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Maquoketa Caves State Park

EASY 128 reviews

Maquoketa Caves State Park is a 1.7 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Maquoketa, Iowa that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 1.7 miles Elevation Gain: 288 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

camping

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

cave

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

rocky

hiking
muddy
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

There’s an easy 5-6 miles if you walk the entire grounds. The caves are in great shape. The trails are well maintained. A very fun and surprising adventure

hiking
2 months ago

Amazing cave system. Great walkways built through the caves. Get a park brochure with a map because the All Trails map is accurate, but tough to follow from on the ground due to the winding caves.

hiking
bugs
muddy
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

very good place for the family. awesome place to see. try and go early its gets foggy in the caves. pretty cool

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

Amazing trail. Some of the smaller caves you couldn’t go too far in, one cave to the left just as you go in has a tiny cave perfect to go through as a starting spelunker.

hiking
bugs
muddy
off trail
rocky
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

The caves were absolutely beautiful!! There is so much here to explore, and if you are looking to explore certain caves the map is very helpful!

hiking
4 months ago

Moved to Iowa from Oregon and was really needing a nature fix. This is the most beautiful place we have been to in Iowa. Absolutely gorgeous!

hiking
muddy
4 months ago

Maquoketa Caves is magical. It was a staple of my childhood. I hadn't been in a few years and have been itching to check it out as an adult. We went yesterday, the 4th of July, and it was just as enjoyable as I remembered. Before entering the trails, we had to speak to a DNR rep, who educated us on White Nose Syndrome. After the quick spiel, we were given a wristband and granted access to the park. At the entry of the trail, there was also a table set up where they were selling a lot of things that you may need, such as headlamps, bandannas, water, Gatorade, snacks, etc. It was busy, of course, but it was honestly nice to see so many families outside, enjoying nature together. The distance between caves is such a nice pace during these hot summer months. The caves provide a great, cool relief from the muggy air outside. The Ice Cave feels like heaven on a hot day. A couple of the trails were closed due to fallen trees, but there was still plenty to explore. You can expect to get wet and muddy, but that's just part of the whole experience, in my opinion. I definitely recommend devoting a day to exploring all of the caves. We swung by Tycoga winery on the way home and had a wine slushie to cool off, which I also highly recommend.

hiking
muddy
4 months ago

It’s a beautiful hiking area! I cannot believe that I haven’t been there before today! It’s only a little over an hour away from where I live… Very accessible. There had been a very bad windstorm last night so there was a lot of tree damage today and the trails were quite muddy. But other than that, it was beautiful and very enjoyable! You could choose more challenging routes to hike on or you could choose to stay on the easier paths. Due to the previous nights storm, we did have more challenging activities as we had to climb over some fallen trees as we were going up stairs or over paths. The caves were unbelievable and very beautiful. Before we left, we were thrilled when three deer ran through the woods and over the path in front of us. We will definitely return and bring the rest of our family!

hiking
bugs
muddy
4 months ago

hiking
bugs
muddy
4 months ago

I love this trail, lots of unique things to see, exploring through caves (if you want), and beautiful scenery. There is one cave to go through on the trail - the path is paved and you have to duck but not crawling required. It can be wet and slightly muddy in the cave but not too bad. We went early June and the gnats were AWFUL. White nose syndrome is present here, shoes need to be cleaned after going through the cave and they tell you not to use those clothes and shoes at other caves to prevent the spread of the fungus. Talking with the park ranger regarding allows you to obtain your permit to enter the trails. Lots of picnic tables and grills around if you want to picnic.

hiking
bugs
4 months ago

hiking
bugs
rocky
4 months ago

CROWDED. The Parking Lot was a lot like Disneyland. Either the Subaru/Prius driving NPR dad with all their kids or the yokels with their pit bulls and kids were blocking the trails in-n-out of the dance hall and other narrow paths. Then, all the shouting (kids getting yelled at or other loud individuals) throughout the valley. I took the high route, was able to find seclusion a little off trail. Bring poles if you follow my route. I’m not going in the summer time when kids are out of school. Too much traffic... Otherwise, great park!

hiking
muddy
rocky
4 months ago

Amazing! We took a ladies only trip from Kansas City and it was totally worth the drive. Downfall was not having any open camp sites at the park. However, Central Park camp ground was about 30 mins away and perfect!

hiking
5 months ago

Loved it! Great hiking in Iowa! It is pretty crowded. When they say crawl though caves, they mean it! Where layers and shoes that can get wet. You will get muddy.

hiking
bugs
5 months ago

hiking
muddy
over grown
5 months ago

hiking
muddy
rocky
5 months ago

The trail is great! Went for a nice hike the same day off a rain storm and the trails and caves were still amazing.

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