Iowa Waterfall Route

Who knew that Iowa boasts so many wonderful waterfalls?  We did, and this route takes you directly to two waterfalls and puts you in close proximity to three others. The two waterfalls with the easiest access are Dunning Spring Falls and Siewer Spring Falls, both in Decorah, IA. Other waterfalls along this route are Malanaphy Falls, outside of Decorah, Bridal Veil Falls in Pike’s Peak State Park, and Beulah Falls near Spook Cave. Please be aware that Bridal Veil Falls will require a short hike on a well marked path, but Malanaphy Falls will require a 1 mile hike through fairly rough terrain. The view is worth the hike.  The terrain in this part of Iowa is widely varied. Experience the bluffs along the Mississippi and the rolling hills as you move west away from the river. This route picks its way through the various hill formations as it connects to the different waterfalls. It also follows the Great River Road from Marquette, Iowa to Lansing, Iowa.  In addition to the beautiful waterfalls and the amazing roads, there are plenty of parks, museums and historical sites on the Iowa Waterfall Route. Be sure to check out the views from Mt. Hosner Park in Lansing, or stop in to look at the clock collection at the Bily Clocks Museum in Spillville. Outside of Marquette you can go back in time at Effigy Mounds National Monument.  So. if waterfalls and great roads are your thing, check out the Iowa Waterfall Route. We think you will have a great time!
NOTE:  While all of our routes were created utilizing paved roads, we are not able to keep up with road conditions throughout the entire Driftless Area.  It is up to each rider to assess road conditions and their own abilities in order to assure rider safety.
Note:  County Road W20 (ie Bluffton Road) and Iowa 139, both Northwest of Decorah, Iowa,  have been reported to be in rough shape.  Please use caution on these roads or consider detouring until these roads have been repaired.
Iowa Waterfall Route (pictured above): ~240 miles; 6 riding hours.
Iowa Waterfall Lite Route (not pictured): ~180 miles; 4.75 riding hours.
To Purchase GPS Files or Paper Maps for this route, click the button below:
  • Waukon:  Cowboy and Bull Statue, Waukon City Park, Alamakee County Historical Society
  • Dorchester:  Ryumonji Zen Monastary
  • West Union: Boy and the Boot
  • Festina: Tiny Church
  • Lansing:  Mount Hosner Park, Museum of River History, Driftless Area Education Center
  • Decorah:  Trout Run Park, Locust School Museum, Dunning Spring Falls, Ice Cave Hill Park, Porter House Museum, Westerhiem Norwegian/American Museum, Winneshieck County Historical Society, Malanaphy Falls, Pulpit Rock/Will Baker Park, Siewer Spring Falls
  • Spillville:  Bily Clocks Museum
  • Fort Atkinson:  Fort Atkinson State Park
  • St. Lucas:  German American Museum
  • Fayette:  Fayette County Courthouse, Fayette County Historical Society, Dutton Cave County Park
  • Marquette:  Depot Museum, Effigy Mounds National Monument, Pinky the Elephant