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.

hiking
1 day ago

Steep climbs and descents, but with rocks and/or railroad ties for steps so footing is good. The road was closed due to flooding in several spots so we didn't complete the full loop, but managed to make our own loop on marked trails which was part of the fun. It should not be rated easy, moderate at least.

hiking
1 day ago

Easy and enjoyable, right along the river, though most of the view is blocked by trees. May go back when less foliage is on the trees to see what we missed.

trail running
8 days ago

Geode State Park is a fun place to hang out for the day or even camp. The hiking trail around the lake is fairly easy with rolling hills. It's fairly quiet and not a lot of activity. As of this writing Lake Geode has been drained for runoff improvements for better water quality. The campground is currently closed. Hiking, biking and trail running are still open to the public although there is a trail detour on the west side of the dam. Great place to go to swim, or paddle too when the lake is full. There are plenty of day use areas and shelters and two boat ramps. No fees.

hiking
11 days ago

A wonderful trail. Glad to have the All Trails map, because of multiple off-shoot trails. Very serene.

I've hiked this trail hundreds of times (once lived nearby). It's a great park for year-round hiking, the season changes keep it interesting. Great for fall color, spring wildflowers, and snowshoeing in winter. Most trips I have encountered wildlife, although less likely on a busy weekend. Normal sightings include deer, rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks, many bird species, and occasionally bald eagles soaring over the Des Moines River. From mid-June to mid-September, strong bug spray is recommended

I was passing through Dubuque and wanted a short hike. I drove up to the parking lot and it was a short beautiful walk on a paved walkway to the monument and overlook. I would recommend it for the elderly or small children to view the Mississippi. There were steps leading downhill for more trail but I didn't have time. it was a lovely spot.

hiking
14 days ago

The drive from Iowa City was quick and easy to find! The trails were just enough of a challenge to feel active but enjoy a relaxed time in nature as well! Signs letting you know where trail heads were from the road would be helpful but all in all it was even better than we expected! We will be back!

hiking
15 days ago

Nice trail. Nice up and down. Mostly wooded with some prairie.

Unless you plan to hold their hands the whole time, do not take littles on this trail. There are cliffs on either side of the bottleneck. That being said, the same cliffs offer stunning views of the Maquoketa River on either side. It is a nice, easy, short hike if you are in the area.

It’s open for 2018!!! New trails, steps, lights, bridges and boardwalks. Soooooo nice! Breathe in nature and bring a friend. Very family friendly!

hiking
20 days ago

very steep and washed out on the one side. we took the easy way in and doubled back to avoid the washed out part.

One of the best spots right outside the QC! We come here a few times a year!

Great hike. Gorgeous and nice elevation challenge. I threw in the exercise stations to up the difficulty . Nice touch

hiking
28 days ago

This is an amazing trail but the “easy” tag is false. This is moderate at the very least. Lots of large rocks and tree roots all over the path. You NEED good hike boots or sneaks with lots of tread. Good elevation change too. Watch your footing!!! Enjoy!

This is one of my favorite rides. There’s two spots you need to detour around, LaPort City’s bridge has been closed for years and has no signs of being fixed and just west of Center Point they are actively installing a bridge over a creek. The middle third of the trail is crushed limestone but the rest is paved. It’s well maintained and has stops all along the trail. I never get tired of riding this trail, I always see lots of neat wildlife.

It was fun my dad and I had a great time

walking
1 month ago

We always love doing this trail! the hills can be a bit of a challenge. I always need bug spray here. mostly for knats.

mountain biking
1 month ago

A great trail with some fun views! Very family friendly.

walking
1 month ago

road biking
1 month ago

This trail actually is part of a Bicycle Trail that starts in Milford, Iowa and goes to Spirit Lake Iowa with many spurs and alternate routes.

Lots of frequent elevation change (600 ft is a net change), very poorly marked trail with markers only at trailhead or when it crossed a campground. There were no trail markers or distance markers, lots of lose rock and frequent forks to lose you way and your footing. On the plus side, some fantastic views and scenery along the way, just watch the transition from West Lake trail to East Lake trail. You have to find it yourself.

1 month ago

bugs were horrid this time of year. made the trail unworthy due to swarms of flies that followed.

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
1 month 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.

The path is very poorly marked. But when you figure out where you’re going, it’s a great trail. Nice to be near the water, there were several look out areas with seating. The paths varied in width and incline, which was a nice mix. Overall, we enjoyed ourselves.

Fun trail! I took my kiddos and dog, and we had a blast. We enjoyed the shady hike, and got a good workout. It was lightly raining, but we barely felt any drops because the tree canopy was so thick. We will w going back for sure. Beautiful flora to look at. I can’t wait to hike it in the fall.

Great trail!! Easy riding on a paved fairly level path and beautiful scenery! The bridge is gorgeous and we liked all of the stops with historical information.

road biking
1 month ago

Love this trail for walking and bike riding

We love this beautiful place!!

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