View of the Mississippi River and train tracks north of Marquette, Iowa, from the Effigy Mounds National Monument trail.

Over the weekend, we headed to Effigy Mounds National Monument on the banks of the Mississippi River. Most of the mounds — birds and bears and cones — were no taller than knee high, which meant we didn’t have a problem keeping the kids off them.

The hike was good and the views were spectacular. We hit the Little Bear Mound trail loop, which started right next to the visitor center. The first leg was a climb up to the top of the cliffs. I was surprised that our 4 year old walked most of the way herself.

Wildlife encountered in the area included hawks and frogs.

We rounded out the day with dinner outside on McGregor’s main street and a geocache in Marquette.

More photos from the hike at our gallery.

More info on Effigy Mounds National Monument.