Things To Do

Red brick visitor center with picture windows.

Start your visit to Herbert Hoover National Historic Site at the Visitor Center.

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Films & Exhibits

Exhibits at the visitor center tell about Herbert Hoover's childhood in West Branch and his later involvement in developing the park which commemorates his life. The 12-minute film Adventure and Great Undertakings: Herbert Hoover's Childhood in West Branch is played on request. Artwork by artists-in-residence are also displayed.

Most of the indoor exhibits about Herbert Hoover are at Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum. The permanent galleries, along with the 22-minute film American Adventure, show Hoover's Hoover's early globetrotting, his entry into public service— including his frustrating presidency— and his remarkable post-presidential life.

Hoover graves

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

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Self-guided Tours

The grounds of the historic site are open 24 hours a day. Maps 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.

A new Junior Ranger at Herbert Hoover NHS

Park rangers review completed activity books and swear in new Junior Rangers.

Linda  Staats

Be A Junior Ranger

The Junior Ranger program helps kids get involved and learn more about Herbert Hoover National Historic Site. Anyone can get a free Junior Ranger Activity Book (PDF file) from the Visitor Center. Follow the activity instructions in the activity book. When the activity book is complete return to the Visitor Center to receive your official Junior Ranger badge for Herbert Hoover National Historic Site.

Red and yellow starburst fireworks burn against the black night sky.

Fireworks conclude Hoover's Hometown Days, the annual event celebrating President Hoover' birth each August.

Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum

Programs & Events

Check the calendar for ranger programs and annual events. The first weekend of each August, Hoover's Hometown Days celebrates the 31st President's birth with a parade, food, music, exhibits, crafts, and family activities. Other annual events are a public naturalization ceremony for new citizens (mid September), a commemoration of President Hoover's burial (late October), and "A Christmas Past" holiday celebration (first weekend in December).

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.

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Get Moving Outdoors

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.

Nature Trails

Two and a half miles of unpaved walking trails pass though the 81-acre tallgrass prairie and along Hoover Creek. In the winter the snow-covered trails are suitable for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, though the trails are not groomed. Snowshoes may be available for loan at the visitor center. Download the Tallgrass Prairie Trail Map (PDF file) or pick up a copy from the visitor center.


Paved roads normally open to the public, sidewalks, boardwalks and parking areas are open to bicycle use.


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.

A wooden picnic shelter with a brick fire pit.

Boy Scouts built the West Shelter in 1953 as a tribute to to Herbert Hoover's spirit of volunteer service.

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Have A Picnic

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

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