Overlook Height Table

Compiled by Duke Addicks
Table in PDF

Duke Addicks Home

May, 2004

In my article entitled "Looking Down On the River" in Big River Magazine (May-June, 2004) I did not include my calculations as to the heights of the overlooks above the pools formed behind the locks and dams on the Mississippi River.

The following calculations of the heights of the listed overlooks above the Mississippi River are based on the following information. The elevation of the actual overlook may be lower than the highest elevation of the bluff.

The elevations of the pools located behind the locks and dams on the Mississippi were supplied to me by the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers. These elevations are also indicated on United States Geological Survey (USGS) Quadrangle Maps.

The elevations of the listed overlooks are based on contour line elevations and unofficial bench mark elevations found on USGS quadrangle topographic maps. The names of the maps used are given in the table below.

The scale of these maps is (1: 24 000). Most of the available maps are based on old vertical datum unconfirmed for the most part by modern survey methods.

The locations of these overlooks are usually not indicated on these maps. The locations have been determined by my familiarity with the area (I have personally visited each overlook) and my guess as to the exact location of the overlooks on the maps.

Because of the above problems, it is therefore difficult to estimate with precision the exact height of the overlooks. Thus, the calculations in the following table are little more than guesswork on my part. Errors of plus or minus ten or fifteen feet should be expected.

I'd be glad to hear from anyone who disagrees with my calculations or has more accurate knowledge of the elevations.

Also, if I have omitted an overlook that is open to the public and which should be included in the table below, please let me know. I'd like to make a complete list of all of the public overlooks located on blufftops above the Mississippi from Clinton, Iowa, to Mendota, Minnesota (the junction of the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers.

I can be contacted at (651) 643-0622 or by email at dukeaddicks@earthlink.net

I used the most recent printed quadrangle maps in my research. However, quadrangle maps can be found on the Internet at:

http://www.topozone.com

http://terraserver.homeadvisor.msn.com/

There are other sources as well.

Heights of Public Overlooks above the Mississippi River

from Clinton, Iowa, to the Twin Cities, as estimated by Duke Addicks.
May, 2004

Name of Overlook and Quadrangle Map Used

(all elevations are in feet)

Estimated
Bluff
Elevation

Pool #

Pool
Elevation

Height of Overlook
above pool

Indian Mounds Park in St. Paul, MN

Quad Map Name: St. Paul East, Minn.

914

2

687

227

Schaar's Bluff in Dakota County's Spring Lake Park Reserve, MN

Quad Map Name: St. Paul Park, Minn.

838

2

687

151

Barn Bluff in Red Wing, MN

Quad Map Name: Red Wing, Minn.-Wis.

980

4

667

313

Sorin's Bluff in Memorial Park in Red Wing, MN

Quad Map Name: Red Wing, Minn.-Wis.

1040

4

667

373

Point-No-Point Overlook on Garrard Bluff in picnic area in Minnesota's Frontenac State Park, above Old Frontenac, MN

Quad Map Name: Maiden Rock, Wis.-Minn.

1075

4

667

408

Buena Vista City Park Overlook in Alma, WI
Note: overlook is just above Lock and Dam 4 so the calculations are above both Pool 4 behind the dam and 5 below the dam).

Quad Map Name: Alma, Wis.-Minn.

1200

4 and 5

667 or 660

533 or 540

Mount Charity Overlook in Minnesota's John A. Latsch State Park

Quad Map Name: Cochrane, Wis.-Minn.

1160

5

660

500

Garvin Heights City Park in Winona

Quad Map Name: Winona West, Minn.-Wis.

1180

6

646

534

Brady's Bluff in Wisconsin's Perrot State Park near Trempealeau

Quad Map Name: Trempealeau, Wis.-Minn.

1170

6

646

524

***King's Bluff Overlook in Minnesota's Great River Bluffs State Park.

Quad Map Name: Pickwick, Minn.-Wis.

1200

7

639

561

*Picnic Grounds Parking Lot Overlook in Minnesota's Great River Bluffs State Park.

Quad Map Name: Pickwick, Minn.-Wis.

1270

7

639

631

**Winona County's Apple Blossom Overlook Park on Apple Blossom Scenic Drive north of La Crescent, MN

Quad Map Name: La Crescent, MN-WI

1250

7

639

611

****Grandad Bluff Overlook in Hixon Forest City Park in La Crosse, WI

Quad Map Name: La Crosse, Wis.-Minn.

1183

8

631

552

Genoa Area Scenic Overlook north of Genoa, WI just off of Highway 35.

Quad Map Name: Genoa, Wis.-Minn.-Iowa

1080

8

631

449

Mount Hosmer City Park in Lansing, Iowa

Quad Map Name: Lansing, Iowa-Wis.

1000

9

620

380

Eagle Rock Overlook in Effigy Mounds National Monument, Iowa

Quad Map Name: Prairie du Chien, Wis.-Iowa

1020

10

611

409

Pike's Peak Overlook in Iowa's Pike's Peak State Park

Quad Map Name: Clayton, Iowa-Wis.

1125

10

611

514

Point Lookout Overlook in Wisconsin's Wyalusing State Park

Quad Map Names: Clayton, Iowa-Wis. And Quad Map Name: Bagley, Wis. Iowa

1149

10

611

538

Guttenberg, Iowa, Roadside Overlook south of the city on Highway 52

Quad Map Name: Turkey River, Iowa-Wis.

900

11

603

297

Wisconsin's Nelson Dewey State Park

Quad Map Name: Turkey River, Iowa-Wis.

927

11

603

324

Eagle Point City Park Overlook in Dubuque, Iowa
Note: overlook is just above Lock and Dam 11 so the calculations are above both Pool 11 behind the dam and 12 below the dam).

Quad Map Name: Dubuque North, Iowa-Wis.-Ill.

869

11/12

603/592

266/277

Gramercy City Park Overlook in East Dubuque, Illinois

Quad Map Name: Dubuque South, Iowa-Ill.

860

12

592

268

Illinois' Bellevue State Park Overlook
Note: overlook is just above Lock and Dam 12 so the calculations are above both Pool 12 behind the dam and 13 below the dam).

Quad Map Name: Springbrook, Iowa-Ill.

840

12/13

603/592

237/248

Illinois' Mississippi Palisades State Park just north of Savanna, Illinois

Quad Map Name: Savanna, Ill.-Iowa

820

13

592

228

Eagle Point City Park in Clinton, Iowa

Quad Map Name: Clinton NW, Iowa-Ill.

760

14

572

188

* Probably the highest overlook above the Mississippi River.

**Probably the second highest overlook above the Mississippi River.          

***Probably the third highest overlook above the Mississippi River.

****Probably the fourth highest overlook above the Mississippi River