Decorah offers many interesting and fun things to do including:
- Broadway--Phelps Park Historic District
- Decorah Fish Hatchery
- Decorah Parks and Recreation
- Freeport Bowstring Arch Bridge
- Pinter's Gardens and Pumpkins
- Porter House Museum
- Viking 3 Theatres
- Seed Savers Exchange
- Trout Run Trail
- Upper Iowa River
- Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum
- Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum
- Prairie Farmer Recreational Trail
- Fort Atkinson State Preserve
- Lake Meyer Nature Center
- Bily Clocks/Antonín Dvorák Exhibit
Decorah's terrain lends itself to spectacular road and mountain biking, as seen here on IPTV. The 12 mile Trout Run Trail encircles Decorah. See the map for details. The following Decorah establishments offer bike rental and/or route planning:
- Decorah Bicycles
101 College Drive
Decorah, IA 52101
Phone: (563) 382-8209
Fax: (563) 382-9126
Toll Free: 1-888-629-9832
- Oneota River Cycles
208 E Water St
Decorah, IA 52101
Phone: (563) 382-0421
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this neighborhood offers self-guided walking tour routes to view examples of Midwestern architecture dating to 1850, including a home used for the underground railroad. Free self-guided tour maps available at the Decorah Area Chamber of Commerce (www.decoraharea.com).
The State of Iowa has stocked more than 27 miles of trout streams since 1933. See (and feed!) fish of all sizes in tanks. Tours, and trout fishing information is available. Open daily; free admission. Located on Trout Run Road off Highway 9 east of Decorah. Call (563) 382-8324 or visit www.iowadnr.gov/fish/programs/hatchery/decorah.html.
Twelve city parks feature scenic views, hiking opportunities, playgrounds, picnic areas, a swimming pool with a 125-foot water slide, ice skating, and riverside camping. Main office is in City Hall on Heivly Street. Call (563) 382-4158 or visit www.decorahia.org for more information.
This preserved bridge is one of four remaining in the United States. Built in 1879, it's the second longest in the nation. The bridge can be seen along Iowa Highway 9 just east of its intersection with Montgomery Street.
Just 4.5 miles west of Decorah, Pinter’s Gardens and Pumpkins is a destination for shopping, food, and fun. Visit the garden center for plants, flowers, and outdoor décor. Stay for lunch and a treat from the bakery, including homemade fudge. In the fall, the farm offers a pumpkin patch, hay rides, corn maze, giant jumping pillow and fun events. The corn maze turns haunted at night! Bus tours welcome. Hours do change seasonally. Visit www.pintersgardensandpumpkins.com for more information. Located at 2475 State Hwy 9 Decorah, IA 52101 or call (563) 382-0010
Built of native brick in 1867, this Italian Tuscan villa houses unique collections and furnishings and is surrounded by an unusual rock wall. Open Memorial Day to Labor Day, Mon.-Sun., with admission charge. Located at 401 West Broadway. Call (563) 382-1867 or visit www.porterhousemuseum.org.
Check out the latest releases at the three screen cinema. All movies are presented in digital with many in 3-D as well. SAC Cinema sponsors one student movie night per month (7 per academic year) at the Viking 3. Students who participate in the CAF are able to attend one newly released film for free. Call (563) 382-4898 for showtimes or visit http://fridleytheatres.com/decorah.html for more info.
Founded in 1975 north of Decorah, SSE's scenic 890-acre headquarters, known as Heritage Farm, is a living museum of historic varieties of organic vegetables, apple trees, and Ancient White Park catte. Visitors are welcome at Heritage Farm April through December. Open Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and weekends 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. A donation of $1 per visitor is suggested. Guided tours and bus tours are available for a charge of $3 per person, and can be arranged by calling Diane at (563) 382-5990. Also visit www.seedsavers.org.
Enjoy the scenery Decorah offers by biking, hiking or running on the Trout Run Trail. View map.
The Upper Iowa is the only river in the state that meets criteria for wild and scenic river designation. Popular for canoeing, tubing, and bass fishing, the river is accessible at landing points in Kendallville, Bluffton, and Decorah. The following establishments offer canoe rentals and route planning:
- Chimney Rock Canoe Rental & Campground
3312 Chimney Rock Road
Bluffton, IA 52136
Toll Free: 1-877-787-CAMP (2267)
- Hruska's Canoe & Kayak Livery & Bluffton Campground
3233 347th Street
Kendallville, IA 52101
Phone: Kendallville (563) 547-4566 or Bluffton (563) 735-5633
- Hutchinson Family Farm Campground and B & B
2299 Scenic River Road
Decorah , IA 52101
Phone: (563) 382-3054
- Pulpit Rock Campground
505 Pulpit Rock Road
Decorah, IA 52101
Phone: (563) 382-9551
- Randy's Bluffton Store
2619 Ravine Road
Decorah, IA 52101
Phone: (563) 735-5738
- River & Trail Outfitters
Sue and Luke Cote
212 Pulpit Rock Rd
Phone: (563) 382-6552
- Luther College Recreational Services (for current students only)
Phone: (563) 387-1024
Vesterheim is America's oldest and largest museum devoted to one immigrant group and comprises a complex of 15 historic buildings, costumes, furniture, decorations, and fine arts reflective of Norwegian immigrant life. Open year-round except major holidays during the months November through April, Mon.-Sun., with admission charge. Luther students, faculty, and staff receive complimentary admission. Located at 502 West Water. Call (563) 382-9681 or visit http://vesterheim.org for more information.
Burr Oak, Iowa
Explore period clothing and furnishings displayed in the former hotel and childhood home of the Little House book's author. Open May-October, Mon.-Sun., with admission charge. Call (563) 735-5436 or 735-5916, or visit www.lauraingallswilder.us.
The Prairie Farmer Recreational Trail runs 17 miles from Calmar to near Cresco, Iowa. The terminus in Calmar is at the old railroad depot on Highway 52. Visit www.inhf.org/iowatrails/prairie-intro.htm for more information.
Fort Atkinson, Iowa
An education center presents a glimpse of daily life at the fort that was built to protect Winnebago Indians from other tribes. Grounds open during daylight hours; center open weekend afternoons; free admission. Call Iowa Department of Natural Resources at (563) 425-4161 or visit www.iowadnr.com/parks/state_park_list/fort_atkinson.html.
Enjoy year-round recreation on this 38-acre lake. The nature center has wildlife exhibits, Indian artifact displays, and nature trails. Open April to mid-October on Sunday afternoons. On Iowa Highway 24 between Calmar and Fort Atkinson. Call (563) 534-7145.
This Czechoslovakian village has retained old world charm with its town square, unique bandstand, old mill, and St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church. Riverside Park has the Inwood Ballroom and Antonin Dvorak Memorial. Visit www.spillville.org for more information.
A collection of hand-carved musical clocks, (some over 7 feet tall) made by two brothers, are housed in the 1893 summer home of Czech composer Antonín Dvorák. A Dvorák exhibit is located on the second floor, and an organ used by Dvorák resides in St. Wenceslaus Church. Open daily April-October; weekends March-November; guided tours; admission charge. Call (563) 562-3569 or visit www.bilyclocks.org.
Much of the information here is reprinted with permission from "Winneshiek County: Tradition by Nature" courtesy of Winneshiek County Tourism Council. For more information, visit the Decorah Area Chamber of Commerce at www.decoraharea.com.
- Trout Run Trail Map (318 KB PDF Document)View a map of Decorah's Trout Run Trail.