Maquoketa Caves State Park - Maquoketa, IA - Iowa State Parks

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Welcome to Maquoketa Caves State Park
Maquoketa Caves State Park is one of the biggest attractions in Jackson County and is a great place for spelunkers and hiking enthusiasts. The caves in the area were formed after millennia of water erosion on limestone bedrock. This park contains more caves than any other state park in Iowa. The park itself covers 370 acres nestled among hardwood trees and high bluffs. With approximately thirteen caves, a great experience awaits you at this interesting and unique state park. Dancehall Cave is approximately 800 feet long with three entrances upper, middle, and lower. Dancehall is the largest cave within the park and allows a person to walk upright most of the way through it. The cave opens up into a very large room in the lower entrance where dances were once held, giving the cave its name. Dancehall also has several examples of flowstone formations and growing stalactites, and is home to the brown bat during winter months. An interpretive center is located in the park with information about the geology of the cave formations and park history, as well as relics of the park, early Native American inhabitants.

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Within Facility
The unique beauty of Maquoketa Caves State Park provides a lovely setting for picnicking. A children's play structure is located between the campground and picnic area. There are two open picnic shelters which may be reserved online through the park reservation system.

The campground contains 32 campsites, including electric sites, nestled among mature pine trees, complete with a modern shower facility. The fees vary depending upon the time of year and facilities available. Advance campsite reservations can be made through the park reservation system. Twenty-five percent of the campsites are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Hikers can enjoy the scenery along the 6 miles of trails. The trails in the eastern part of the park connect the park facilities and provide access to the caves. Trail highlights include the dramatic "Natural Bridge" which stand nearly 50 feet above Raccoon Creek, 17-ton "Balanced Rock", and "Dancehall Cave." A trail in the western area of the park takes hikers past a restored prairie, an experimental oak savanna restoration and a wildlife food plot. Maquoketa Caves is probably Iowa's most unique state park. Its caves, limestone formations and rugged bluffs provide visitors a chance to "step back" into geological time thousands of years. Caves vary from the 1,100' Dancehall Cave with walkways and lighting system to Dugout Cave. The remaining caves are all different sizes and shapes. Some can be explored by walking while others can best be seen by crawling. In any case, a flashlight and old clothes and shoes are most helpful. The park contains more caves than any other state park in Iowa. A beautiful trail system links the caves, formations, and overlooks while providing an exciting hiking experience. Many areas on these trails have seen new construction, making the journey to the caves safer and easier. Trail highlights include the dramatic "Natural Bridge" which stands nearly 50 feet above Raccoon Creek, and the 17-ton "Balanced Rock". The park has beauty all its own each season of the year. Spring wildflowers give way to the lush green growth of summer. Fall brings dramatic hues of yellow, gold and crimson. Snow transforms the park into a winter wonderland. Whatever the season, Maquoketa Caves has something special to offer.

Interpretive Center
The former Sager's Museum building has been converted into an interpretive center. This new facility contains detailed information about the geology of cave formations, park history, and a background of the early "inhabitants" of the park. It also contains a "video tour" of the park, for those who are unable to withstand the rugged terrain that the park offers. This facility will be open on the weekends during the summer and by special arrangement with the park office.



10970 98th St
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