Hawkeye Point (Iowa State Highpoint)

Hawkeye Point, Iowa

Trip Date: Tuesday, June 5th, 2018
Last Updated: Thursday, June 14th, 2018
By Ricky Holzer

Hike Information

Rating ★★★★★(5/5)
Overall Difficulty Easy
Navigation Difficulty     Easy
Distance 0.1 miles roundtrip
Time 15 minutes
Terrain Mostly flat
Best Seasons All
Family Friendly Yes
Dog Friendly Yes
Accessible Yes

Highlights

Hike Walkthrough

I'm continuing my state highpointing journey, and this marks the first Midwest highpoint I've visited (and the second state highpoint after Mount Magazine in Arkansas). While this isn't a physical feat, this is one of the most unique highpoints with its extensive monument and tourist attractions. If you're ever heading to Sioux City or driving across Interstate 90, you should definitely stop here. How many people do you know that have visited a state highpoint?

There aren't any signs that prohibit dogs, but please be respectful -- keep your dog on leash and pick up after it! This is a good stop for any family, especially on a road trip, giving you a chance to stretch your legs and your kids a chance to expend any excess energy. As one of the flattest highpoints in the U.S. and as one you can drive right up to, I would call this destination accessible. Given its close proximity to a 4-lane highway, you can visit in all seasons including winter, though you may have to walk down the dirt road in heavy snow. I visited on a Tuesday afternoon and saw one other person stop here; the quick duration of a visit combined with the remoteness means you probably won't see many people even on a weekend.

As you exit your vehicle, you will first notice the monument designating the highpoint, pictured at the top of the page. Osceola County, the current proprietor of the land, has invested quite a bit of money in developing this as a tourist destination, resulting in this fabulous site in the middle of what would otherwise be unremarkable farmland. Five posts in the background have signs pointing to each of the other 49 state highpoints and a stone monument and beautiful tile platform (shown in the two pictures below) designate the highpoint.

The stone monument at the highpoint

The stone monument at the highpoint

This tiled compass rose designates the highpoint

This tiled compass rose designates the highpoint

Not only has the County constructed a monument, there are also several other cool features to make this a tourist destination. First is the American Gothic recreation with holes for your faces (you can see me doing my best impression in the picture below). There is also an observation deck attached to the grain silo as you can see in the background of the picture below, where you can marvel at the seemingly infinite flatness surrounding you.
Doing my best American Gothic impression

Me doing my best American Gothic impression

On your drive in, you probably also noticed the old farm equipment (see first picture below) and barn (see second picture below) on display. The barn contains a mini museum where you can learn the history of farming in the area. As of writing, no other state highpoint has anything like the exhibits here, though plenty have some sort of marker or monument.
Old farm implements on display

Old farm implements on display

This colorful old barn is now a mini museum

This colorful old barn is now a mini museum

If you're looking for a cheap (free) place to spend the night, look no further than the campground across the way. I stopped in to use the restroom, and I was quite impressed at the facilities, featuring flush toilets and a shower. The campsites seem pretty nice, with individual firepits and a picnic area in the center of the grounds (see picture below). Osceola County is really trying hard to make this a special place.
The adjacent campsite is rather nice

The adjacent campsite is rather nice

Having completed some rather easy highpoints, I'm really starting to look forward to the physically challenging highpoints. Whether you also have a dream of highpointing the Midwest, or if you're just looking for a day trip or place to stop while on a road trip, Hawkeye Point is one destination you shouldn't miss. Check back for future posts about highpoints, and be sure to use #nocoastbestcoast on Twitter and Instagram!
My highpoint journey continues

My highpoint journey continues

Directions

From Interstate 90 in Worthington, MN, take the exit for Minnesota Highway 60 and head south. Follow the highway into Iowa and look for the sign for Hawkeye Point soon after passing the town of Bigelow. Turn left onto a dirt road, then turn right after passing the house (you'll see the sign pictured below) to reach the highpoint.

This sign points you where to turn

This sign points you where to turn



Google Maps Directions

Parking, Fees, and Facilities

Parking is free! There probably won't be hordes of people here, so you can just park right in front of the highpoint monument at the end of the dirt road. Flush toilets, showers, and a picnic area are available at the campground across the dirt road from the highpoint site.

External Links

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