If you’ve been to Cave of the Mounds and you’re looking for a more rugged experience, check out Maquoketa Caves State Park. Perfect for a day trip of exploring, it’s just 2 hours from Madison and 30 minutes south of Dubuque, IA. Plan the day with a stop at the Mississippi River Museum or the Field of Dreams movie site in Dyersville, IA.
9688 Caves Rd, Maquoketa, IA
*Open dawn to dusk
Six miles of hiking trails weave around and within 13 impressive caves all with different features like the 17 ton Balance Rock. Wooden paths, stairs, and bridges were built to provide ease of access to the caves and hiking trails in areas that may have water.
The park has been popular since the 1860s and accommodates both hikers and spelunkers. There are campsites requiring reservations and even an interpretive center, formerly known as Sager’s Museum, open in the summertime on weekends.
Our Day Visiting
Coordinating a hike and stop over on our way home from an out west road trip, this was the perfect place to recharge and explore. Driving through farm fields, we were unsure of what to expect from the caves. We wandered on a few short hikes and were fascinated by the magnitude of the rock formations and cave views. It’s an impressive landscape that’s absolutely worth the trip. Taking the time to read the signs and learn a bit about thegeological formations, habitats, and wildlife provide context and insight. We picnicked and wandered, climbed and laughed. It was a wonderful day and we’d love to explore it again!