Ledges State Park - Madrid, IA - Iowa State Parks

 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
201
Welcome to Ledges State Park
With its distinctive geological and archeological features, breathtaking views and vibrant history, Ledges State Park is a nature lover's paradise. One of the very first state parks in Iowa, Ledges has been a must-see Iowa attraction for decades. In addition to natural beauty, several structures built by the Civilian Conservation Corps are a must see- from an arch stone bridge to a shelter in Oak Woods, stone trail steps and a shelter in Lower Ledges. The main attraction at Ledges is the canyon drive. This winding one-way road along Pea's Creek offers motorists breathtaking views of the canyon and Des Moines River Valley. Sandstone ledges rise nearly 100 feet above the floor of the stream bed. The sandstone was deposited 300 million years ago following the retreat of the shallow sea that covered must of the Midwest. About 13,000 years ago, glacial melt-water began to cut down through the sandstone, forming the park's dramatic cliffs and valleys. Along the canyon drive, park visitors can stop for a picnic, wade in the stream and enjoy the colors fall foliage offers. The canyon drive periodically closes to vehicle traffic during the summer due to heavy rainfall and flooding. It also closes to vehicle traffic during the winter. Even in the winter though, visitors are allowed to hike in to the canyon to explore its winter beauty.

Contact Info

Website:

Amenities

Within Facility
Picnicking/Shelters/Lodge
Picnic areas are located throughout the park. The Oak Woods picnic shelter and nearby restroom, located in the eastern area of the park, are fully accessible. Two open picnic shelters may be reserved online through the park reservation system. Stone shelter in lower Ledges.

Camping
Ledges offers 95 campsites, including electrical hookups (1 of which is fully accessible), non-electric hookups (1 of which is fully accessible), and some hike-in. Modern rest rooms, showers, a trailer dump station and a playground are located in the campground. Advance campsite reservations can be made online through the park reservation system. Half of the campsites are still available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Trails
Ledges, one of Iowa's most popular state parks, has attracted millions of visitors. Four miles of hiking trails lead up and down steep slopes to scenic overlooks and provide access to spectacular views of Pea's Creek "canyon". While most of the trails include steep portions, a fully accessible interpretive trail to Lost Lake is located at the southern part of the park. An interpretive trail featuring lichens (small plant-like organisms growing on trees and rocks) is located in the picnic area between the east entrance and the Oak Woods shelter. Learn how to identify up to forty of these tiny, but interesting species by their differing sizes, shapes, and colors! Feel free to view or download our online slideshow of lichens found along the trail (*pdf,5MB). If you wish to visit the trail in person, bring a magnifying lens (5X to 10X power recommended) and a printed copy of the trail guide (*pdf). The trail starts at the old stone building across from the amphitheater by the entrance to the campground.

Bicycling
The Central State Park Bike Route is a 91 mile route which connects Ledges State Park, Big Creek State Park , and Springbrook State Park . It is relatively flat, with a few 'challenging' hills as you make your way across the valleys of the Des Moines and Raccoon Rivers.

River Activities (boating, fishing)
The Des Moines River flows through the west edge of the park and offers fine stream fishing and canoeing opportunities.

Hutton Memorial
The Hutton Memorial is located along a trail on the north side of the canyon. It honors Murray Lee Hutton, a strong conservationist and first director of the Iowa State Conservation Commission in 1935. With its sandstone cliffs, native plant communities and deep wooded river valley, Ledges is a truly unique place. The winding road along Pea's Creek offers motorists breathtaking views of the "canyon" and the Des Moines River Valley. The sandstone "Ledges" rise nearly 100 feet above the floor of the streambed. The sandstone was deposited 300 million years ago following the retreat of the shallow sea that covered much of the midwest. About 13,000 years ago, glacial meltwater began to cut down through the sandstone, forming the park's dramatic cliffs and valleys. The present vegetation at Ledges is a mixture of prairies, woodlands and clearings. Dry south and west-facing slopes of oak and hickory combine with cool north and east-facing slopes of maple and basswood. This blend of northern and southern forest types provides spectacular autumn leaf colors. The Friend's Group for Ledges State Park can be contacted by email at: friendsoftheledges@gmail.com.

Nearby Activities

Boone is located four miles north of the park. Ames is 15 miles east and Madrid is 11 mile south. Don Williams County Park has a 160-acre lake and a nine hole public golf course. It is located five miles north of Ogden, which is 10 miles west of the park. The Iowa Arboretum and Camp Mitigwa are located south of Ledges. The Camp Fire Girls and Boys Camp Hantesa is just north of the park.

Video

Location

Address
1515 P Ave
City
State/Province
Zip Code
Latitude
41.99
Longitude
-93.87
Swap Start/End

Reviews

Your Reviews Earn 50 Reward Points and greatly assist fellow travelers.
Signup for FREE to Post Reviews

For Reservation Requests Please Signup for FREE And Earn 300 Points

You will receive important offers & savings including deals on:

Special Camping Offers
Cabin and Park Model Rental Deals
RV Rental Deals
Special Glamping Getaways
Local Business special offers on Attractions, Restaurants, RV Stuff and much much more!





Park Owners - Place your rentals here, please contact us today for more information.