Outdoor Activities

Human and animal tracks mark a snowy prairie trail.
Snowshoe tracks accompany animal tracks on a prairie trail.

NPS Photo

 

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.

Healthy Parks, Healthy People

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.
Healthy Parks, Healthy People

Self-guided Walking Tour

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

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.

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.

 

Park Map & Guide

The official guide has a map, photos, and information about touring Herbert Hoover National Historic Site.

Download
 

Tallgrass Prairie Trails

In honor of Herbert Hoover's love of nature, and in an attempt to share an exquisite natural resource with the public, the National Park Service restored 81 acres of tallgrass prairie.

Download
 

Borrow a Tablet

Borrow an iPad with the Herbert Hoover mobile app from the Visitor Center. There is no charge to borrow a tablet but government-issued photo identification is required. Tablets may be reserved or borrowed first-come, first served. Please book no more than one per family, classroom, or group leader.

Reserve

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 607
West Branch, IA 52358

Phone:

(319) 643-2541

Contact Us