Hancock County High Point Trip Report

Pilot Knob

Date: June 23, 2001
Author: Edward Earl

Pilot Knob is not only a county HP but also, with 320 feet of prominence, the most prominent point in the state of Iowa. This moraine remnant boasts a state park with trails. From IA 9 four miles E of Forest City, we headed 1 mile S on the park entrance road which was marked with a sign as you approach from the E but, due to construction, not from the W. From there we turned E to the campground just before a sign that announces the official park entrance. At the far end of the campground is a group camp, at the far end of which begins a trail.

After a couple of minutes of hiking is a fork where we went left. After a few more minutes of light uphill hiking we arrived at a trailhead at a park road. (This road is accessible by motor vehicle by proceeding straight ahead past the park entrance sign at the point where we turned toward the campground). Continuing a few more minutes beyond the trailhead, we gained 70 feet and arrived at the summit, which has a 40 foot stone observation tower. There is a nice view of the surrounding plains from the top of the tower.