A landmark for Pinicon Ridge Park, the 72′ Woodpecker Hill Observation Tower has weathered nearly 4.5 decades and provided scenic views and lifetime experiences to hundreds of thousands of visitors since it was originally constructed in 1966. The main shaft of the tower was constructed by the former Link-Belt Speeder Company of Cedar Rapids in the mid-1960s – destined to become a crane in New York City harbor. Due to some construction mis-configurations – it never made the trip to New York and was acquired by the Linn County Conservation Board in early 1965.
Due to liability concerns, the tower was closed for a couple of years in the mid-1990s. Several options were explored, and a plan was crafted to renovate the landmark tower – giving it a new life for another 40+ years! The $150,000 project included a facelift, enclosing the previously open stairwell, and general structural maintenance on the 40-year-old facility. The tower re-opened in the late ’90s for another long run of making memories for many folks.
The Pinicon Ridge Observation Tower is open to the public at no charge from early April thru October, sunrise to sunset. At 1,028 feet above sea level, it is one of the highest points in Linn County – and from the observation platform, one commands a wonderfully scenic view of the Wapsipinicon River valley and the adjoining countryside as far as the eye can see!