Maquoketa Caves State Park, Iowa
Categories: State Parks, Nature & Parks
Maquoketa Caves State Park is a state park of Iowa, US, located in Jackson County. It stands northwest of the city of Maquoketa.The park contains more caves than any other state park in Iowa. A trail system links the caves, formations, and overlooks while providing a scenic hiking experience. Many areas on these trails have seen new construction, making the journey to the caves safer. Most of the caves may be entered by persons of average physical ability, but some are more advanced. However the park's caves were closed to humans between 2010 and April 2012 in the hopes of protecting the resident bats from white nose syndrome.The park is in the Driftless Area of Iowa. This region escaped being glaciated in the last ice age, while regions to the east and west were not spared. The park has been subjected to hundreds of thousands of years of natural non-glacial erosion.The park's caves, limestone formations and rugged bluffs represent a step back in geological time of thousands of years. Stalactites once hung from the ceilings and stalagmites rose from the floor. Souvenir hunters have robbed the caves of this rare beauty, but many formations remain.Today a modern interpretive center outside the park entrance provides maps and other informational materials. Inside the park, a central map kiosk includes charts of some of the more interesting caves.Plan your Maquoketa Caves State Park visit and explore what else you can see and do in Maquoketa using our Maquoketa vacation route planner.
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We visited with our 20+ month old and we all enjoyed it. Before visiting we read the reviews here and since many have mentioned about not having proper directions, we printed and took our own map, and... read more »
The only thing we could say bad is there is no guide or map to tell you where you are or what caves you have seen. You get lost very easy once you start on the trail and go into caves. The map at the ... read more »
Having lived in Iowa all my life, I can't believe I hadn't heard of this place. It's very beautiful with trees, trails, and caves of varying sizes. The most impressive cave is the Dancehall cave. The ... read more »
This is a small park, tucked away off the main roads. Nice picnic grounds, and bathrooms with flushing toilets and running water. There are a string of 16 caves, but the first 10 will require you to crawl to get through some low areas. You will get dirty! The remaining six can be accessed by walking, but you'll still have to duck in a couple places. There are also a lot of stairs. Beautiful place, but you need to be in at least moderately good physical shape -- not for extreme couch potatoes! Be sure to wear comfortable non-slip walking shoes that you don't mind getting wet or muddy if it has rained recently.
Absolutely amazing. Excellent place to take the family for a day trip. Beautiful landscape as well as views. You can access the caves without a guide, just dress appropriately as some of the caves are shallow and may be muddy.
We had a great time at this park. Did a lot of exploring and crawling through caves. The hiking was easy. Best part was it had just rained there for a few days. Got covered in mud, it was great.
Absolutely amazing Park! Hiking the trails was amazing and the caves were the best I have seen around! Hands down a must see! For a "free" park.... WOW! This is a state park done right!
Quiet, serene, dark yet calming caves. Let the smooth cool air rush over you as your senses are overcome with wonder... not the typical kind of wonder either, but the kind that makes you think you've lost something.. you look behind you, "Where is my family?" you ask yourself. Startled for a moment you look around to no avail, they must have gotten lost... "I don't care" you say to yourself, as you let the caves take you...
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