• A quiet summer walk through the Marching Bear Group of effigy mounds

    Effigy Mounds

    National Monument Iowa

Things To Know Before You Come

Yellow River Bridge Accessible Boardwalk Trail

Yellow River Bridge Accessible Boardwalk Trail

NPS Photo

The Monument is located in rural northeast Iowa, close to the towns of Marquette and McGregor, Iowa, and Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. All three nearby towns offer a number of interesting places to visit, goods and services.


Touring the monument is primarily on foot
along relatively steep hiking trails. However, there are an
accessible nature trails and an opportunity to visit the American Indian mounds.

Rules and regulations

A selection of parks rules and regulations is below. The complete rules and regulations of Effigy Mounds National Monument are contained in two documents:

Federal regulations covering all National Park Service lands are contained in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Title 36, Chapter 1.

In addition, regulations pertaining specifically to Effigy Mounds National Monument contained in the Superintendent's Compendium.

Violators are brought before the U.S. District Courts and are punishable by fine and/or imprisonment.


Possession and or consumption of alcoholic beverages is prohibited, unless possession and or consumption is permitted in association with a special use permit. Possession of unopened alcoholic beverages in the Sny Magill public access corridor is permitted.


All natural, cultural, and archeological resources are protected and may not be removed or disturbed.

*Small amounts of berries, seeds and nuts may be gathered for immediate personal consumption within the park, but nothing can be removed from the park.

Relic hunting is prohibited. Possession of a metal detector in the park is unlawful.

Firearms and other weapons

Legislation: As of February 22, 2010, a new federal law allows people who can legally possess firearms under applicable federal, state, and local laws to legally possess firearms in this park.

Park User Responsibility: It is the responsibility of visitors to understand and comply with all applicable state, local, and federal firearm laws before entering this park. As a starting point, please see the Iowa Code, Chapter 724. Please note that Iowa does not recognize any other state's concealed weapons permit.

Firearms Sign

Weapons Prohibited in Federal Facilities
: Federal law also prohibits firearms in certain facilities in this park; those places are marked with signs at all public entrances. Refer to 18 U.S.C. § 930.

Lost and found

Property may not be left unattended longer than 24 hours. Found property must be turned in to the Visitor Center or nearest park ranger.


Pets are allowed in the park, but must be physically restrained at all times. Leashes may not exceed six feet in length. Pets, except service dogs (such as seeing-eye dogs), are prohibited in buildings and may not be tied to objects and left unattended.

Pet excrement must be immediately collected by the pet handler and disposed of in the nearest trash receptacle. If there is not a trash receptacle in the area, the excrement shall be removed from the park.

Trash and littering

Littering or other dumping of refuse is prohibited. Use of park dumpsters for discarding household trash is prohibited.

Recreational activities

The park is open during daylight hours. Daylight hours is defined as one half hour before sunrise to one half-hour after sunset. The superintendent makes exceptions to these limits for evening programs, approved special use permits or approval on an individual basis.

Standing, sitting or walking on the mounds is prohibited.

All mound groups, rock shelters and historical sites, located in the North, South and Heritage Addition units that are not on established public trails, are closed to public access unless permitted in writing by the superintendent or their designee.

No Camping Available Within the Monument


Picnicking is permitted only in designated picnic areas. These areas are: the lawns surrounding the Visitor Center and the boat dock / parking area of the Sny Magill Unit public access area.


The use of stoves, charcoal or gas grills or other cooking devices is prohibited within the park, unless permitted in accordance with the terms of a special use permit.

Skating, skateboards, and similar devices

Use of these devices is prohibited. Bicycles of all types are not permitted on the trail.


Smoking is prohibited in all public buildings. Smoking on trails and other outside areas of the park may be prohibited during periods of high fire danger.


Hunting, trapping, touching, feeding, teasing, or otherwise disturbing wildlife or fish is prohibited.

* Legally obtained wildlife that is within the limits of federal and state laws may be transported through the Sny Magill Unit public access corridor.

Horses and pack animals

Horses and pack animals are permitted in the visitor center parking lot and the Sny Magill Unit public access corridor. Unless being used for resource management purposes, horses and pack animals are prohibited from all other park areas.


A bike rack is available near the front door of the visitor center.

Ranger led hikes and other activities are optional and available intermittently throughout the year; during the summer ranger hikes leave daily from the visitor center at 11:00 AM & 2:00 PM.

Did You Know?