Just outside of Dallas Center lies one of Iowa’s best-kept secrets for an enjoyable family getaway.

Trees, prairies, miles of trails and pathways — the Brenton Arboretum offers Iowans a unique, natural setting for a spur-of-the-moment day trip. Whether you’re looking for an affordable experience with your family or a walk with the dog, the arboretum is a quiet space to unplug and connect with nature.

This year, Brenton Arboretum is celebrating its 20th anniversary since founder Buz Brenton planted its first trees.

The 140-acre, not-for-profit arboretum is part of the original homestead acquired by Dr. James Brenton — Buz’s great-great grandfather — soon after he arrived in Iowa from Indiana in 1853 by covered wagon. The Brenton family got into banking in the late 1800s and kept the...