Explore the most popular State Parks in Iowa with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Decent trail. There was barbwire hidden next to the creek at the end of the trail. Be careful. It looked like a vine.

Great starter or training trail

hiking
bugs
flooded
muddy
over grown
4 days ago

hiking
4 days ago

Wildcat Den is one of the more pristine state parks in the area. Wide trafficked foot trails take your through sandstone bluffs that weave within the state park or around the state park. I suggest parking at the Mill to view, then head across the street to begin your hike on Mill Trail. Mill trail is marked and sits along the busy road, you should be able to see it. This will interconnect you with other short trails. These trails are heavily shaded. In the spring, enjoy the lush forest fauna, trickling water, moss covered bluffs, and the sound of birds. Some areas can be a little muddy but easily navigated through, just stay on the marked trail to avoid soaked shoes.

hiking
muddy
rocky
5 days ago

Recommend to visit.

hiking
muddy
rocky
5 days ago

Great trail - would come back again. A little muddy, although it did just rain. Rocks and tree roots, but not to terrible.

hiking
muddy
rocky
scramble
5 days ago

Cedar Cliff trail at Palisades SP on an overcast day was oh so special. We had about perfect hiking conditions to explore together with my sister and nephew. We enjoyed the terrain of the trails. It was beautiful along the river and bluffs were full with spring growth, moss n flowers. Overlooks are amazing!

There were a couple muddy spots, otherwise a nice short hike. Theres also a connecting part of the trail that leads to a bridge and eventually along the highway to a park. If you take that the trail mileage ups to 2.5. The waterfall at the beginning is beautiful. I also saw a half decomposed deer carcass in the weeds right off the trail before the bridge.

hiking
muddy
over grown
5 days ago

Really liked this trail. I hiked it coming off a couple rainy days, so there was quite a bit of mud. I ran into one overgrown spot that was also the muddiest spot on the trail about 1/4 mile into it. After that, prepare for some hills! The trail is short but there’s a lot of up and down through a beautiful forest. I saw a few whitetail deer. I also saw a completely decomposed carcass immediately off of the trail about a half mile in. A little odd since I saw the same on the other loop, too. All in all, this is a fun short hike.

Well maintained trail with beautiful views of the Cedar River. Very light foot traffic if you go early. Wear hiking shoes if muddy for climbing and exploring. Cool Hollow was a nice diversion off the main trail.

Trail map here is misleading. The supposed loop at the end actually leaves the park boundary and is not simple to find the way back in. Look for a small hole in the fence and a tree down.

mountain biking
8 days ago

There are some pretty good trails all over this area around the Cedar River. Some well cut trails in George Wyth park and some just down South Hackett road across the river. Including a pretty challenging little corse located right off South Hackett. In the summer some of the trails may be a bit overgrown. Wear some light pants and you will be fine.

muddy
8 days ago

I hiked this trail around the lake on a slightly rainy day. It was pretty and the lodge is interesting. It was very muddy. It would of been nice if there were more marker in the trail with mileage. Not a hard hike but longer than I anticipated.

hiking
8 days ago

I enjoyed this hike. The old mill was interesting for photos and history. Cross the road and begin the loop. Beautiful bluffs and rock formations. If you keep going away from the popular areas you hike into a quiet pine wooded area. I found this are peaceful. It is an easy hike. I want to bring my boys the next time to explore the rocks and water.

hiking
rocky
9 days ago

Very beautiful view! Can be very steep in some locations.

Some up and down. One part of the trail had 39 steps and then uphill a ways from there. Good walk in the woods.

Easy trail and very accessible. Gorgeous both in the spring and fall.

hiking
10 days ago

A popular trail for people of all ages in the area. In mid-March the trail was muddy/wet/washed out in several areas - with proper shoes it isn’t an issue. Late April those spots had dried up and the trail was more accessible. It is well marked with many lookouts onto the river. There are benches and other viewing areas along the way. A very crowded trail on the weekends.

hiking
muddy
12 days ago

Nice ride. The trails Manawa are starting to show some age and cracks are showing up, but still a nice trail. One of my go-tos

Summary: SUPER beautiful dirt trails, but hard to follow/know where to go. This was a beautiful bunch of dirt trails, in the woods the whole time. There was a patch of really loose sand near the interstate. Also, I never quite knew which path I was on, as the signage isn’t super clear, so I would watch the app and try to generally continue in the same direction. A lot of these trails end up going to the same places, so if you’re not short on time, I would say don’t worry about it too much, just head in the direction you want, and head back at some point.

hiking
washed out
14 days ago

Mainly a grassy trail around the lake with some of the trail dirt as it goes through forests. Really well maintained and a really beautiful spot. Seems like it’d be a great spot for families. There were 5-6 muddy spots and one part of the trail that had water flowing over it. A pretty easy hop over, though, and you’re on your way. Really really enjoyed this hike. I’ll definitely be back.

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