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Outdoors & Recreation

Effigy Mounds National Monument

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151 State Highway 76, Harpers Ferry, Iowa 52146 USA (563) 873-3491

  • National Monument
  • Historic Site
  • Nature Reserve
  • Hiking Area
  • Native Culture

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The mounds preserved here are considered ceremonial and sacred sites by many Americans, especially the Monument's 12 affiliated American Indian tribes. A visit offers opportunities to contemplate the meanings of the mounds, the peoples who built them and the relationships to their modern descendants. The 2,526 acre Monument includes more than 200 American Indian mounds situated in a natural setting, and located within the one of the most picturesque sections within Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area and along the "Great River Road" of the Mississippi River - a National Scenic Byway.

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Rated 4.0 June 22, 2015

I had never heard of the effigy mounds throughout the country until I moved to the Midwest, but they are amazing and interesting to anyone interested in history or Native American culture. Effigy Mounds National Monument has a wonderful collection of these mounds on the bluffs over the Mississippi. The hikes to get to them involve some elevation gain, but my 8- and 5-year olds did the shortest 2-mile loop without difficulty. The views along the hike were incredible, as are the views on the drive to the park. (The town of Marquette, IA, just south of the park is a beautiful river town that deserves a stop, too.)

The visitor center has a nice small museum that gives you an overview of the park and a primer on the mounds if you are unaware of their history. As always, get a ranger led tour if you can. They add a lot to the experience.

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Rated 4.0 August 30, 2014

This is an incredibly scenic trip. Just be careful not to be distracted from driving, cause it's pretty easy, especially in fall when the leaves are changing colors. If you're traveling with your family purchase a park passport. It's a great souvenir and really fun to collect.

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Rated 5.0 May 5, 2016

What a great experience for my family. A lot of walking! The staff was very informative; very pleasant.

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Rated 4.0 July 30, 2015

Worth it! Nice walk and got to see a nice outlook of Mississippi River.

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