Here is another in my series of postings of possible places you might want to add to your Wilder conference trip. Some will be Laura related, others are just kind of neat tourist spots. Enjoy!
Although probably not worth a side trip in itself, if you're making the Burr Oak - Decorah, Iowa sidetrip (Read about it here) it's worth your while to stop at Phelps Park in Decorah. If you find yourself in Decorah, take any street up the hill, away from the downtown area, and when you hit Jefferson Street, turn right. This will lead you to the very top of the hill and the park entrance. You will discover a city park constructed around 1900. The park has an unusual stone construction of things like band stands, gazebos, and covered walkways with the extra attraction of clinging to the top of a hill giving you a magnificent vista of the river valley below. Comprised of 56 acres along the hill top and down into the valley with prairie area below, it also offers several trails for walking or bike riding to stretch your legs before heading back to the car.
A two minute video shows some highlight images around the park and offers a more complex set of directions to find it.
You can explore the area more with the surrounding Broadway—Phelps Park Historic District. It's listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this neighborhood shows off examples of Midwestern architecture dating to 1850, including a home used for the underground railroad. Free self-guided tour maps available at the Decorah Area Chamber of Commerce.
Here is a map of Decorah, with Phelps Park marked.