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Historic Pilot Knob State Park in Forest City
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Historic Pilot Knob State Park in Forest City

Pilot Knob State Park is located in Winnebago County. Since 1924, Pilot Knob Park has been attracting guests with its strategic location and abundant natural resources. During the early 20th century, Pilot Park acted as a strategic location, a stopover, for pioneers, who traveled westwards in search of land and investment opportunities.

In order to assist the pioneers, Civilian Conservation Corps built large stone structures at the park in 1934. They built three stone bridge, a massive amphitheater and entrance portals. These stone structures still act as principal attractions in the park. Visitors can climb their way to the top of the observation tower. The observation tower is the second highest point in Iowa and offers a lovely scenic view of the area.

Pilot Knob offers activities throughout the year. Camping, hiking, bird and animal watching, and fishing are summertime attractions at the park. Pilot Knob State Park has trails that are perfect for hikers and horseback riders. Wild animals including deer can be seen in abundance on the 13-mile long trails. Some of the comfortable trails include equestrian trails, McGrady Trail, and Dead End Trail. The trails are well maintained and are informative for the visitors.

During winter, the park offers cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling. There is also a warming house at the park, for visitors to get a break from the winter activities.

One of the well-known spots in the park is the Dead Man's Lake. The Dead Man Lake, a four-acre moving sphagnum bog, is the only one of its kind in Iowa. Bog is a collection of decayed plantations, which retains a lot of water. There are species that are unique to Dead Man’s Lake including the red-backed vole and the carnivorous Sundew plant.

The park is four miles away from Forest City and visitors can also explore the many nearby attractions.

For more details about the park, please email to or click here.


Pilot Knob State Park,

2148 340th Street,

Forest City,

IA – 50436.

Come and visit the historic park in the state, and enjoy nature.

* Image courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons.


  1. Imagine Northeast Iowa Support
    Imagine Northeast Iowa Support
    Sounds great! Thanks for contributing to Imagine Northeast Iowa!
    1. neiowadad

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