Things To Do
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.