Historic Self-Guided Tours to Keep You Social Distancing!

Fort Madison, Iowa


Social distancing… no groups larger than ten… wash your hands!… all good advice.  Even when you’re ready to travel, you’re still going to want to keep a little space.  There’s an Iowa river town with great local eats (to-go) and fun historical self-guided tours.  We’ve got three ideas that highlight the National Park Service’s Historic Districts in the City of Fort Madison.

Historic Self-Guided Tours Fort Madison

~Tour 1:  The War of 1812~

Let’s start with a tour beginning with the Replica Fort Madison that was the Upper Mississippi River’s Factory Outpost in 1808. You can see where the original fort stood and the battlefield where US soldiers fought the indigenous Native Tribes.  View the Lone Chimney Monument and the Battlefield Monument. Then venture to Old Settlers Park and read the speech given by the Sac Nation’s War Chief Blackhawk.  It’s a great piece of Americana history.  If you’re lucky you will be able to visit with the period costumed interpreters and view the Santa Fe Depot Museum.

Old Fort Madison Google Driving Tour

Historic Self-Guided Tours Fort Madison

~Tour Two: Historic Residential District ~

When the City of Fort Madison opened to settlement as part of what was then The Wisconsin Territories, the forefathers created a unique community, where the business district laid between the river and the residential area.  Much has changed since that time, except for this encapsulated area, where there are numerous historic structures telling the story of Fort Madison’s Victorian Era history.

Fort Madison NPS Historic Park-to-Park Residential Victorian District

Historic Self-Guided Tours Fort Madison

~Tour Three: Historic Downtown District~

Settlers came by wagon train or riverboat and had to create the industries that created the town.  Learn all about how Fort Madison’s historical Downtown District unfolded across the Victorian Era.  From lumber barons to brewmasters from tinsmiths, cobblers, tailors and more, the industries that founded one of Iowa’s most historic communities.

Fort Madison Historic Downtown District  

Historic Self-Guided Tours Fort Madison

~Exploring Fort Madison~

Make sure to follow the city of Fort Madison’s social media, as they debut a new map each month  Visit Fort Madison Facebook. 

Upcoming maps:

  • The Great River Historic Loop
  • Iowa’s Historic Hills – Van Buren County and beyond
  • The Scenic Rivers Wine Trail
  • Agritourism – From Crops to Hops
  • The Artistic Path of Southeast Iowa
  • When Nature Calls – local wildlife sanctuaries and parklands
  • Historic Iowa State Penitentiary – The history of its first 100 years!
  • The Santa Fe Depot Museum & Fort Madison’s Railroad History
  • Grito De Dolores! – What does Mexico’s Independence Day have to do with Fort Madison, Iowa?

A whole year of scenic drives and hidden places.  


City of Fort Madison
811 Avenue E
Fort Madison, IA 52627
319-372-7700                                  jpeiton@fortmadison-ia.com