We got an early start and arrived at Pilot Knob State Park around 8:00 am. We followed signs for the observation tower, which led to a parking lot. From there, it was a short hike to the tower (0.15 miles each way). The view from the top was fantastic.
After making our way back to the parking lot, we headed the opposite direction toward the lake. The Tower Trail (0.2 miles) connects to the Lake View Trail (0.3 miles), so it's a 1 mile round-trip hike. We really enjoyed hiking at Pilot Knob and I recommend visiting if you're in northern Iowa.