The first real War of 1812 battle was fought at Fort Madison. It was the site of Chief Black Hawk’s encounter with American soldiers. It was also the location of the first military cemetery in the Midwest.
The people of Fort Madison are amiable and very welcoming to visitors or tourists just starting a new adventure. This small community is located on the Mississippi River.
There are several notable attractions and fun activities available in this town, and this article will cover some of the interesting things to do in Fort Madison, Iowa.
Let’s get started!
Where is Fort Madison, Iowa?
Fort Madison is a city and county seat of Lee County, Iowa, in the United States. Only one county in the state has two seats.
At the 2020 census, Fort Madison had a population of 10,270. It is located along the Mississippi River’s southeast section. This area is known for its small bluffs.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Fort Madison has a total area of over 13 square miles. Almost 9 square miles of it is land, while the rest is water.
Things to Do in Fort Madison, Iowa
There are several fun activities available in Ford Madison, Iowa. These are 21 things to do in Fort Madison, Iowa:
1. Snake Alley
During the 1890s, the natural amphitheater in downtown Burlington was removed to make way for a more creative solution.
A portion of 6th street was then turned into what’s now known as the most uncouth street in the nation. The street was then linked to Heritage Hill.
The design of Snake Alley was inspired by the paths found in Germany and France.
Three German immigrants created this unique feature, which features curved limestone curbing and locally-made bricks.
The design of Snake Alley measures over 270 feet long. It’s a one-way street, and all vehicles move in the same direction.
Address: The Snake Alley is located at Snake Alley, Burlington, IA, United States.
2. Fun City
Located in the northwest section of the city is the Catfish Bend Casino.
In addition to this, there are also various other attractions at Fun City, such as the Harbor Water Park.
This facility features multiple water slides and other indoor and outdoor features.
The complex features various family-friendly attractions. These include an indoor karting track, an arena for laser tag, and a massive arcade.
The park also has an indoor playground that’s called Ballocity.
Address: The Fun City is located at 3001 Winegard Dr, Burlington, IA 52601, United States.
3. Burlington Bees
The Bees are a minor league baseball team that was founded in 1889. They’ve been in the Midwest League for most of their history.
Before being relocated in 2020, they were in the Collegiate Wood Bat League.
Some notable individuals who have played for them include Billy Williams and Paul Molitor.
The Community Field, constructed in 1947, can hold more than 3,000 people.
It was renovated in 2005. As a result, it has been named one of the top facilities in the Midwest.
Address: The Burlington Bees is located at 2712 Mt Pleasant St, Burlington, IA 52601, United States.
4. Downtown Burlington
The heart of downtown is filled with restaurants and shops designed to reflect the modern era.
This area has also been referred to as a U.S. historic district. This renaissance started during the 1990s and continues to flourish.
During the 20th century, the area was a significant transport hub. Many of the buildings in downtown were constructed during this period. It was also a gateway to the nearby railroad and Chicago.
Address: Downtown Burlington is located at 6905 Odana Rd, Madison, WI 53719, United States.
5. Art Center of Burlington
One of the most prominent cultural attractions in the city is the Art Center of Burlington, located in the heart of the community.
This facility features a variety of art pieces from different regions. It’s also a great place to meet other artists.
The Art Center in Fort Madison is additionally known for its various events.
One of these is the Snake Alley Art Fair, an annual event held for Father’s Day. It features over 80 artists and activities for kids.
The facility is additionally involved in the community, as it regularly hosts art classes for children.
Address: This attraction is located at 301 Jefferson St #1, Burlington, IA 52601, United States.
>>Here are some amazing things to Do in Davenport (Iowa), in case you decide to visit other parts of Iowa.
6. Mosquito Park
It is located at |C2: One of the most prominent cultural attractions in the city is the Art Center of Burlington, which is located in the heart of the community.
This facility features a variety of art pieces and is also a great place to meet other artists. This park overlooks the Mississippi River.
This area also features a free tower viewer if you’re looking for a more expansive view.
During the warmer months, the park is a popular location for couples to get married. It’s also a great place to watch bald eagles.
Address: This attraction is located at 300 Franklin St, Burlington, IA 52601, United States.
7. Crapo Park
The park, referred to as a kray-poh, was placed on the National Register due to its connection to raising the American flag on Iowa soil in 1805.
It was named after local businessman Philip Crapo. The facility was first opened in 1895 as part of Fort Madison’s semi-centenary celebrations.
This park has a variety of different features, such as a cave that was named after Zebulon Pike, a bandshell, and a fountain.
It also has an ornamental lake, picnic shelters, and various other facilities.
Address: The Crapo Park is at 2800 Madison Ave, Burlington, IA 52601, United States.
8. Des Moines County Heritage Center Museum
One of the most prominent structures in the area is the former Public Library downtown. It was constructed in 1898 and was funded by Philip Crapo.
The building featured an Italian-style design and was constructed with various red sandstone blocks.
The Des Moines County Historical Museum was initially in a different location.
The museum features multiple exhibits that detail the history of the region.
Its interior design is also a significant part of the joy. This facility features a leaded glass dome.
Address: The Des Moines County Heritage Center Museum is at 501 N 4th St, Burlington, IA 52601, United States.
9. Garrett-Phelps House Museum
The top floor of Snake Alley is a six-story mansion built for William Garrett in 1851, and it was eventually sold to the Phelps family.
Initially, the property was a nursing school and hospital. It was the home of Garrett’s relatives until the 19th century.
