to his not-so camera shy cattle. Click on the video below and see how Dean loves to go cow shopping. Yup, you read that right. Great for stocking stuffers! Collect the whole set!
I want to look at Dean’s shopping list someday….
Quite possibly the most adorable picture of the summer. We have the Ackerman farm in Osceola County to thank for this moment.
One more snack before we leave Osceola County! Some of the best beef jerky in the state right here at Forbes Meat & Grocery in Harris!

Dang that was a great time in Osceola County! Plenty of sunshine, long walks, fun locals and tasty cookin’ to go around for everyone. The Northwest Iowa hospitality is never running low and this revisit proved that statement to be true again. Tacos, steak, burgers, nachos, ice cream, and jerky. That deserves another dip in the hot tub. Let’s Gallivant again!

Book your reservations for the AmericInn-Sibley on their website.

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Here’s to another 150 years, Osceola County!

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