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.

The best hiking experience within an hour of the Quad Cities. I agree with the consensus of others that the signage needs work. The good news is that none of the little spur trails are terribly time consuming. The whole trail system can be easily enjoyed in a leisurely morning.

hiking
15 days ago

Loved this trail! We parked near the campground (first one by new era road) and entered the trail along the parking lot. It took us the “long” way around through the woods. We ended in the second campground (lots of picnic tables, a shelter and some swings). Across the street from there is another trail. The DNR men said to keep to the right trail. We followed their directions and hiked along bluffs and the “punch bowl”. I believe we kept to the left and came upon the “steamboat rock” and “fat mans squeeze”. Lots of places to explore. Trail is not well marked - actually only the entrance of trails are marked and the trail forks multiple times. We used our phones/GPS to figure out if we were following the right path. I’m new to using the free version of this app and the map didn’t seem to show the trail, just the boundaries of the park (could have been user error). At fat mans squeeze, there’s another parking lot and a small trail that continues. We weren’t sure where the trail lead and were ready to head home so we walked to the parking lot and followed the road back to the campground. Next time I’ll park somewhere else and skip the first part of the forest trail since my kids just wanted to explore.

We drove to the mill after our hike. There’s a shelter and one grill there, along with bathrooms and some swings.

So far, my kids’ favorite state park - but would love better signage.

We love this beautiful place!!

Enjoyable hike! Trails well maintained. As others have stated, not much for signs. Relied on Alltrials map to track where we were.

Great trail that has every kind of trail experience you want in Iowa. lots of up and down so pace yourself and start at the campground if you're bringing kids. the full trail will tucker them out quickly.

birding
2 months ago

Had a terrific day at WCDSP. We saw one Kentucky warbler and heard several more long the creek. We saw a small group lf cerulean warblers at the north parking lot. This is a wonderful place.

hiking
3 months ago

Hike the trail yesterday with a 7 year old. Spent 2 1/2 hours. We enjoyed it greatly. Will definitely go back. Wish the trail was a little better marked. We do not know if we saw these three place or not "Steamboat Rock," "Devil's Punch Bowl," and " Fat Man's Squeeze." we also did not see the trail to the Mill. Even so we had a great time!!! Will go back.

hiking
5 months ago

Hiked trail for the first time yesterday. without a trail map it's difficult to know your way around. The trail itself was awesome. Would definitely reccomend and will definitely return.

hiking
5 months ago

Great scenery! We enjoyed the hike to the saw mill.

cool rock formations.

hiking
8 months ago

Great scenery! Would have given it a five but the trails were not marked very well.

hiking
8 months ago

Trails well maintained. Very scenic. Not much for signs. Had to depend on all trails tracker.

hiking
11 months ago

I agree with Doug Wilmsmeyer and his 5 stars for scenery (and the maintenance of the trails), but only one sign the whole distance, and several forks in the trail, so 2 stars fro signage, which was nearly non-existent.

hiking
11 months ago

5 stars for the scenery. 2 stars for the signage. Several groups were confused even with the map because of so may side-loops. If you want a quick in-and-out, park in the area where the road loops (looks like a teardrop on the map). Then get on the trail to the south west.

hiking
Monday, July 17, 2017

Great hike. Recommend for everyone.

hiking
Sunday, July 16, 2017

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Prepare to lose your breath and bring extra clothes if you'd like to take a small swim in the river. Very worth it!

Monday, June 05, 2017

I grew up near Wildcat Den and it's still one of my favorite state parks in Iowa. I love taking my kids there now. It's a great place for a family hike and it offers such great scenery.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Very few people. Amazing scenery. Can't wait to go back

hiking
Monday, December 26, 2016

Not too overcrowded. Nice scenery.

mountain biking
Friday, October 14, 2016

Is the trail open to mountain biking?? Thanks.

walking
Friday, August 19, 2016

Since this park is close by, it is a great place to get out and enjoy the trails at anytime. There are trails that are fairly easy and some that are more challenging. A great place to get a quick workout in on a weekend.

hiking
Thursday, June 23, 2016

Great!

hiking
Monday, April 25, 2016

We loved this trail! Hard enough for a decent work out without killing yourself. Very pretty. We enjoyed the varied scenery and beautiful trails.

walking
Saturday, March 26, 2016

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!

hiking
Tuesday, March 01, 2016

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.

hiking
Sunday, September 20, 2015

Great place to hike! Beautiful area!

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Just completed this hike today with my dog for the first time. It was a pretty fun hike. There's lots of beautiful sights and some steep terrain. I had fun because my dog and I went off trail and did some climbing. It can get pretty crowded on nice days.

hiking
Friday, January 02, 2015

Great local place for a nice quick hike. lots of stairs, stream and rock. Great scenery with Grist Mill, School. They are adding a period style log cabin (complete 2015?) next to the settlers cemetary. Nice park

on Wildcat Den Trail

hiking
Saturday, December 27, 2014

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.

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