Top Adventures in Iowa

  • Explore the Maquoketa Caves

    From the Maquoketa Caves State Park office, near the parking area, hike north for access to 8 of the 16 caves in the park. These caves include Wide Mouth Cave, Dug Out Cave, Twin Arch Cave, Hernando's Hideaway, Up-N-Down Cave, Widow Cave, Match Ca...

  • Explore Columbus Junction's Swinging Bridge

    The Swinging Bridge is one of the main attractions in Columbus Junction, Iowa. The highway runs straight through town. As you drive into town you will see multiple signs about the bridge. About half-way through town you will take a left, and the ...

  • Photograph the Briggs Woods Waterfalls

    Briggs Wood Park Waterfalls are Located 2.5 miles South of Webster City off Highway 17. It is very peaceful watching the water cascade over the rocks and into the stream below. If you follow the water down stream it will lead you to the Boone Riv...

  • Hike to the Lake Macbride Waterfall

    Where's the fun in driving right up to your scenic destination? Here's how we had a more adventurous day at the lake by hopping off the beaten path: Just as you enter the park from County Road F16 coming out of the small town of Solon, IA you will...

    2 miles

  • Hike the Horseshoe Bluff Trail

    To get to the trailhead within Mines of Spain, drive to the Dubuque area, turn off of Highway 61/151, and on to Highway 52. From Highway 52, turn left onto Mines of Spain Road until you find the parking lot. Once you park your car, go up the woode...

    1.6 miles 208 ft gain

  • Hike to Devil's Punch Bowl, WIldcat Den SP

    Wild Cat Den State Park is located between Blue Grass, Iowa and Muscatine, Iowa, just south of the Quad Cities. If traveling on Highway 22, look for Wild Cat Den Road. If you are coming from Highway 61, look for Vail Road, and then turn left on to...

    1.3 miles 235 ft gain

  • Hike the Fire Point Loop Trail, Effigy Mounds National Monument

    To get to Effigy Mounds National Monument travel to the town of Marquette, Iowa. If you drive north of town about three miles, the road will curve to the left, and the park entrance will be on the right.  After you park, you may take a stop in the...

    1.7 miles 301 ft gain

  • Hike Ledges State Park's Canyon Road

    From the main gravel parking loop at the top, begin your hike on the main paved road. Note: This road is currently closed to vehicle traffic due to heavy water damage on the road. This road also closes to vehicle traffic during the winter. However...

    6.5 miles 700 ft gain

  • Hike the McFarland Park Loop

    After parking in the main lot by the Story County Conservation building, you can choose between two starting points. I recommend starting on the left side of the parking lot at the gravel road and closed yellow gate, as this is a better point for ...

    5 miles 300 ft gain

  • Hike Robinson Bird Sanctuary

    This year for Earth day, I decided to hike one of my favorite trails near Waterloo, Robinson Bird Sanctuary. I love exploring this area during the spring season because of the beautiful Bluebell flowers that cover the woods. The colors are so brig...

    1.2 miles 36 ft gain

  • Explore Crystal Lake Cave

    The cave is located beneath an outdated (but cool) gift shop on an little old gravel lot at the end of a short country road(Crystal Lake Cave Rd). The cave is about a 1-1.5 mile loop that takes about an hour. The cave is usually pretty cool and ca...

    1.5 miles -50 ft gain

  • Hike the Canyon Road and Table Rock Loop

    This park is part of the Des Moines river valley that cuts through most of the area. It's a hot spot for cooling off in the summer given the two rivers and also a great place for hiking. During the spring, fall and winter, the road down into the...

  • Nearby camping, hotels, and more

    • Knoxville, Iowa

      Howell Station

      Overview Howell Station Campground sits just below the Red Rock Dam and Lake on the north side of the Des Moines River. Lake Red Rock is Iowa's largest lake, located just 10 minutes from Pella, kno...

    • Mystic, Iowa

      Island View (Rathbun Lake)

      Overview Island View Park is located on beautiful Rathbun Lake, just nine miles northwest of Centerville, Iowa and 8 miles southwest of Moravia.Recreation The 11,000-acre lake provides a variety of...

    • Pella, Iowa

      Wallashuck

      Overview Wallashuck Campground is located on Lake Red Rock, Iowa’s largest lake. It is just 10 minutes from Pella, known for its Dutch heritage, and 15 minutes from Knoxville, the Sprint car capita...

    • Onawa, Iowa

      Onawa / Blue Lake KOA

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