I stood proudly atop the ramparts of a castle, admiring the vast cliffs and river far below – and I did it without ever leaving Iowa! Travel just north of Clinton and you will find Eagle Point Park. This beautiful place serves as a centerpiece for Clinton’s history and natural landscape.
Eagle Point Park has changed over the years, but unique and key historical markers bring the Clinton community to the park year after year. Honestly. How many other places can you go in Iowa and actually climb to gaze out from a medieval-esque castle? The stone structure commonly called "the Castle" is open for visitors of all ages to explore, with decades-old stairs leading all the way up to a look-out tower.
Another age-old attraction is "the Lodge", once simply a small rustic shelter but, over the years, modified into a state-of-the-art center for all sorts of park and community activities. One of the most popular of these activities is the annual Symphony of Lights. Each year over the winter holidays, you can drive through the park and wonder at the dozens of displays lighting up the snowy night, just before stopping at the Lodge to see Santa and purchase homemade crafts.
In addition to the special sights and seasonal activities at the park, there’s plenty to do on a daily basis if you just want to relax and have fun. Use the playground and picnic areas throughout the park to play and eat. Visit the adjacent Prairie Pastures Dog Park with your pet and explore the strange remnants of what used to be the park’s zoo. Whether you want to go on a picnic, sail down a slide, or walk along the park’s rustic stone bridge, you can always find fun at Eagle Point.
But whatever you do. Don't miss the park’s scenic panorama of the Mississippi River, visible not just from atop the Castle, but also from overlooks and trails around the park. Eagles (which gave the park its name), regularly travel to and from the area for nesting and fishing. Keep your eyes peeled for them and other wild critters. Want to explore even more? There is the Discovery Trail, stretching from the park to downtown Clinton and all the way to Camanche.
Photo Credit: Flickr