The Historic Hills Scenic Byway offers travelers a unique view of some of Iowa’s most cherished history along its 110 miles through southern Iowa. The trail stretches from the Villages of Van Buren to Lake Rathbun.

And now there’s a new sight to behold. It’s the Bale Trail — a roadside tour of artistic hay bale sculptures — a testament to Iowa’s agricultural heritage and Iowans' penchant for creativity.

“It’s been an interesting project,” says Diana Hughell, Historic Hills Scenic Byway coordinator for Path­finders Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) Inc. Pathfinders RC&D promotes water quality and soil health, as well as community development throughout southeast Iowa in Mahaska, Keokuk, Jefferson, Wapello, Davis and Van Buren counties.

Nineteen businesses, landowners and community groups participated in this...