Discover the Rugged Beauty of Iowa’s Maquoketa Caves State Park

Maquoketa Caves State Park, Maquoketa, Iowa
Maquoketa Caves State Park, Maquoketa, Iowa | Photo Credit: Wikipedia - Gardner.glen

Iowa is known for its farmland and open plains, but nestled within the state lies a mysterious yet beautiful state park filled with caves and winding hiking trails. Just northwest of Maquoketa, Iowa, Maquoketa Caves State Park allows visitors to explore over 450 acres of natural landscape.  From camping to exploring the great outdoors, visitors can explore caves and learn about the geological history of these amazing limestone formations. 


Native Americans once used these caves for shelter and storage. Once European settlers arrived, the caves became a popular place for hiking dating back to the mid-1800s. In the 1930s, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) helped to work on establishing this state park and remnants of their hard work still show in various places within the park today.

Things to Do

Points of Interest

Caves – there are 13 caves within the state park. Some of the most popular include Dancehall Cave and Shinbone Cave. The ease of access for each of the caves varies from wide entrances to narrow openings that require flashlights and crawling. Be aware that the caves may close in the winter for bat hibernation. To go into caves, visitors must watch a video on White Bat Syndrome.

Balanced Rock – a 17-ton rock that appears to be balancing its immense weight.

Natural Bridge – a 50 feet tall rock bridge that spans Raccoon Creek.


There are six-miles worth of trails within Maquoketa Caves State Park. The trails wind throughout the woods and limestone formations to reveal new landmarks to explore around every bend. The hiking trails help to connect visitors to the best things to see within the park including caves, the natural bridge and more.

Visit the Interpretive Center

The interpretive center at the state park allows visitors to learn all about the early history of this region. Discover how the caves formed while uncovering the scientific explanations behind the creation of this landscape. While at the center, also be sure to catch the video about the park tour.


A campgrounds on site allows visitors to spend the night and prolong your adventure at this outdoor wonderland. The campsites can be reserved online and allow both RV and hike-in tent sites for those seeking accommodations.

Plan Your Visit

Maquoketa Caves State Park is located at 9688 Caves Road in Maquoketa, Iowa.

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