Maquoketa Caves State Park
Lee D.The Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed Oct. 26, 2022

Great place to see caves!

General: Very popular state park with a small, 30-site campground (five walk-in tent sites and the rest electric). I read somewhere that the campground was recently upgraded, and I did see some evidence of upgrades. We were dismayed when we arrived at 3 pm on a Sunday to find the place packed with day-use visitors. The campground provided a quieter respite and when we returned after dinner (around 7 pm) to explore the caves, most everyone had gone home! The good news is that likely due to the bats, there were no gnats or mosquitos but there were many annoying flies! 

Site Quality: Gravel pads that all appeared to be level. Although not exceptionally long, we did see quite a few big rigs fit into the spaces. The campground is wooded and there is some separation between sites, but you could still see (and hear) your neighbors. Each site has a picnic table and fire ring with a grill. 

Bathhouse: This did not appear to be part of the campground upgrades. The handicapped stall was closed and because the cave trails were muddy, there was a lot of mud tracked into the bathroom (not the fault of the park). Apparently, people have taken their pets into the showers because there was a sign letting people know they could not do this! 

Activities/Amenities: Explore the caves! Some require spelunking but others have stairs and/or walkways for easy exploration. I had read on the All Trails app that the trail system was confusing and easy to get lost on, but I did not find this to be the case when we were there. There was good signage and if you pick up a map (there were plenty at the entrance to the campground), you should not get lost. There was a naturalist station with several activities that would be good for families. At night, the fireflies are abundant and put on a great show! 

Maquoketa Caves has long been on my list to visit and I’m glad we finally made it!

  • Site 9
  • Caves!
  • Showers do not allow pets!!
  • Warning to check before leaving that you are not taking any bats with you!
  • Playground
  • Naturalist box provides great activities for famailies
  • Recycling!
  • Bathroom was muddy due to the caves
  • First time I have ever seen a donation for firewood
Month of VisitJuly