Maquoketa Caves is probably Iowa’s most unique state park.
The park contains more caves than any other state park in Iowa. Caves, limestone outcroppings and rugged bluffs provide opportunities for visitors to explore geological formations created thousands of years ago. There are 14 caves with varying levels of accessibility. Some can be explored by walking; for some you’ll need to get down on all fours!
The campground is nestled among mature pine trees and has electric sites and a modern shower facility Camping fees vary depending on the time of year and facilities available. Advance campsite reservations can be made online, but one quarter of the sites are available on a first-come/first-serve basis.
Hikers can enjoy the scenery along the six miles of trails. The trails in the eastern part of the park connect the park facilities and provide access to the caves. Trail highlights include the dramatic “Natural Bridge” which stands nearly fifty feet above Raccoon Creek, the seventeen-ton “Balanced Rock”, and “Dancehall Cave.” A trail in the western area of the park takes hikers past a restored prairie, an experimental oak savanna restoration and a wildlife food plot.
The unique beauty of Maquoketa Caves State Park provides a lovely setting for picnicking. A children’s play structure is located between the campground and picnic area. There are two open picnic shelters which may be reserved online through the park reservation system.
The Maquoketa Caves State Park Visitor’s Center is open from 9 to 5 on Saturday and Sunday from mid-April to mid-October.