Effigy Mounds National Monument, Harpers Ferry

4.6
Must see · Monument · Historic Site
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Effigy Mounds National Monument preserves more than 200 prehistoric mounds built by pre-Columbian

Mound Builder cultures, mostly in the first millennium AD, during the later part of the Woodland period of pre-Columbian North America.

Numerous effigy mounds are shaped like animals, including bears and birds.

The monument is located primarily in Allamakee County, Iowa, with a small part in Clayton County, Iowa, in the midwestern United States. The park's visitor center is located in Harpers Ferry, Iowa, just north of Marquette.

In 2017, the Effigy Mounds were featured in the America the Beautiful Quarters Program.

Before you head to Harpers Ferry, plan trip itinerary details with our user-friendly Harpers Ferry trip planner, to make sure you see all that Harpers Ferry has to offer, including Effigy Mounds National Monument.
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Effigy Mounds National Monument reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
249 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • This is awesome, we wanted todo more of the trails, but a storm blew up, will definitely visit again. 
    This is awesome, we wanted todo more of the trails, but a storm blew up, will definitely visit again.  more »
  • We stopped here while traveling from Minneapolis/St.Paul to Dubuque and did some afternoon hiking. We followed the trail from the visitor center to Eagle Rock, Fire Point, the Little Bear Mound... 
    We stopped here while traveling from Minneapolis/St.Paul to Dubuque and did some afternoon hiking. We followed the trail from the visitor center to Eagle Rock, Fire Point, the Little Bear Mound...  more »
  • Effigy mounds is in a beautiful area. To see all of the mounds except 3 small ones near the visitor center requires a hike of about 2 miles with an elevation gain if 350 feet. I would recommend this.....  more
    Effigy mounds is in a beautiful area. To see all of the mounds except 3 small ones near the visitor center requires a hike of about 2 miles with an elevation gain if 350 feet. I would recommend this.....  more »
Google
  • I haven't been here since I was a kid. Neat to come back and explore it decades later as an adult, and nice that it's dog-friendly! It's a National Monument, so you can expect well-manicured trails for the most part, with the exception of Hanging Rock trail; be prepared to legit hike! Marching Bear trail was my favorite of all. Me and my dog were the only ones on it the entire time!! How?! It does start off with a decent incline that gets the blood pumping, but levels off to a lovely journey that opens up to mound after mound. Pretty awesome! The mounds aren't as sizable height-wise on Marching Bear as the others, but it's well worth it.
  • Wonderful visitor center, and very friendly park ranger. The hike to the top is a little bit strenuous but fun. There are benches on the trail to rest and catch your breath. This is a sacred ground, so please be respectful and stay on the trails! The trail is filled with wood chips, so that should help during wet conditions. Beautiful lookout points and animal shaped mounds once you reach the top, and of-course you have earned yourself an easy hike down :-) Pat yourself on the back for a job well done!
  • Nice visitor center with helpful staff, first portion of this hike up to the main mounds is a nice incline hike. Once you're up there the views are nice of the woods, river and mounds. Kids enjoyed it. Allowed them to burn off some energy, the mounds weren't particularly exciting to them but they're all under 10. Good family stop.
  • Admittedly this is not our most exciting national monument. This is a nice reflective hike through the burial grounds. The trail has a steep switchback but is otherwise pretty easy. My toddler made it all but the last half mile. In September the wildflowers were blooming and the ranger helped us identify them. There is a nice informative museum in the welcome center. The touch station was popular and let my little kids feel the difference in several animal furs as well as fossils and animal bones.
  • This is great place for hiking. If you love hiking, this is a fun place to explore. Hiking is not my favorite and I wasn't fully prepared for the huge uphill trek at the beginning. I appreciated the benches to take a rest. I almost gave up and went back the other direction but my husband encouraged me to keep going. I so glad I did because I really started to have fun once we made it up to the top. The sights are beautiful and the mounds are very interesting to see.

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