One of Iowa's earliest and most visited state parks, Ledges State Park combines magnificent natural scenery with a pet-friendly campground to offer a pawesome camping destination. Located just a few miles south of the city of Boone, this park is well worth a look for anyone who loves immersing themselves in nature.
The signature attraction of Ledges State Park is its distinctive geological makeup. It features an impressive sandstone gorge carved by Pea's Creek, a tributary of the Des Moines River, which boasts stunning sandstone ledges that tower around 100 feet above the stream bed below.
The best way to take in the remarkable vistas the canyon has to offer is to take a short road trip along the Canyon Drive. This winding, one-way road leads you along Pea's Creek so the whole family can take in the views of the canyon and Des Moines River Valley from all angles.
When you want to explore the area in more detail, head out on foot to check out the four miles of hiking trails throughout the park. Though often steep, these trails are well worth the effort as they take you to a host of scenic overlooks throughout the park.
If you prefer water sports, the Des Moines River flows through the western edge of the park and attracts keen anglers and canoeists. Bike riders can use Ledges State Park to access the 91-mile Central State Park Bike Route, while there are also several picnic areas dotted around the park for those visitors simply looking for a peaceful spot to have lunch.
If you're staying the night, Ledges offers both electric and non-electric campsites, including several hike-in sites and one youth group campsite. Iowa state parks do not charge entrance fees, but camping fees vary depending on the type of site you select.
Finally, if you're traveling with your pet, make sure your pooch is leashed and under control at all times, and that you always remember to clean up after them. If you can manage these simple tasks, there's nothing to stop you and your dog having a grrr-eat time in this spectacular park.