Eagle Point Park
Eagle Point Park
Eagle Point Park is the historic jewel of the Clinton Parks System, located at the north side of the City on the bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River. After being established in 1888 by the Clinton and Lyons Railway, many of the existing park facilities were largely constructed during the Great Depression by the Works Progress Administration (WPA). The park provides a variety of facilities, many of which are unique within the overall park system:
Eagle Point Lodge
The Eagle Point Lodge was constructed by the WPA in 1934 around one of the original rustic shelters built in 1907. Spearheaded by the Clinton Rotary Club, the Lodge underwent a major renovation in 2016 including improvements to the front entrance, main hall, catering kitchen and restrooms, additional bridal changing room, and an extension to the veranda overlooking the river. The facility is an extremely popular rental facility for weddings and other gatherings, with seating up to 299 guests.
Soaring Eagle Nature Center and Flannery School
Soaring Eagle Nature Center is operated by the Clinton County Conservation Board to offer environmental and educational programming. Located at the south entrance to Eagle Point Park, the center includes the Nature Barn, Flannery School, restored prairie, butterfly garden, and approximately 3 miles of trails through wetland, woodland, and prairie habitats. The Nature Barn is an authentic 1938 barn containing interpretive displays, while the Flannery School is the last surviving one-room schoolhouse in Clinton County which was moved to the site in 1975. The Nature Barn and Flannery School are Emerging Sites within the Silos and Smokestacks National Heritage Area administered by the National Park Service.
Prairie Pastures Dog Park
Prairie Pastures Dog Park is located near the south end of Eagle Point Park near the Caretaker’s Residence. Located on the site of a former zoo, Prairie Pastures has unique elements including a swimming pond for water training. The dog park is operated by the Soaring Eagle Nature Center and is maintained by members and volunteers.
Disc Golf Course
The disc golf course was added to Eagle Point Page in 2008. Featuring 18-holes through both open and wooded terrain, the course is challenging for players of all skill levels. The course includes 6 holes under 300 feet, 8 holes from 300 to 400 feet and 4 holes over 400 feet in length for a total course length of 5,740 to 6,280 feet. The course attracts users from throughout the Midwest.
Equestrian Center and Trails
The horse show arena was moved to Eagle Point Park from Riverview Park in 2001. Operated by the Clinton County Society Horseshow Association and the Clinton Horseman’s Association, the arena located off of Deer Creek Road on the far north end of the park includes a show ring, bleachers, a concession building, storage, and a gravel parking lot. The lot also serves as a trailhead for equestrian trails through the north end of the park, as well as a large sledding hill.
Entrance Features, Waterfall, and Park Drives
In keeping with its historic character, Eagle Point Park features narrow drives that circulate through the beautiful bluff setting, with stone walls at overlooks of the Mississippi. A brick column entry and iron gate greets visitors at the park’s main entrance. The 1.8 mile Serpentine Drive loops through the park following a route that was originally constructed in the 1920s. During the Christmas season, the Symphony of Lights is hosted along the drive, attracting many to the park to view the light displays. The park’s stone waterfall was reconstructed in summer 2017, and floral displays still paint the Park’s name on the slope as on historic postcards. Public art adds interest along the drive, including the Eagle Obelisk, Statue of Liberty, and dog park art features.
Mississippi River Overlook
Toward the north end of Serpentine Drive, a concrete overlook platform features two binoculars to look out over the Mississippi River. A nearby modern restroom structure is fully accessible by a wooden bridge walkway.
North Shelter and Picnic Area
The picnic area within the loop road at the northern end of the park features several groves with tables as well as a central open shelter has a water spigot but no electric service. A large, relatively new playground with poured in place safety surface is also located in the north picnic zone.
Central Shelter and Picnic Area
The Central Shelter is located near the Eagle Point Lodge. Nearby recreational facilities include two basketball courts and sand volleyball. Large picnic groves are also located north and south of the Lodge in lawn areas. This shelter is unavailable to rent if the Lodge is rented due to parking.
South Shelter and Picnic Area
The South Shelter-updated in 2020, this shelter has attached restrooms and 8 picnic tables. A large playground area is located near the shelter, spread over a large area on a wooded hillside. Flat areas are created on the hillside with concrete retaining walls for the play structures. A large newer structure with safety surface is central to the area, flanked by swings and smaller toddler-sized equipment. Closest to the South Shelter toddler structure and airplane rider. The Caretaker’s Residence and maintenance shop is also located adjacent to this area.
The Castle is a unique stone tower that was constructed by the WPA in the 1930s. The tower has a spiral stone staircase that winds around the structure to reach an observation deck at the top. Children love the tower for fairy tale play, and it is often used as a backdrop for wedding photos. The structure is in excellent condition.
Trails and Stone Bridges
The WPA constructed several stone bridges and trails in Eagle Point Park. The stone bridge between the Lodge and the South Shelter Picnic Area has been restored and is still in use.
Trails within the park are dirt surfaced and maintained in partnership with the Clinton Horseman’s Association and the Human Powered League, a local volunteer group established to develop off road shared use trails. The trails are shared by hikers, runners, horseback riders, and mountain bikers. The established trail etiquette gives horses the right of way, and requires bikers to dismount and speak to the rider to avoid startling the animal.