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Contact: Visitor Center Front Desk, 563-873-3491 ext 123July 19 storm knocked out power, caused damage to trails
The National Park Service (NPS) has reopened the Visitor Center and some hiking trails at Effigy Mounds National Monument, located three miles north of Marquette, Iowa, following a severe storm during the evening of Wednesday, July 19. All buildings in the park escaped damage as a result of the storm, but power was disrupted for a day. Crews spent Thursday assessing damage throughout the 2,526 acre park and clearing fallen trees and limbs along the park’s most popular hiking trails.
“We’re thrilled to have the Visitor Center open again,” said Effigy Mounds superintendent Jim Nepstad. “We’re saddened that we have had to temporarily close some of our hiking trails, but after looking around yesterday, there was no doubt it had to happen. The storm did some very significant damage to trees in some parts of the park. Fortunately, damage around the mound areas was relatively light, so once trails are opened, the park will be as spectacular as ever.”
The two most popular hiking trails in the park – the Fire Point Loop and the Yellow River Boardwalk – received a lot of attention from park crews on Thursday. By the end of the day, all of the boardwalk was cleared and open. Most of the Fire Point Loop is open as well, although the section between the Little Bear mound and Fire Point will remain closed until a problematic tree hanging over the trail can be addressed by a specialist. Until further notice, the entire Hanging Rock trail and all trails in the South Unit are closed to public access. Daily 10:00 am Ranger-led hikes will be replaced with 20-30 minute Ranger talks until the entire Fire Point Loop is open and safe for the public. For updates on the status of trails and Ranger programming, visit the park’s Facebook page or website at www.nps.gov/effigymounds. For more information call (563) 873-3491, extension 123.