• Pink flowers blossom in the garden of a white two-room cottage.

    Herbert Hoover

    National Historic Site Iowa

Outdoor Activities

Healthy Parks, Healthy People

Herbert Hoover, who lived to be ninety years old, filled his childhood days with outdoor experiences. He swam and fished in Wapsinonoc Creek. He played in the nearby woodlot. He gathered fall nuts in the forest. These experiences gave Herbert Hoover an appreciation of the outdoors that persisted throughout his long life.

A visit to a national park can help promote health and well-being. Herbert Hoover National Historic Site offers numerous opportunities fresh air and exercise, gathering places for social activities, and open spaces for quiet reflection.

The park's most-visited features are all within a half-mile walk from each parking lot, and are connected by numerous paved streets and sidewalks, wooden boardwalks, gravel paths, and grass trails. Most walkways and buildings are accessible to visitors with disabilities.

 
Two white marble grave stones and a US flag overlook a park.

The graves of Herbert and Lou Henry Hoover overlook the park commemorating the president's life.

NPS Photo

Self-guided Walking Tour

The grounds of the historic site are open 24 hours a day. Maps, an audio tour, and Junior Ranger activity books for self-guided walks are available at the Visitor Center. The self-guided walking tour includes the Birthplace Cottage, Blacksmith Shop, Schoolhouse, Friends Meetinghouse, Statue of Isis, Gravesite, and other historic features of the park.

 
Grasses in the restored prairie against a blue sky with white clouds.

Native grasses that recall Iowa's frontier days grow in the restored tallgrass prairie.

NPS photo

Nature Trails

There are 2.5 miles of unpaved walking trails though the 81-acre tallgrass prairie and along Hoover Creek. In the winter the snow-covered trails are suitable for cross-country skiing, though the trails are not groomed for skis.

Ask for a copy of the trail map at the Visitor Center. Download the Tallgrass Prairie Trail Map (PDF file, 1,682 KB) »

 

Other Outdoor Activities

The park's most-visited features are all within a half-mile walk from each parking lot, and are connected by numerous paved streets and sidewalks, wooden boardwalks, gravel paths, and grass trails. Most walkways and buildings are accessible to visitors with disabilities.

Bicycling

Bicycle riding is permitted on all paved streets, parking lots, concrete sidewalks in the park, and on the walkway leading from the historic area to the loop road.

Picnicking

The Herbert Hoover National Historic Site has two picnic shelters that may be used for free on a first-come, first-served basis or reserved for $25.00. There are more picnic tables at the Village Green.

More

Because of the commemorative nature of the historic site, some recreational activities may not be permitted. Park regulations are updated every year. Contact us if you have questions.

Did You Know?

Hoover's birthplace as it appeared before restoration: a two-story white frame house.

Herbert Hoover's birthplace was a tourist attraction as early as 1928. Jennie Scellers, the house's owner, charged 10 cents for tours and set up a souvenir stand on her lawn. More...