The DesMoines Historical Society currently owns the mansion. It has multiple rooms that exhibit various artifacts and decorative arts.
One of these rooms features a display case that holds items from the Presbyterian Hospital.
Address: The Garret-Phelps House Museum is at 521 Columbia St, Burlington, IA 52601, United States.
10. Capitol Theater
When the Capitol Theater was first constructed in 1937, it was considered a prominent town building. However, it closed in 1977 and was replaced by a theater.
This was a popular spot for locals and visitors until the facility was eventually replaced.
It was unused for almost four decades before it was renovated in 2012. The facility has seating for people who enjoy watching movies.
It also has a variety of other functions, such as hosting comedians and recording artists.
Address: This attraction is at 211 N 3rd St, Burlington, IA 52601, United States.
11. Port of Burlington Welcome Center
The old municipal dock is near the railroad tracks on the south side of the river. These structures were constructed in 1928 and were intended to haul coal.
The Port of Burlington’s Welcome Center is inside the former docks. It has a variety of maps and brochures that detail the various attractions in the area.
Its staff members can also help people find their way around the town.
Address: The Port of Burlington Welcome Center is located at 400 N Front St, Burlington, IA 52601, United States.
12. Catfish Bend Casino
The Fun City casino was first opened in 1994 and relocated to its current location in 2007. This facility has over 650 slot machines and various table games.
The other gaming area at the Catfish Bend is also equipped with a sportsbook and poker room.
The complex that houses the Fort Madison Casino features various other facilities.
Some of these include a spa, two hotels, and a variety of restaurants. Some of these establishments include Dairy Queen and Pizza Hut.
Address: The Catfish Bend Casino is located at 3001 Winegard Dr, Burlington, IA 52601, United States.
13. North Gorge Trail
Aside from these facilities, the town also has a variety of natural attractions.
One of these is the Flint River’s North Gorge Trail, which is a multi-use trail system that features hiking and mountain biking.
This trail was opened in 2016 and has been used by hikers and mountain bike riders.
The North Gorge Trail is also a popular hiking area that allows people to explore the area through various wooden bridges. This trail also has various areas where people can cool off.
Address: The North Gorge Trail 6098 N Sherman Ave, Madison, WI 53704, United States.
14. Dankwardt Memorial Park
One of the town’s most popular parks is situated near Crapo Park. It was named after Lydian Dankward, who donated it in her memory. The park also features various facilities.
Besides the park, people can also enjoy other recreational facilities such as tennis courts, a disc golf course, and a skating park.
The town also has a sewer trail that people can use to explore the area.
This trail is for you if you want a unique view of Baltimore’s Cascade Bridge.
Address: This attraction is at 2305 Madison Ave, Burlington, IA 52601, United States.
15. Burlington Memorial Auditorium
The city of Fort Madison purchased the former U.S. Navy training facility in 1939.
This building was constructed as part of a federal project. This facility has since been used for various events.
The facility can accommodate various events, such as dance and magic shows.
It also features an arena floor that can hold up to 6,000 square feet.
This facility is additionally an excellent spot for watching football games and Halloween events.
Address: The Burlington Memorial Auditorium is located at 200 N Front St, Burlington, IA 52601, United States.
16. Field of Dreams
One of the facilities featured in the movie “Field of Dreams” is a baseball field that was built near the town of Fort Madison.
This was made famous by the film, which was released in 1989.
The baseball diamond in Fort Madison was constructed on a farm owned by the local family. This facility has become a popular tourist spot.
Address: The Field of Dreams is located at 28995 Lansing Road, Dyersville, IA 52040, United States.
17. Flint Hills Municipal Golf Course
The Flint Hills Municipal Golf Course is a well-designed 18-hole facility that features various water hazards.
This facility is ideal for players of all abilities. It also features a pro-shop.
Address: The Flint Hills Municipal Golf Course is located at 12842 102nd Ave, Burlington, IA 52601, United States.
18. Flint River Trail
The town’s residents can also enjoy various recreational facilities thanks to a trail system connecting various areas in the city.
This trail will go through Riverside Park, the Historic Zion School, and Starr’s Cave Park.
The trail, currently under construction, will eventually go through Big Hollow.
Address: The Flint River Trail is located at N Prairie Grove Rd, Burlington, IA 52601, United States.
19. Mississippi Valley Veterans Memorial
In 2015, a veterans memorial was constructed in Mississippi Valley to honor the individuals who served the country.
It features various artistic scenes depicting multiple branches of service. Over 2,200 names of veterans are also engraved on its reverse side.
Address: The Mississippi Valley Veterans Memorial is at W West, 405 Division St, Burlington, IA 52601, United States.
20. Great River Road National Scenic Byway
The Mississippi River passes through Fort Madison’s southern and northern borders. It offers magnificent views of the area and various river towns.
The Great River Road is a national scenic byway that spans the river’s length from its source in Minnesota to its mouth in the Gulf of Mexico. This route connects various counties and towns.
As you travel through Iowa, the views of the river change constantly.
One of the most popular stories you’ll hear along the route is about how the river helped build the country.
Address: The Great River Road National Scenic Byway is located in Fort Madison, Iowa, United States.
21. Harper-Ekdale House
One of the most popular establishments in downtown Fort Madison is the Good Restaurant.
This establishment is in the historic Harper-Ekdale House. This building was constructed in 1852.
Address: This attraction is at 2323 Harper Ln, Fort Madison, IA 52627, United States.