Picnicking/Shelters Wildcat Den State Park offers a variety of picnic settings ideal for a pleasant outdoor cookout. There are two open shelters available and may be reserved online through the park reservation system. Camping Wildcat Den State Park is a great place for a family to "get away from it all" for a weekend or a family vacation. The campground has 28 campsites and non-modern rest room facilities. Advance campsite reservations can be made online through the park reservation system. Half of the campsites are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Camping is also available at Fairport Recreation Area. Trails One of the major features of Wildcat Den State Park is its trail system. Trails wind through a variety of terrain and lead to such fascinating sites as "Steamboat Rock," "Devil's Punch Bowl," and " Fat Man's Squeeze." The beautiful bluffs and rock outcroppings provide spectacular views to hikers. Pine Creek Grist Mill at Wildcat Den State Park. Wildcat Den State Park is one of the most unique in Iowa, combining natural beauty and solitude, preservation of historical structures, trails, camping and picnic areas for recreational use. One of the focal points of the park is the Pine Creek Grist Mill located in the eastern part of the park on Pine Creek. The mill was built in 1848 by Benjamin Nye, one of Muscatine County's first settlers who also built the county's first store and post office in 1838. The Pine Creek Grist Mill is one of the finest examples of mid nineteenth century mills left in the country and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The Friends of Pine Creek Grist Mill and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources is working to restore the mill to its original condition. The "turn of the century" Melpine Schoolhouse is located near the mill and offers park visitors another glimpse of Iowa's past. To learn more about the mill, the Melpine Schoolhouse, and the work of the Friends of Pine Creek Grist Mill, visit their website at www.pinecreekgristmill.com. A portion of the park was donated to the state by the Brandt sisters who actually lived there at one time. A bronze tablet dedicated to their memory has been placed in sandstone in a lovely setting where centuries-old pine trees line 75-foot cliffs. Fairport Recreation Area For a different type of camping experience, why not try the Fairport Recreation Area Campground located 6 miles away from Wildcat Den State Park on Highway 22. Fairport is located right on the Mississippi River. For more information about Fairport Recreation Area visit their website at Fairport Recreation Area. Nearby Towns Muscatine, Iowa , is located 10 miles west of Wildcat Den. Davenport, third largest city in Iowa, is located 15 miles east of the park.
This park was awesome! They have trails that are in the woods, but we (including the dog) decided to play in the river, and climb up the rock faces! If you bring good shoes or good hiking shoes, you can go about anywhere! And of course, it's completely dog safe!
2/29/2016 Leap year! It ended up being a wonderful way to celebrate an extra day this year. I saw about 15 deer in three different locations. Wintertime sloppy muddy but very relaxing and enjoyable. If I'm in the area again I will definitely come back. Most of the trail is wide enough for sports utility vehicle to drive through. Some of it does get very hilly and is more of a off path trail. The rating says easy but I would say it was moderate in spots. I would love to come back in the summertime.
Eric A. on Wildcat Den Trail
Coming from a 25 year stint in SE Minnesota, I didn't know what to expect going to this park. I'm sure I camped here in scouting days, but have no recollection of the park.
That said, I enjoyed the park. Fairly easy hike, easy drive from the Quad Cities area. Nice quiet location. Creeks and some sandstone cliffs to view which are nice. Grist Mill is interesting.
I have yet to see any critters outside of hearing birds.