National Treasures

National Historic Site: Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum

The library and museum affords visitors insights into the life and leadership of America’s 31st president. Located in West Branch, the site includes Hoover’s birthplace cottage and final resting place. A blacksmith shop, one-room schoolhouse, Friends meeting house, replica of the Oval Office, and changing American history exhibits are also part of the library and museum operated by the National Archives and Records Administration. The Visitor Center is operated by the National Park Service.


National Monument: Effigy Mounds

Effigy Mounds is a group of prehistoric American Indian burial and ceremonial mounds located near Marquette in northeast Iowa. The mounds - shaped like birds and animals between 500 B.C. and 1300 A.D. - form the sacred centerpiece of a 2,526-acre forest along the Mississippi River bluffs. Natural resources include 11 miles of hiking trails, tallgrass prairie and wetlands.


National Heritage Area: Silos and Smokestacks

This area is a federally designated, 37-county region in northeast Iowa, where visitors experience the past and present of Iowa agriculture through a network of sites. One of only 27 National Heritage Areas in the United States, Silos and Smokestacks tells the story of American agriculture, agribusiness and farm life. It is affiliated with the National Park Service.


National Wildlife Refuges

DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge
Located near Missouri Valley in west central Iowa, offers 7,800 acres of refuge to migrating waterfowl — especially geese and ducks — along the Missouri River. Bald eagles also winter here.

Driftless Area National Wildlife Refuge
Located in northeast Iowa along the Mississippi River, is part of the Upper Mississippi National Wildlife and Fish Refuge.

Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge
Includes the Prairie Learning Center near Prairie City in central Iowa. Showcases Iowa's prairie heritage with car and walking tours to encounter buffalo and elk, native flowers, and prairie grasses.

Port Louisa National Wildlife Refuge
Near Toolesboro in southeast Iowa, is a natural haven for wildlife along the bend of in the Mississippi River.

Union Slough National Wildlife Refuge
Located in northwest Iowa, the refuge is Kossuth County's welcome to wildlife.

Find more information on Iowa's wildlife and fish refuges.