Bordered by the Mississippi River, this picturesque village is the gateway to western Iowa’s outdoor attractions.
With a population of less than 400, Harpers Ferry has authentic small-town charm. It’s also one of Allamakee County’s oldest villages and provides a glimpse of Mississippi River towns of the past.
Stroll through the town center to explore the historic architecture and storefronts. Each Friday during summer and autumn, growers and artisans gather for the farmers market, which showcases local produce and crafts. Take a break to enjoy a meal and view at a waterfront restaurant or bar. Savor your favorite drink and watch the reflection of the sunset in the flowing waters.
Explore the Mississippi aboard a river cruise. Sit back and relax as your guide tells you about the region’s local history and enjoy unparalleled views of the waterfront. Harpers Ferry’s recreational activities are largely centered on the river. Go swimming, fishing, tubing, canoeing or kayaking. Rental facilities are available in the downtown area.
Harpers Ferry is primarily an outdoor enthusiast’s destination. Yellow River State Forest borders the town to the west and offers a pristine landscape ideal for camping or hiking. The area is known as a prime trout fishing destination and is visited by anglers from all over the Midwest. Trails snake through Yellow River State Forest and make it an excellent place to bike or hike.
Explore the history of Harpers Ferry’s first inhabitants at Effigy Mounds National Monument, an ancient Native American burial ground. The prehistoric site features the biggest concentrations of burial mounds found in the United States, with effigies shaped like birds, bears and other animals. The Visitor’s Center has exhibits showcasing the unique history of the site. Take a guided tour of the mounds or embark on a solo adventure using the miles of trails running throughout the park.
Harpers Ferry sits on the eastern border of Iowa, just over two hours by car from Madison, Wisconsin. Travel the Great River Road, following the Mississippi an hour north to La Crosse for beautiful waterfront scenery.