Hawkeye Point

Page Type
Mountain/Rock
Location:
Iowa, United States, North America
County:
Osceola
Elevation:
1670 ft / 509 m
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86.71% Score
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Page By:
Hawkeye Point
Created On: Apr 17, 2004
Last Edited On: Jul 18, 2015

Overview

In Kansas, flatness is a way of life, in Iowa, it's an art.

Hawkeye Point is the highpoint of Iowa. Although the Mississippi River areas offer some hills and rocks in Eastern Iowa, Western Iowa is flatter than can be. However, one of those flat points rises above the rest, and although it does not tower over the landscape in any way, there is a value in reaching its farmland summit. Hawkeye Point gradually rises 20 feet above the surrounding farmland offering excellent panoramic views of the Iowa landscape. While the site is privately owned, the owners have championed the site as a tourist destination and has worked with the County to make sure it remains accessible. While the landowners are friendly and happy to have visitors, please make sure respect the land, visit at a reasonable hour, and do not leave any trash behind.

Hawkeye Point
New and improved highpoint marker.

Getting There

From I-90. Go to Worthington, Minnesota and take Exit 45, which is rt. 59 South. While still in Minnesota, look for signs to route 60 South. Once you hit the Iowa border, it is about 3 miles to the turn. Make a left on to 130th street. Their is a sign marking the turn for Hawkeye Point on route 60.

Once in the driveway, drive up about a tenth of a mile, and look for the silo to the right. Behind it is the highpoint marker and the highpoint of Iowa. There is a summit register.

Hawkeye Point
Hawkeye Point Summit view

Highpointing

Some may ask why anyone would want to travel to this remote midwestern farmland area. Hawkeye Point certainly does not provide the best Iowa has to offer, but highpointing takes you places you would never think of going. Like a unique tour of America that few get to experience. The site was recently remodeled and celebrates highpointing.

Hawkeye Point is one of the few flatland highpoints, and it is accessible from I-90, a highway that goes from Boston to Seattle, and is used by many to drive cross-country. For more information on highpointing, check out the Highpointers Club.

Red Tape

Entry is free. The high point is now owned by Osceola County (more details are below). Please show respect for the area and don't leave any trash. The Sterler family owned this land for many years and were always welcoming to the public. Let that tradition continue with the new owners.

To make certain this State Highpoint always remains free and accessible for anyone wanting to come, the Sterler family offered to donate 1.6 acres around the highpoint to Osceola County. Osceola County then took that idea a step further, signing an agreement with the family in 2007 to purchase 5 acres around the highpoint. The highpoint is still always open to the public, but the county plans to eventually have a Visitor's Center, campground, restrooms, historical display areas, and an observation tower. These are long-range plans, because funding is by donation. The site has already been remodeled and looks much better. For more information about future plans for this highpoint, or to contribute a donation, please contact the "Hawkeye Point Committee" at (712)754-2523.

When To Climb

Any time of year.

Yellow River State Forest - The hills in Iowa

Yellow River State Forest is located in Allamakee County in northeast Iowa (far away from Hawkeye Point), yet it is one of the hilliest areas in the entire state, with rises in the vicinity of 300'. There are even some nice rock outcroppings to visit that overlook the Mississippi River. The elevations in this area are above 1,000', but none approaching the height above sea level at Hawkeye Point.

Check out this page for information on hiking in the forest.
Check out this page for photos of the hills.

Miscellaneous Info

Hiking, camping, and several lakes are available at Gull Point State Park about 25 miles away. Check out Gull Point

Check out this site for some rock climbing areas in Iowa.


Some of the included parks are:

Backbone State Park in the Northeast in Delaware County.

Palisades-Kepler near Cedar Rapids in the East

Wapsipinicon State Park near Cedar Rapids in the East


For a list of more Iowa State Parks and Recreation Areas see this site.



External Links

Additions and CorrectionsPost an Addition or Correction

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Redwic

Redwic - Jul 7, 2008 12:28 pm - Hasn't voted

New HP Owners...

To make certain this State Highpoint always remains free and accessible for anyone wanting to come, Mrs. Sterler had offered to donate 1.6 acres around the highpoint to Osceola County. Osceola County then took that idea a step further, signing an agreement with Mrs. Sterler in 2007 to purchase 5 acres around the highpoint. The highpoint is still always open to the public, but the county plans to eventually have a Visitor's Center, campground, restrooms, historical display areas, and an observation tower. These are long-range plans, because funding is by donation. For more information about future plans for this highpoint, or to contribute a donation, please contact the "Hawkeye Point Committee" at (712)754-2523.

Alpinist

Alpinist - Jul 28, 2009 12:10 am - Voted 9/10

Newly remodeled

They recently remodeled the facilities at Hawkeye Point. It looks really nice. I added some photos to show how it looks now.

hgrapid

hgrapid - Jul 28, 2009 5:47 pm - Hasn't voted

Thanks

I'll look through them

Cascade Scrambler

Cascade Scrambler - Jun 2, 2011 10:34 am - Hasn't voted

Getting there is currently incorrect

Highways 59 and 60 south of I-90 are both closed near Worthington. In places, 60 northbound doesn't even exist right now- it's been completely torn up. Construction is expected to finish in 2011 with no posted completion date. As of June, they're still a ways away from being finished.



http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d7/projects/hwy60/



In Worthington, follow the 59 detour signs, and eventually, you'll get to a portion of 60 you can use. Alternatively, if traveling with a GPS, just set your destination as Sibley, IA- it'll also get you to the MN/IA state line (but you don't travel all the way to Sibley, obviously.)

hgrapid

hgrapid - Jun 2, 2011 11:42 pm - Hasn't voted

Thanks

Thanks - I added your comments and attributed the update to you

mtzfamily - Jul 11, 2013 10:33 pm - Hasn't voted

Additional info

We "climbed" this highpoint today. Site improvements continue. Watch for the Hawkeye Point signs to turn. Access is still free but there is a black metal donation box where you can deposit some funds. The box is not marked in any fashion.



A campsite is in progress across the street. It is big enough for trailers and has electric hookups. There is one water source. The new privvy is underway with the cement pad and rough plumbing in. The structure has not been built yet. Per night rate is $15.



Even though this was not a strenuous endeavor it was worth the trip to a very nice area.



Bark Eater

Bark Eater - Sep 16, 2014 12:23 pm - Voted 10/10

Camping

Campground appears to still be work in progress. Very nice area but traffic noise from US60 would make it a noisy night. We camped ~30 miles east at Marble Beach State Park - Spirit Lake. Great campground, fun times, $11 tent sites. Highly recommended.

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