“a step back in geological time”
Maquoketa Caves State Park is a state park of Iowa, USA, 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.
CURRENTLY CLOSED UNTIL AUGUST 2018 or FURTHER NOTICE
Loved this place! Beautiful scenery! More than a dozen different sized and shaped caves. Lots of places to climb around and through the caves. Flashlights/headlamps, clothes you don't care about getting dirty, and your camera are a must to get the full experience! So much fun even for my 3 and 5yr old boys!
We camped here at Maquoketa Caves State Park last August 2014. The state park has good hiking trials that will lead you to numerous caves. One of the largest and stunning cave is the Dancehall cave. I suggest you bring your own flashlight once you go caving. The campground was nice and clean with picnic tables. There were also clean and good conditioned facilities like the showers, toilets, and a dump station.
Great cave system, free for all, just respect the land. Very quiet campground.
The electric campsites were $11 and the hiking was beautiful!!!! We loved it all!
OPEN AGAIN, I just called them to confirm this 8/27/18 as we are planning a trip there this weekend. We went here 2 years ago and it was AMAZING and we always planning on going back. As a native Iowan, I had no idea this was here and it is really a gem! There are so many interesting caves and paths to explore! Highly recommend. The campgrounds are also very nice! Do bring a flashlight!
Beautiful even in the winter.
Handicap accessible facilities. Good size campsites, but few spots. Hiking trails are beautiful and a must! Bring your own flashlights ands enjoy the beauty of Iowa!
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Maquoketa Caves State Park
- Sun - Sat: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
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Good for hiking.
Credit Cards Accepted
- State park or forest
Campground, Parking, Dining