I’m a bit biased on this one as Arnold Wulf is my great-grandfather, but I do have a lot of fond memories from this park.
Near Lost Nation, Oxford Junction, and Wyoming, IA this park is an unexpected find in rural, eastern Iowa. The camping areas have expanded. Plenty of hook-ups for RVs and such, but there are also some backcountry, hike-in sites off of the main trail. Most of the available camping is right off the road that goes through Eden Valley County Refuge, so that’s not the most ideal.
The swinging bridge and observation tower are the main structural attractions, but there are also several caves scattered about. Overall, very enjoyable and there aren’t a lot of places like this nearby. Worth a stop if you’re in the area.
It's a little hike in for the dispersed sites, but worth it to be in a secluded woodsy site. Was peaceful and relaxing. There is water and and an outdoor shower at the regular campsite across from where you park. There are pit toilets near the dispersed sites. Fire pit and picnic table at each site. Site 1 has more sun during the day and site 2 is right on a trail head connected to site 1. Easy enough trail to pull a wagon if needed.
We love doing some backpacking and finding the most secluded sites we can. Well we found a pretty good one that is relatively close to our home and is rarely reserved. Its only 1 hour North of the Quad Cities where I live & open year round!
These sites must be reserved online and are $13 a night. Firewood is available for purchase at the main campground from the campground host.
To get to both the pack in sites you have to hike a 1/2 mile. You need to bring all of your supplies including water. (Showers & modern facilities are 1/2 mile back at the main campground)
The first approx 1/4 mile is up a slight continuous incline, when you get to the Y intersection you take a right & follow approx another 1/4 mile with a slight continuous downward slope.
You will then come to another Y intersection , to the left is a medow leading to Bear Creek & The Swinging bridge. To the right is a small open groomed grass area with an outhouse. Continue on the path about another 100 ft and you will see the two sites.
We like to stay at the Pack in site #1 due to the differece in the levelness of the sites. Site #1 is pretty level all around & is decently sized.
Site #2 has a short level area with an incline through the rest of the site, but this site is big. Due to this incline I believe you would not want to stay on this site during a storm. You're either going to be at a constant incline on the hill or have the water rushing down the hill at your tent.
There are plenty of surrounding trees to creat awnings or hang a hammock.
If you bring a base camp filtration system the creek is not s very far walk to retrieve water.
There are about 5 trails to explore nearby. On the main trail to get to the pack in sites there are a few very small caverns you can visit that are accessible by stairs right off the trail.
At night you can hike about a 1/2 mile to the Watchtower and watch the beautiful sun set over the horizon of treetops and if you stay long enough you can stargaze.
It is always a beautiful and peaceful time we have at Eden Valley.
At night the Nature drowns out any noise from the highway. You can heat coyotes & other animals rustling through the woods.
It is absolutely pictch black. PERFECT for stargazing on a clear night.
One of my favorite places to escape to for a weekend and forget about all the stress of daily life.