In 2015, a storm blew through Amber, Iowa. When it had passed, two hula hoops were dangling off the limbs of a tree on County Home Road.
No one is sure if someone put the hula hoops there, or if they were somehow blown in the wind and lodged into the tree during the storm, as the local legend holds. In any case, more and more hula hoops began to appear on the tree. There are now more than 50 colorful hoops hanging from the branches.
It’s a mystery as to who started adorning the tree with the toys, or why. But the whimsical tradition has spread its roots further and further through Iowa as more people come to seek out the curious tree, some adding their own hula hoop.
If you visit, be sure to look down at the ground, too. One local woman has occasionally been placing rocks with a picture of the hula hoop tree painted on them at the trunk of the tree, a delightful bonus for those who find them.
Know Before You Go
The tree is in the community of Amber in Jones County, about 3.4 miles east of US151 between the towns of Anamosa and Monticello.