Iowa lies in the country's midwestern section with the geography of the state predominately prairie. It can be separated into three regions: the western, central and eastern areas. The western region of Iowa is contained on the western side by the Missouri and Sioux Rivers. Sioux City lies in the northern region of western Iowa at the confluence of the Sioux and Missouri Rivers. Several state parks lie on the Iowa bank of this river/border. This region of the state is characterized by low lying Loess Hills and the river flood plain.
The central region of Iowa contains the capital city, Des Moines and the intersection of Interstates 80 and 35. The south-central region contains lakes Rathbun and Red Rock, the largest in the state, and their respective state parks. Small state parks dot the landscape in this relatively flat region, where the Des Moines River flows south toward the Mississippi River.
The Mississippi River forms the border between eastern Iowa, Wisconsin, and Illinois. This region contains several large communities including Waterloo, Cedar Rapids, Dubuque, Davenport, and Clinton. The northern portion of eastern Iowa boasts Effigy Mounds National Monument, which protects and preserves the ancient burial mounds of native Americans. Also in this area is the western boundary of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge.
Recreation - Recreation opportunities in Iowa include camping, hiking, biking, hunting and fishing in the state parks. Birding, boating, and viewing exhibits can be enjoyed at the states wildlife refuges, reservoirs, and historic sites, respectively.