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    Mines of Spain Recreation Area

    Early Morning Light on Julien Dubuque's MonumentRegistered as a National Historic Landmark, the history of the Mines of Spain dates back more than 8,000 years. From prehistoric Indian cultures to the European settlers who gave the area its name, the 1,380 acre wooded and prairie filled area located south of Dubuque continues to be a treasured place.
    Today, the E.B. Lyons Interpretive Center welcomes visitors to the park where interpretive displays and exhibits tell the area’s rich history. Within the center, audio recordings, funded in part by SSNHA, give visitors the chance to hear narratives about lead mining, the Otto Junkermann farm site and the prairie. Located along the Great River Road, the center is designated as a Great River Road Interpretive Center, showcasing the connection to the Mississippi River. Visitors may also obtain their NPS Passport Stamp at the center, one of 16 SSNHA Partner Sites carrying the stamp.
    Along the 15 miles of trails throughout the park, interpretive signs tell visitors of the area’s natural heritage as well as the mining and farming that once took place. At the Otto Junkermann farm site grape vines have been planted as part of restoration of the site.  During the late 1800s, grapes grown at the site were used in wine and medications sold at the Junkermann and Haas Pharmacy in Dubuque.
    A “landmark” for many, the Julien Dubuque Monument provides an amazing view of Dubuque, the Mississippi River and the many scenic vistas that abound at the Mines. The park also features a canoe landing, picnicking facilities and the opportunity to see a variety of wildlife, as the site is designated as a National Wildlife Federation Nature Area and one of Iowa’s “Watchable Wildlife Areas.”
    The Mines of Spain Recreation Area is open year-round from 4 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. For the interpretive center’s seasonal hours or for more information, call 563-556-0620 or visit

    Topics: Spotlight Site

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