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If you like your hammock, or anything you can string between trees, this is the place. The campground is in a stand of tall lodgepole pines with no lower branches. This means there's little privacy, but lots of shade and trees everywhere.
There is a nice man-made lake for canoeing/kayaking or fishing. No power boats.
There is a row of hike-in tent site along the trail connecting the campground to the lake. At the lake, there is a General store and above that, a nice restaurant serving farm to table food and snacks.
There is also a historic Round barn museum on the grounds. Nice trails that are pretty easy to hike.
There is one cabin available to rent, which is quite secluded with a view of the lake. Nearby attractions are the Woodland Palace home and park, Historic Bishop Hill town and the Corner Coop Cupcakes & Ice Cream.
This is a really nice campground right on the Mississippi! The campground is quiet with level gravel pads with a picnic table and firepit. The sites have electric, water to fill your tanks with dispersed throughout the campground, and a dump station. The sites are well spaced and the campground itself is feels more like a park that happens to have RV parking. There was a playground, showers, pit toilets, and even a small amphitheater next to the river. And the views are incredible!!! There are a few non-electric tent only sites as well. We were disappointed that we could stay one night due to our schedule. We will definitely stay again!
Maquoketa Cave State Park , Maquoketo, Iowa
We stopped here for two days on our “Westward Ho” road trip in mid August 2020. Temperatures 80’s in the day to 60’s overnight.
I am not highly familiar with Iowa, I will admit however I AM extremely amazed at this little unique Park in the middle of farmland Iowa. Most of the trip here was driving between fields of corn as far as the eye could see (we came through Illinois).
The town of the same first name is small but the necessities can be had. Found a small shop with local meat, honey and yummies. The drive to the park was pretty straight forward with signage along the way.
This is a very basic park, no lake, no added attractions just trails , picnicking and a small , quiet (well…. I had a family directly across with very talkative, argumentative, sometimes loud children, …luck of the draw ;) and well shaded, electric sites. I like the spacing, privacy and shade. There are several water hydrants throughout the campground to use. A shower house that I will be visiting soon. Firewood on site, with donation box.
You probably don’t want sites 1 or 2, they are directly across from the dump site. The plus is they are directly across from the playground , picnic area and trail access.
Trail access is a short walk across the shelter/ picnic area. As of right now Officially the caves are closed. I saw several hikers not being official though.
The trails have sign posts and the map in a VERY general way gives you some idea as to where you are at BUT there are trails criss crossing everywhere so make sure you have your map tracker on. The trails/scenery are AMAZING! LOVED IT! Needs some maintenance (ie, downed trees) but they may have limited staffing right now. I would suggest a visit even if you only have a few hours. Once they reopen the caves I will absolutely be back.
My family stayed on site 21 in our popup and had a great time. We LOVED the pencil tree forest. There are only a handful of campsites w electric in this circle of trees. Although these types of trees don't offer a lot of privacy I still enjoyed it. Our site was a short walk down to the lake which we used for fishing. There is a water pump and latrine in the circle. We did not go in the shower house so can't attest to the cleanliness.
Met in the middle to go camping with a friend from Indiana. The views were just stunning. Absolutely breathtaking. We had site 51, and could see and hear the river from our campsite. Sunset on the river, the amphitheater, the park, the sites themselves, all solid 5 stars from us! The only downfall, the bathrooms were clean…ish. They were usable, but definitely could have used a more rigorous and more often clean, especially with covid precautions in place and posted throughout the campground. 100% would stay here again!
Really enjoyed our stay, sites are large and staggered so you aren’t staring at your neighbors and can enjoy the views. The road leading in was very rutted so take it slow , also due to COVID reservations are required , you can drive up but a sign asks you to make one online or call . Cell service was poor for T Mobile and the wait time for a call was 45 min, we tracked down a camp host who was able to get us registered and was very friendly. As stated water is shared by 4 sites and was 30 ft away . $10 with senior pass otherwise $20 Train only went by once!
This park has two campgrounds. The modern side on the north end of the park with full hookups, and the primitive side on the south side of the park with no electricity or water hookups. Both campgrounds have flushing toilets but only the modern side has showers. All restroom facilities are very well kept. Beautiful park with lots to do! Only thing keeping me from giving it 5 stars is how busy both campgrounds get on weekends and holidays giving you little to no privacy since sites are pretty close together.
The campground here was quiet during the week and small in general which we like! There are a few walk-in sites that are accessible by walking down a path about 150-200 ft. Wish it had been a little farther back away from the parking lot and other sites but i think we always wish that. Decent privacy with only a few other campsites back in that same area of wood so that was nice.
The caves were unexpectedly super cool! Neither my husband nor I had ever gone. We weren’t expecting much but wow! Lots to see in a small area. The hike didn’t take too long around and many of the caves were closed (probably due to COVID) but we kindve stuck our heads halfway in and WOw. We want to come back when they’re are more opened. I bet it’s super busy on weekends. Probably would avoid that. There was other hiking to do away from the caves but we didn’t venture too far as it was quite hot and we were running low on water. There’s a little stream that runs kindve out into the prairie lands on one side and we stopped to stick our feet in. Highly recommend that.
Over all, lovely few days out in the woods. We would visit again!