Battle of Athens State Historic Site

Park Information

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Battle of Athens State Historic Site is a place of peace and serenity. Its historic buildings, tree-studded landscape, and mile of Des Moines River frontage make the site a perfect place to hike, picnic or camp. But today’s peace belies the site’s history as the place where the northernmost battle fought west of the Mississippi occurred, when about 500 Union soldiers repelled nearly four times their number of pro-Southern State Guardsmen. The site includes interpretation and tours of the battlefield as well as a number of historic buildings, including one that was pierced by a cannonball during the battle.

Park Hours

Historic Site Grounds:

Sunrise to sunset, daily, year round

Day-Use Area

7 a.m. – sunset, daily, year-round

Thome-Benning House (Cannonball House) hours

Tours:

  • April through October (on-season)
    10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday
    No tours offered Monday and Tuesday
  • November through March (off-season)
    By prior appointment only

Park Office hours

  • April through October
    8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday
  • November through March
    Office not regularly staffed; telephone is monitored for messages Monday through Friday