The caves at Maquoketa Caves State Park are closed to help slow a disease known as white-nose syndrome that is killing bats across the eastern half of the United States. The DNR closed state owned caves that are known to serve as bat hibernation sites. The closure is based on the recommendation of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The disease has surfaced in Missouri. In Iowa, the caves are primarily found in the northeast and far southeast counties. Not a lot is known about the disease or how it is transported, but closing the caves is a precaution being taken to help slow the spread. The disease is transmitted bat to bat, but it also might be transported to sites inadvertently by people carrying it in on their clothing or in the mud on the flood. If the spread of white-nose is slowed, it may give needed time to answer questions about the best management practices to help save bat populations.
We were @ the caves in Maquoketa state park on Sept17th/ need to have garbage can's @ least outside shelter buildings. Only in bathroom and they were very, very over full! Lots of garbage down by trails / around the caves. I realize they can not get so easy to garbage can's down by caves but there is a solution for a small part of this. People riding around in gators can @ least dump the garbage can's in the bathrooms. It was between noon and 3:00 when we were there. Hate to see such a great park get run down by simple things that can be done. The caves are wonderfull!!! Our grandson loved them.
My family and I love the caves. We enjoy hiking here a few times each year as it is fairly close to home. The trails are beautiful and caves are definitely a great work of art by nature. The kids and dog love getting dirty while spelunking through the various caves and creeks. Highly recommended!