No visit to Allamakee county would be complete without stopping at Iowa's only national monument, the Effigy Mounds. There are 210 known prehistoric American Indian mounds within the borders of the park, 31 of which are shaped in the likeness (effigy) of bears or birds.
The 2,526-acre park is divided into two units (North and South) by the Yellow River. Walking trails provide modest to extended routes, allowing you to select your route and view a variety of mounds. An accessible boardwalk trail into the wetlands near the Visitor Center is available for disabled visitors and persons of all walking abilities.
North Unit: The two-mile Fire Point Trail takes visitors past the Little Bear Mound to the Fire Point and Eagle Rock overlooks, rising 300 feet above the Mississippi River. Guided tours along the Fire Point Trail take approximately 1 1/2 hours. Longer self-guided tours include the Twins Views Trail (three-mile round trip), the Third Scenic View Trail (four-mile round trip), and the Hanging Rock Trail (seven-mile round trip).
South Unit: From the parking lot 1/2 mile south of the main gate, visitors can hike on well-defined trails through tall grass prairie to see the Compound Mound (four-mile round trip) and Marching Bear Group (four-mile round trip) in the South Unit of the park. The trail to the Marching Bear Group also follows part of the historic route of the 1840 Military Road.
Open year-round, call (563) 873-3491 or visit their website for more information at www.nps.gov/efmo. (Children under 16 free; admission fee for adults).