Pikes Peak SP (IA), Effigy Mounds (IA), Villa Louis (WI) and Wyalusing State Park (WI)
Next stop on the trip was Pikes Peak State Park, IA. What a great place to visit! We found out about this place from a couple while we were making a pit stop for Sadie at a roadside park on our way into Bemidji. What a great suggestion it turned out to be. We camped here for 3 days of sightseeing. Our camping spot was good and the campground has a lot of spaces for various sizes of RV’s.
The views within this park are breathtaking. The overlook is just a short walk from the RV parking. We were there before the leaves were starting to turn, but the fall colors/view have to be amazing here. From the 500 foot overlook you can see a wide expanse of where the Mississippi River and the Wisconsin River converge below. Lots of fishermen were out each morning/evening. Near the overlook there are several trails available and a great picnicking area. We were about 10 minutes from the towns of McGregor and Marquette and Prairie du Chien for meals and shopping if we wanted. View Pictures
Effigy Mounds National Monument, IA
Effigy Mounds has been on our list to visit since a recent visit to Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site. We were given a list and information about the mound differences between the two sites. The hikes through these mounds was very enjoyable. The trails and grounds are very well maintained. You walk up and down the hills, enjoy an overlook over the river and immerse yourself in the different shapes of the mounds. Bears, birds, deer, lynx etc. View Pictures
Villa Louis Carriage Classic, Prairie Du Chien, WI
This is a competitive carriage driving event that takes place annually the weekend after Labor Day. We were very lucky to have been in the area and went to visit the Villa Louis Historic Museum without knowing this event was happening. It was a great treat for us. We spent the day touring the mansion and enjoying the vintage carriages, horses of all sizes (miniature horses to draft horses), and the drivers who were dressed in period costumes. It was just spectacular! View Pictures
Villa Louis Historic Site, Prairie Du Chien, WI
This mansion was the estate of the H. Louis Dousman family and almost all of the artifacts in the mansion belonged to the family. We saw many items that we hadn’t seen in other historical places and knowing that they were preserved to tell the history of this family is amazing. This family was from St. Louis and their home was located on historic Locust Street–the home no longer exists in St. Louis. We actually visit a small diner (The Fountain on Locust, awesome ice cream dishes) in that area of St. Louis so we had a good idea of it’s prior location. The tour of the mansion was very interesting as they had docents in period costumes stationed in each room to provide historical information. View Pictures
Wyalusing State Park, WI
Wyalusing State Park: We took a little time to drive through this state park. One side of the campground sits high on the bluff with really awesome views of the river and the landscape across. It has two campgrounds, one with the view of the bluffs and the other is a new campground that will handle large rigs. It also has an Astronomy section with observatories and pads available to set up telescopes. Very Nice! View Pictures
Next stop: The Quad-Cities of Iowa!