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The Inn at Motor Mill

Hidden in the Turkey River valley, the Motor Mill Historic Site is a peaceful natural area that features a six-story limestone flouring mill and four related stone buildings dating from the late 1860’s. One of these four structures is the newly restored, three-story Motor Mill Inn. While the main floor is used as a visitor center, gift shop, public restroom and foundation office the remaining upper two floors can be rented for lodging up to 12 people. While the historic nature of the building was kept, modern amenities make this a comfortable place to rest your head after a long day of touring the historic site, shopping in the nearby towns, or kayaking down the Turkey River. Whatever your reason is for visiting Clayton County the Motor Mill Inn is a perfect place to stay. 

The Inn at Motor Mill can also serve as an idyllic retreat destination for small groups such as quilting clubs, artisans, and small business. Wi-Fi connectivity means that hosting a meeting and hosting a virtual guest speaker is possible. Remote learning and remote working can be accomplished from the Inn. Day-use rentals are available by calling 563-245-1516. Getting married? The Motor Mill Historic site offers the perfect backdrop for wedding photos and the Inn would be an amazing spot to host your wedding party and/or guests.



The Inn is located within the Motor Mill Historic District just NW of the Mill. This is about 8 miles south of Elkader, 12 miles SW of Garnavillo, or 17 miles NE of Strawberry Point. 
28814 Galaxy Rd.
Elkader, IA 52043


The rental of the Inn includes the entire 2nd and 3rd floors. The ground floor is a visitor center and only open 8-5 on Saturdays (May-Oct) to the public.
The Inn sleeps a maximum of 12 guests.
Although historic preservation was important in the rehab of the Inn you will have the modern comforts of air conditioning/heat, indoor plumbing, and electricity.
Bed and bath linens and toilet paper are included with the rental fee as well as broom, dustpan and cleaning supplies.
Renters will need to bring - toiletries, food, beverage, laundry detergent, lawn chairs (no Inn furniture allowed outside), and gas for camp grill 

2nd Floor:

  • Handicap accessible by sidewalk
  • Kitchen - fridge, electric stove/oven, microwave, coffee maker, crockpot, tableware for 12, cookware, and counter space.
  • Dining room - large table with seating for 12 as well as a sleeper sofa (queen)
  • Klink Bedroom with king bed, seating, and dresser
  • handicap accessible bathroom with shower, toilet, and sink
  • Outside kitchen there is an outdoor patio with gas camp grill (must provide a gas canister)

3rd Floor:

  • Bedroom 1 has 3 twins and 1 full in addition to a dresser
  • Bedroom 2 has 2 queens as well as seating and a dresser
  • Bathroom with toilet and sink
  • Laundry - washer and dryer (must provide your own laundry detergent)

Guided tours of historic Motor Mill are offered each Saturday (May 27-Sept 2, Sept 16, Sept 30, and Oct 14-15) from noon-5pm. These guided tours include the 1860's Mill, four related outbuildings, and the Motor town site. Tours have no cost but free will donations are encouraged and appreciated to help with various restoration projects. Tours range in time depending on your touring interests and desires. For more information visit the Historic Motor Mill website

The Turkey River Water Trail flows right past the Motor Mill Historic District. The park has a river access (located next to the campground) to enter or exit the river with your vessel of choice. Kayaks are available to rent in Elkader from Turkey River Outfitters 563-245-3802

Motor Mill Historic Site has over 4 miles of trails throughout this 155 acre park.  With trails on both the north and south sides of the river, one can hike through forests, prairies, and savanna to find breathtaking views from the blufftops and abundant wildlife. The south trail system also provides equestrian use and limited hunting by permit during the hunting season. 

Cooking / eating utensils
Handicap Accessible
Pets prohibited
Pressurized water
Refuse cans
Sewer Connection
Shower facilities
Table with chairs


Lodging Information

Large groups (up to 12) $336/night includes statewide and county Hotel/Motel Consumer's Use Tax

Contact the office (563-245-1516) for reduced pricing options for extended stays and small group rates:  
Extended Stay Rates: 
M-Th (4 night stay $448)  
Group Rates: 
1-4 Adults $112/ night
5-8 Adults $224/ night
9-12 Adults $336/ night  

Will honor state business rate* must show credentials.  

  • $200 deposit check is required for reservations and must be mailed to the conservation office prior to your reservation date. If the Clayton County Conservation Board (CCCB) determines that regulations were not followed, the deposit may be forfeited. Following your stay and after passing an inspection, the deposit check will be shredded. It is the responsibility of the renter on the agreement form to follow all guidelines of the rental facility.
    Mail deposit check to: Clayton County Conservation, 29862 Osborne Rd., Elkader IA 52043
  • Online reservations must be made a minimum of 3 days prior to arrival and can be made up to two years in advance. For example, a reservation for Friday must be made by the Tuesday prior. 
  • No Refunds - Per the CCCB rules and regulations if you need to cancel a reservation, you will forfeit 100% of all reservation fees paid. Notify the office of all cancellations, at least 7 days before the reservation and you will be able to change the reservation dates (limited to one time).

If you are looking to use the Inn for day-use only please contact staff for information on rental rates 563-245-1516. 

Hours of Operation & Seasons

The Motor Mill Inn is available to rent year-round.
Registrations must be made online at least 3 days in advance.
All registered visitors can check-in at 3:00pm and must check-out by 11:00am. 
Parks are open to the public from 6:00am-10:30pm. 


The park is closed to non-registered visitors from 10:30pm-6:00am.
Temporary closures may result when the Turkey River is in or near flood stage.
Check the Clayton County Conservation website and Clayton County Conservation Facebook page for updates


All laws of the State of Iowa are in effect.
All Clayton County Conservation Board rules and regulations apply. 
No Refunds for cancellations, read the Rental Agreement Rules.
Person renting the Inn must be 21 years or older.
Keg beer is prohibited
Smoking is prohibited
Pets are prohibited inside the Inn.
Furniture must remain inside the Inn. 

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