Hike the Fire Point Loop Trail, Effigy Mounds National Monument

1.7 miles 301 ft gain  - Loop Trail

Added by Grant Whitty

Effigy Mounds National Monument is Iowa's one and only National Monument. The Monument preserves Native American burial mounds that are found in this region of the Mississippi River Valley. The park also boasts many great viewpoints that overlook the Mississippi River Gorge.

To get to Effigy Mounds National Monument travel to the town of Marquette, Iowa. If you drive north of town about three miles, the road will curve to the left, and the park entrance will be on the right. 

After you park, you may take a stop in the Visitor Center to grab a map or any souvenirs. From the Visitor Center, follow the deck to the left side of the building to the bridge. 

Once you cross the bridged area, you will soon hit the dirt. The trail will instantly begin to climb up the bluff at a mildly-steep pitch. Once you reach the top of the hill, the switch-backs begin; there are about four or five switchbacks. 

When the switchbacks end and you crest the top of the bluff, the hard part is now over. Atop the bluff, the hills are minimal.  

There will be a fork in the road on top of the bluff. This is the beginning of the loop. Take the route on the left to start making your way towards the Little Bear Mound Group. Notice how some of the mounds are bear-shaped, and some are circular. When approaching the mounds, DO NOT WALK ON THE MOUNDS! These mounds are burial locations for Native Americans; these grounds must be respected. 

After the Little Bear Group, there will be another fork in the road. Continue to the right towards Fire Point. You will soon arrive at Fire Point. Take a minute to enjoy the view and take some photos. 

After some time at Fire Point you will round the corner and the trail will wind through the woods. You will pass Eagle Rock (another view point), and continue down towards the top of the switch-backs. Be carfeul of cliff edges, make sure you have a good footing. Take a left, and return down the switch-backs, down the hill, and back to the Visitor Center. 

Read More

Tags

Chillin
Photography
Hiking
Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
River
Scenic
Wildlife

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Awesome Trail

This is an awesome hike with killer views. The mounds are really cool as well. Great history lesson along the way, family friendly trail thats steep in spots but well kept.

Stay Nearby

De Soto, Wisconsin

Blackhawk Park

Overview Blackhawk Park is located on a forested bend of the main channel of the Mississippi River. The campground is the largest public use facility in Mississippi's Pool 9, offering a wide variet...

Decorah, Iowa

Tiny Cabin

Once Pepperfield was awarded the official nonprofit status in 2010, co-founder David Cavagnaro was able to donate his home, gardens, a restored 1851 pioneer log cabin, and 55 acres of his farm as a...

From $50/night

Decorah, Iowa

Historic Log Cabin

Once Pepperfield was awarded official nonprofit status in 2010, co-founder David Cavagnaro was able to donate his home, gardens, a restored 1851 pioneer log cabin, and 55 acres of his farm as an ed...

From $125/night

Potosi, Wisconsin

Grant River

Overview Spread along the banks of the Upper Mississippi River, the Grant River Campground, located in the "Catfish Capital of Wisconsin," is a modern campground that offers a plethora of outdoor a...

Nearby Adventures

  • Hiking Effigy Mounds' South Unit

    Effigy Mounds provides some of the best hiking opportunities in Iowa. It is located in the state’s northeastern most county, Allamakee County, along the Mississippi River. There are several units, the most notable being the north unit, located rig...

    8 miles 300 ft gain

  • Hike Little Bear And Great Bear Mound Group To Twin Views And Eagle Rock Loop

    Little Bear and Great Bear Mound Group to Twin Views and Eagle Rock Loop is a 2.8 mile loop hike that is good for all skill levels located near Harpers Ferry, Iowa.

    2.8 miles 413 ft gain

  • Hike Hanging Rock Trail

    Hanging Rock Trail is a 5.5 mile out and back hike that takes you past wildlife located near Harpers Ferry, Iowa.

    5.5 miles 882 ft gain

  • Hike Little Bear, Great Bear, Twin View And Third Scenic View

    Little Bear, Great Bear, Twin View and Third Scenic View is a 3.5 mile out and back hike that takes you by a river located near Marquette, Iowa.

    3.5 miles 462 ft gain