Plan Your Nature Adventure
Find inspiration for your next trip to Guttenberg! Learn more about our area's scenic beauty, limestone bluffs and the Mississippi River, recreation, trails, wildlife, and more below.
Visit our dining and lodging pages for information on accommodations and eateries. A full business directory is available online or at the Welcome Center.
Big Springs Nature Area
Big Springs Nature Park is located along the Great River Road National Scenic Byway just north of Guttenberg. This is a quiet, hidden natural area that has been historically used as a recreation and picnic area. The coldwater stream that originates on the property cascades down a series of limestone bedrock features, creating a natural stair step effect. The water's total vertical drop within the 11 acre parcel is over 100 feet.
Buechel Hill Trail
Buechel Hill Trail starts near the intersection of Herder and Bluff Streets (shown on map) and connects downtown Guttenberg with the top of the bluff. It takes less than 30 minutes to walk from bottom to top. Enjoy fantastic views of Guttenberg and the Mississippi River from several points along the way and from the top of the trail..
A unique feature of Guttenberg is the riverside park and paved path that run nearly the entire length of town. Start at the north end near Bussey Lake, at the Municipal Marina on the south end of town, or anywhere in the middle for spectacular views of the Mississippi. Stop for a picnic or watch a barge lock through Lock #10. Keep an eye out for bald eagles, Canadian geese, pelicans, and many other species.
Other trails to check out include the Upper Mississippi Bottomland Forest Interpretive Trail and the Guttenberg Golf Course trail. Although it is often flooded in the summer, the Upper Mississippi Trail is a favorite of snow shoe-rs in the winter months. It can be accessed from the Municipal Marina on the south end of town and is a great spot for birders to take a peek at a variety of species. The Guttenberg Golf Course, just north of Guttenberg on Highway 52, is also home to a trail that meanders around the course through a wooded area with views of the Mississippi River and Buck Creek. Bike the Mississippi River Trail, which follows the Great River Road north out of Guttenberg. Visit Walk NE Iowa for more information on trails.
Looking for an adventure? Challenge yourself to find all of the geocaches hidden in and around Guttenberg!
Explore the Mississippi River
The sandbars and backwaters of the Mississippi River draw many visitors to Guttenberg. Public and private boat ramps (Winegar Works Marina), a fishing barge, docking facilities, including a handicap accessible fishing dock, are both north and south of the dam. Don't have a boat? Boat rentals are available. For more information on docking, visit the City of Guttenberg's Marina page. Find PDFs of maps of the Mississippi River here.
Check out the aquarium in Guttenberg to view Mississippi River fish and turtles, fish from nearby streams, and displays on the river. Address: 331 S. River Park Drive.
Hours: The aquarium is generally open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. May-October. Please contact the hatchery for specific opening and closing dates.
The Iowa DNR Handicap Fishing Pier (right) is a favorite spot for many locals and is smack dab in the heart of downtown Guttenberg, in the 400 block of South River Park Drive. Anglers may pull up a lawn chair and cast for pan fish. In addition, fishing is possible from shore at the Municipal Marina, from the sidewalk north of the dam, or at Bussey Lake.
Sightseeing & Fishing Charters
For an even better view of the river, schedule a charter with one of our tour companies.
Take a ride on the Cassville Car Ferry
The Pride of Cassville Car Ferry connects two National Scenic Byways; the Great River Road and the Iowa Great River Road. The ferry served the early settlement of the area as far back as 1833 and it continues today, making the same trip back and forth across the mighty Mississippi. It is the oldest operating ferry service in the state of Wisconsin.
Cassville Clerk's Office (608) 725-5180.
Address: Prime St., Cassville, WI 53806
View the DNR's weekly fishing report here!
Another spot for fishing is the dock at Bussey Lake, marked on the map at left. Bussey Lake is also a popular spot for ice fishing in the winter. Bringing your boat? Launch it from Bussey Lake!
Mississippi River Charters
Enjoying the Mississippi River is a "must" in Guttenberg. Whether you're interested in fishing, birdwatching, exploring, or just relaxing and taking in the scenery, Mississippi River Charters is ready to help you enjoy the river. Mississippi River Charters offers sightseeing and fishing charters on the Mississippi River in the Guttenberg area. Captain Joe Vich is licensed by the U.S.C.G as a Master Captain and is a Licensed Guide by the Wisconsin D.N.R. With over 40 years of Mississippi River boating experience, he can ensure you have an enjoyable time on the scenic Mississippi. Four hour or eight hour charters for up to 6 people can be accommodated.
Call Captain Joe at the number listed below, or visit the Mississippi River Charters website for more information.
Hours: 8:00am- 5:00pm daily, May 1-October 31
Address: Located on Marina Road at Winegar Works Marina
Guttenberg is home to several campgrounds for guests to spend the night under the stars (or in a cabin or RV). Enjoy secluded wooded areas, nearby river access and trails, and many amenities.