Things to Do in the Elkader Area



Elkader Cultural &
Entertainment District

  • See the Elkader Calendar of Events
  • Kayak, boogie board, tube or fish on the Elkader Whitewater feature.
  • Golf at Elkader Golf and Country Club: 9 Hole Public Course. Open Apr-Oct. 563-245-2230
  • Fishing Public fishing areas include: Turkey and Volga Rivers, Bloody Run, Sny Magill, Big Springs (DNR)
  • Canoe the Turkey River with Turkey River Rentals: 563-245-3802 (in season)
  • Play Tennis/Volley Ball in City Park: Open Year Around. Tennis court is lighted.
  • Swim at the Municipal Pool in City Park- 563-245-1510: Open Memorial Day to 1st Day of School
  • Bowling at CJ Lanes 563-245-2460
  • Hike and Bike Pony Hollow Trail: Begins near City Park at end of Elkader’s East River Walk and follows old railroad tracks for 4.4 miles. Open year around.  Also reference IA DOT maps for country roads to bike.
  • Tubing on the Turkey River: Bring your own tubes; put in and take out at your leisure.
  • Horseback Riding with Whistlin’ Bit Saddle Club: Visit www.whistlinbit.net for more  information.
  • Wagon rides/Carriage rides: Contact Linda Beck at Clip Clop Wagon rides and Carriage Service 563-880-0663 or email ClipClop@mail.com
  • Snowmobiling: Trail begins at Pony Hollow. Obtain map of Iowa Snowmobile trails from DNR
  • Osborne Nature Center Located five miles south of Elkader on Hwy 13; 563-245-1516
  • Sledding at Osborne
  • Snowshoeing at Osborne
  • Ice Skating on Osborne Pond
  • Enjoy Osborne Nature Center Animal Exhibits
  • Have a picnic in Founders' Park, Elkader City Park or Osborne Park. Stop local grocers for picnic supplies.
  • Archery located at Osborne Park: 50 station, 3D shot archery range
  • Walk the River Walk. Start at the Keystone Bridge on Bridge Street across from the Courthouse. River Walk connects to Pony Hollow Trail.
  • Elkader Public Library, Jill Sanders, Director, 130 North Main Street
    Phone: 563-245-1446
  • Elkader Churches
  • Walking Tour of Elkader’s Cultural and Historical District (Sites on the National Register of Historic Places)
  • Farm Tours: Contact ISU Extension office Clayton County Extension Service, 120 S Main St.,  563-245-1451
  • See a first run movie at the Elkader Cinema.
  • Attend a concert or play at the Elkader Opera House: 207 N Main St., 563-245-2098
  • Enjoy music and special events in Keystone Park and Founders' Park: Check calendar of events at www.elkader-iowa.com
  • Tour Motor Mill: www.motormill.org  Clayton County Conservation Board, 563-245-1516
  • See George Maier Rural Heritage Center: Adjacent to City Park, (563)245-2377; Open Fri. Sat. & Sun April-October
  • Osborne Nature Center and Clayton County Arboretum and Botanical Gardens: 5 miles south of Elkader on Hwy 13, 563-245-1516
  • Take a drive on our scenic byways and back roads: www.claytoncountyiowa.com/
  • See an inventory of stone structures in Clayton County.
  • Red Horse Fisheree: 1st Saturday in May check Calendar of Events at www.elkader-iowa.com
  • Sweet Corn Days: Last weekend in July
  • St Patrick’s Day Parade and Celebration: March 17th every year
  • Antique and collectible shopping at several shops in Elkader
  • Visit the Amish settlement in the Elkport area, about 15 miles SE of Elkader.
  • Experience our unique variety of lodging opportunities:
  • Camp in the rustic Elkader City Park: located at 605 High Street SE. Open April 1 Nov 1. Shower/Safe Room; water available and dump station adjacent to park.
  • Camp at beautiful Deer Run Resort, 563-245-3337
  • Take the kids to the playground at City Park
  • Spook Cave only 15 minutes north of Elkader 563-873-2141; Open May-October, Cave tours, 71 campsites.
  • Research Genealogy  at the Elkader Public Library: 130 N Main St.; Phone 563-245-1446
  • Dine in one of our unique eateries:
    • Schera’s Restaurant and Bar: Algerian, Mediterranean and American Cuisine. 107 S Main St.563-245-1992.
    • Fennellys' Irish Pub and Food: 105 1st St. NW  563-245-FOOD (3663); Wonderful menu available at lunch and dinner. Try their delicious desserts.
    • Johnson’s Restaurant: 916 High St. 563-245-2371;  Full menu available plus buffet and bar. Catering available and private party room.
    • Treats on Bridge St. Bistro: 110 W Bridge St. 563-245-2242;  Lunch, Gourmet coffee, ice cream and more
    • Drew’s Sports Bar and Grille: 203 S Main St. 563-245-2541; Lunch buffet, home made pizza, short orders from menu. Buffalo wings and Beer specials during the game. Music entertainment twice a month.
    • Subway: 120 S Main St   563-245-2722; 
    • CJ Lanes: 821 NE High St  563-245-2460;  Bowling, lunches, homemade pizza, party room and  Lounge
    • J-N-J Pizza: 127 N Main 563-245-2800
    • Two Mit Burgers: Downtown Elkader at the corner of First and Bridge St.
    • Open May-October 4-9PM. Serving hamburgers, cheeseburgers and brats
    • The Burger Barn: 688 Sunburst Lane at Highway 13,  563-245-3074; Variety of sandwiches, broasted chicken and great ice cream; open seasonally
    • Visit St. Olaf Tap: 10 minutes from Elkader - “World’s Largest Tenderloin”
    • Visit The Irish Shanti in Gunder: 15 minutes from Elkader - "The Gunderburger, World’s Largest Hamburger"
  • Shopping - See our Business Directory for a complete list of shops and services.
  • Enjoy historic downtown Elkader, winner of Great American Main Street Award 2001. Designated as an Iowa Cultural and Entertainment District and part of the Turkey River Corridor Iowa Great Places. Brochures available at City Hall.
  • Heritage Days at Osborne in October, 29973 Hwy 13, 563-245-1516
  • Find Lover’s Leap?
  • Visit/Fish Big Springs Trout Hatchery off Gunder Road, 16212 Big Spring Rd., 563-235-2446.
  • Visit/Fish at Elkader City Park. For Information Regarding Elkader City Park Activities contact: Elkader City Hall: 207 N. Main St., P.O. Box 427, Elkader, IA 52043, 563-245-2098, Office Hours: Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. including the noon hour
  • Do the exercise trail surrounding City Park.
  • Observe Table Rock site of the first Independence Day Celebration in Elkader, and location where Declaration of Independence was first read in Iowa. Located in City Park.
  • Visit Veteran’s Memorials at Clayton County Court House and near City Park.
  • Observe training of Standard Bred horses by Dr. Dale Hein near City Park.
  • For #57-#59 below: State Land may be available - contact: Clayton County Conservation, 29862 Osborne Road, Elkader, IA 52043, 563-245-1516. Please respect landowners and state hunting regulations.
  • Deer hunting: Contact the Iowa DNR for hunting regulations.
  • Turkey hunting: Contact the Iowa DNR for hunting regulations.
  • Mushroom hunting in the spring: Please respect landowners by obtaining permission to hunt private land.
  • Visit dishntunes.com for all you need to know for food and fun in Northeast Iowa and SW Wisconsin
  * Sites on the National Register of Historic Places

Compiled by the Elkader Lodging Association. The Elkader Lodging Association is a collaborative group providing a variety of quality lodging opportunities and support for the continued growth and culture of Elkader.

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