LOUISA COUNTY, IOWA

What to see and do in Louisa County, Iowa

Louisa County is home to several popular hunting and fishing areas. There are 27 shoreline miles along the Mississippi River and 51 shoreline miles along the Iowa and Cedar rivers in Louisa County. Lake Odessa covers 3,300 acres.

Columbus Junction and Wapello have public swimming pools. There are two country clubs with golf courses in  Louisa County. There are a variety of eating establishments to choose from.

All Veterans Memorial, U.S. Highways 92 and 61 at Iowa Highway 252, Grandview. Unique memorial featuring a Vietnam-era helicopter.

All Veterans Memorial, corner on Main and Franklin streets in Wapello on the courthouse lawn.

Bethel Church and cemetery. Church built about 1854 of native stone, 35th Street off U.S. Highway 61 south of Wapello. A national historic site.

Cambrian Cemetery, early Welsh cemetery, Louisa County Road G52, south of Cotter.

Columbus City Cemetery, Columbus City, largest cemetery in Louisa County. White bronze and other early stones.

Columbus Community Heritage Center, 122 E. Maple St., Columbus Junction, houses artifacts for northwestern Louisa County. A national historic site.

Commercial Hotel, now known as Hotel Wapello, 227 N. Main St., Wapello. A national historic site.

County Line Bridge, 140th block of County Line Road over Long Creek near Columbus Junction. A national historic site.

Convict Road, one of the first paved roads in Iowa, built in 1912 with convict labor, is located northwesterly off Iowa Highway 92, near Fredonia.

Florence, site of Chief Keokuk's village where council was held with the warrior Black Hawk the eve of the Black Hawk War, F Avenue and 40th Street near Oakville. Later the town of Florence was settled here. A national historic site.

Gipple's Quarry Bridge, 100 block of V Avenue over Buffington Creek near Columbus Junction. A national historic site.

Great River Road (Louisa County Road X61) follows the Mississippi River corridor from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. A portion of the road in Louisa County is not paved, but should be by late 2010. Travelers who do not wish to drive on rock roads need to detour on Louisa County Road G62 to Iowa Highway 99.

Littleton Brothers Monument. Located next to the historic Toolesboro Mounds and Museum on Iowa Highway 99 southeast of Wapello.

Louisa County Courthouse, Main Street, Wapello. A national historic site.

Louisa County Heritage Center, 609 James L. Hodges Ave. (U.S. Highway 61), Wapello, houses a museum, genealogical and historical library, the 1892 Pleasant View Schoolhouse and the 1905-era Louisa Center church.

Rural Free Delivery "RFD" Postal Museum, dedicated to the first Rural Free Delivery mail route in Iowa, Division and Main streets, Morning Sun.

Swinging Bridge, built of barrel staves and wire in 1886, south of Iowa Highway 92, in Columbus Junction was replaced with by a bridge on wooden stilts. It was condemned in 1902 for safety reasons and a new on was built in 1904. In 1920, it collapsed. The present bridge was built in 1922 and spanned 262 feet. The flooring and steel cable were refurbished in 1954.

Toolesboro Mounds and Museum, Iowa Highway 99 southeast of Wapello features prehistoric mounds and visitor center with exhibits. One of the largest American Indian mounds in Iowa. Hours: noon-4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday third weekend in May through Labor Day; noon-4 p.m. weekends from Labor Day through Oct. 31; open other times by appointment for groups by calling the Louisa County Conservation Board at 319-523-8381. A national historic site.

City parks

Columbus Junction - Chautauqua Park; Columbus City - City Park; Grandview - Academy Park; Letts - Letts Community Park; Morning Sun - Lions Locust Grove Park and Sunshine Garden; Oakville - City Park; Wapello - Homecoming Grounds, AT Wollenhaupt Business Park and L.J. Thompson River Road Park.

County recreation areas/parks

Louisa County Conservation Web Site

Chinkapin Bluff Recreation Area southeast of Columbus Junction on R Avenue. Picnicking, hiking, shelter, public hunting. Also connected to Hoover Nature Trail.

Ferry Landing Park east of Oakville on Mississippi River. Primitive camping, no fees. Fishing and boat ramp.

Flaming Prairie Park east of Grandview on Louisa County X61 (Great River Road) on the Mississippi River. Reservations are not necessary to camp. There is boating, picnicking and a boat ramp. Call 319-523-8381.

Klum Lake southeast of Grandview with entrance on Louisa County X61 (Great River Road) has 700 acres of timber and lake, public hunting, limited fishing. No boating or swimming.

Langwood Education Center three miles east of Grandview on H Avenue. For group use by reservation only. Lodge, dorm, pond, canoes, high ropes course and trails. Call 319-523-8381.

Millrace Flats Wildlife Area north of Wapello, on either side of U.S. Highway 61, has 1,100 acres of river bottom, timber and switch grass. Public hunting.

Snively Access south of Lake Odessa entrance. The only public access to Lake Odessa.

Virginia Grove County Park northwest of Morning Sun offers a pond and hiking trails as well as a camping area. Reservations are not necessary to camp.

Wildlife areas

The Louisa County Conservation Board has three wildlife areas open to the public. The areas have no facilities, only parking lots and trails, public hunting and hiking: Indian Slough Wildlife Area north of Wapello along the Iowa River; Cairo Woods Wildlife Area west of Wapello on S Avenue and Baird Timber east of Morning Sun on K Avenue.

Port Louisa National Wildlife Refuge, 10728 Louisa County Road X61, (Management headquarters, 9726 County Road X61), Wapello, 6,000 acres with boating, fishing and hunting, foot trails, scenic overlook, natural wildlife habitat. 319-523-6982.

Page updated February 13, 2017

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