Iowa’s parks abound with natural wonders

In Iowa, there are 83 beautiful reserves and state parks. 

Hartman Reserve is the most popular spot for those looking to stay very close to home. This spot has many trails, including the Turkey Trail, 2 Bridges Trail and the Maple Loops that  join together in a fascinating mix of bridges and stairs.

Next, travel to northeastern Iowa, AKA the Driftless.

The Driftless is a part of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, and last but not least, Iowa. A great way to see the driftless is through the Maquoketa Caves State Park. This park has many trails that lead to its wow factor, the hundreds of different caves. It was one of the first state parks in Iowa, and many families visited and had picnics in the area long before it was declared a state park in 1921. The drive takes about two hours from Cedar Falls.

Another phenomenal spot in the Driftless of northeastern Iowa is the Ice Cave in Decorah. The Decorah Ice Cave is a great place to rest and chill down from the 2-mile hike up to it on the Upper Ice Cave Hill Trail.

Ice Caves are created through the “chimney effect” when the cave sucks up the cool air during the winter and the warm air exits through natural conduits.

Don’t forget the Effigy Mounds National Monument. It has four hiking trails. Although this is also a two-hour drive.

As the school year comes to an end here in Cedar Falls, don’t forget to tell those adventurous friends and family members about these beautiful state parks and reserves in Iowa.

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