Crapo Park – Burlington, Iowa

Rollercoaster Burlington.jpgCrapo Park – Burlington, Iowa
This 85 acre park was established in 1895 through the efforts of Philip Crapo, a local businessman and philanthropist. There was a great flurry of activity in 1896 to ready the park for the Iowa semi-centennial. The roads and plantings were designed at that time by the landscape engineering firm of Earnshaw and Punshon of Cincinnati, Ohio.
Crapo Park is well known for its plant material. Many different species of trees and shrubs have been planted over the years and the Parks Department continues to add to the variety. Today, there are over 200 species which provide color and beauty throughout the seasons. In addition, the Parks Department plants numerous perennial and annual flowers which add color from spring to fall.

The park includes walking paths and four shelters, as well as Lake Starker (constructed 1905, 1.5 acres, 0.6 hectares), the Hawkeye Natives Log Cabin (replica constructed 1910), Zebulon Pike Memorial, and Foehlinger Fountain. It also includes the Black Hawk Spring and Cave, commemorating Chief Black Hawk. One can crawl for more than a hundred feet through a rock tube before the passage gets too small. Note that a cold natural spring is running through this tube as well.
slide crapo.jpg

It is reputed to be the site where the American flag was first raised on Iowa’s soil, by Zebulon Pike in 1805.

Location: located alongside the Mississippi River at Parkway Drive, Burlington, Iowa.  



  1. kimmy johnson says:

    does anyone have a picture of the old double slide in crapo? i remember always playing on it with my cousins in the early 90′s, but know it’s torn down now…it was in bad shape then…been trying to find a picture of it…

  2. Good morning Kimmy,
    I have forwarded your inquiry to the Burlington CVB and asked that they contact you directly to let you know if there are any pictures. They should be responding soon.

    Thank you for contacting with your inquiry. We hope we have been able to help you get the picture.

    Pat Watson

  3. Hi,
    I remember the slide very well. There used to be a double slide near the curly slide. You went up one set of stairs and at the top you had a choice to go down a straight slide or a bumpy one. It was great! I have a question. What was the name of the amusement park that used to be in the corner of the park? There were bumper cars, a roller coaster, swings, a train, cars you could ‘drive’ and other great rides. We used to go there with our Grandmother when we were kids in the 1970′s. If there are any pictures of when it was up and running, that would be great to see!

  4. Thanks for the information Lori, I have forwarded your comments on to the CVB in Burlington too. Hopefully they will respond to both of us!

    Pat Watson

  5. I have a picture of the curly slide and of the roller coaster @ old amusement park (both in Crapo). Email me at if interested and I’ll email to you….

  6. We would love to have pictures of the old park to post on the site, please email them to me and I’ll get them up.
    Thank You!

  7. George Wesley Dixon says:

    I remember picnics our family reunions at Crapo Park. I remember the slides, swings, the wooded maze, and the public swimming pool. I remember playing with my dad (Harold Dixon) in partnership some horseshoe competition. “What fun.”

  8. Sharol Fletcher says:

    Crapo Park is awesome. In the 50’s and 60’s our family held reunions there. Children would ride the miniature train. We would get tickets to ride the bumper cars and our family was so large that we were the only ones on the cars with still many members waiting in line. Really great memories of Crapo Park.

  9. Doug Meloan says:

    My grandparents lived in Burlington and we would visit them often. I have great memories of the amusement park that you are talking about. If my memory serves me correctly it was called Frick’s Amusement Park. Last time I visited Burlington the old bumper car house looked like it was being used as a horse stable and everything else was gone.

  10. Does anyone remember the skating rink at Crapo Park. We used to have family reunions there for the Bakers & we used to go to the skating rink & swimming. This was in the 1950′s. I would love to see a picture of the park from the 1950′s era. I spent hours & hours climbing in the Black Hawk Caves there also.

  11. I remember the Kenny’s Roller Ranch at Crapo Park. My family also had many picnics there
    when I was young and I also spent time on the curly slide and double slides. At schools end-
    grade school-we took a bus from Mediapolis and spent the day at the amusement park. Great memories at Crapo Park. Do they still hold band concerts in front of the fountain? Is Cascade
    Bridge refurbished or reconstructed?

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