Excellent hiking, kayaking and biking opportunities surround the Greater Burlington area. Prefer a more restful outdoor experience? Burlington offers beautiful parks across the city with a variety of features and activities. Get outside and start exploring! Top photo courtesy of the Iowa Tourism Office.
Spirit Hollow Golf Course’s reputation as the host to U.S. Open qualifiers and top-notch tournaments has drawn many local outings and tournaments to Spirit Hollow. One look at the immaculate course and you’ll understand why golfers across the region call Spirit Hollow Golf Course a player’s paradise. This first-class facility has earned national recognition for its superbly designed layout and affordability.
5592 Clubhouse Drive; Burlington, Iowa 52601
Want to do a little hiking? Big Hollow is one of Des Moines County’s premiere outdoor recreation destination, and is located just 25 minutes north of Burlington. This 798 acre recreation area offers year-round recreational opportunities for families wanting to get out and enjoy the outdoors.
The 178-acre lake complete with a beach, boat ramp and multiple fishing jetties offers ample opportunity to enjoy the outdoors with the family on or near the water.
18853 152nd Avenue; Sperry, Iowa 52650
Starr’s Cave Park and Preserve is a 184-acre state nature preserve and park. The area features two miles of scenic hiking trails and is rich with natural and cultural history. It is also home to Starr’s Cave Nature Center.
11627 Starr’s Cave Park Road; Burlington, Iowa 52601
Once complete, the trail will be approximately 18 miles in length and will extend from downtown Burlington to Big Hollow Recreation Area. It will connect the Mississippi River Trail, downtown Burlington, the Port of Burlington, Riverside Park, Starr’s Cave Park and Preserve, Hickory Bend Recreation Area, Historic Zion School, and Big Hollow Recreation Area through the Flint River Valley. The trail will be primarily separated from the roadways for safety and the enjoyment of the users. On the county side, Flint River Trail includes a seven mile section extending from Flint Bottom Road to Big Hollow.
Burlington is a river city, and downtown sits right alongside the mighty Mississippi. At one time the waterfront was busy with the clamor of steamboats unloading and taking on passengers. Today, Burlington’s Riverside Park provides opportunities for fishing, boating, strolling, or just watching barges churn past. You’ll also have great views of the magnificent Great River Bridge, a single tower cable-stayed truss structure completed in 1993, and the BNSF double track, vertical-lift railroad bridge, which was completed in 2010.
The historic Port of Burlington building at Front and Washington Streets is home to a state Welcome Center as well as The Iowa Store. Seasonal visitors docks are installed north of the Port for boater convenience, and there are boat ramps both north of the Port and south of the Auditorium. Mississippi River cruise ships dock at the Port as well.
Memorial Auditorium, located on Front Street along the Mississippi River, was opened to the public in May of 1939. Built by the Works Progress Administration, and first used as a U.S. Naval Reserve Training Center and by the supply company of the 136th Medical Regiment of the Iowa National Guard, today The Auditorium is Burlington’s premiere entertainment venue!
The Depot, designed by the well-known Chicago-based architectural firm of Holabird and Root for the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad (CB&Q), the station was built in 1944 after a fire burned down the previous structure in January 1943. The depot exemplifies the streamlined mid-century modern aesthetic that came into vogue in the 1930s. The two-story station, constructed of reinforced concrete, is faced in buff-colored Wisconsin Lannon fieldstone laid in a random ashlar pattern. Areas for train and bus passengers were located on the lower level while the upper story contained offices for the general superintendent, freight agent, division engineer and telephone and telegraph operators. There was also space for trainmen to sleep and relax between shifts.
200 N Front St.; Burlington, Iowa 52601
Dankwardt Park is a 72 acre municipal park in the southeast section of Burlington, Iowa. It is located adjacent to Crapo Park and bordered by Shoquoquon Drive, and by South Main Street and Madison Avenue. The park was established in 1937 on land donated to the city by Lydia Dankwardt as a memorial to her family. Dankwardt Park hosts numerous recreational opportunities, including a 18-hole disc golf course, a swimming pool, tennis courts, shelter houses, a skate park and more.
2305 Madison Ave; Burlington, IA 52601