A pawsome adventure awaits you and Fido at the Bellevue State Park! Located on the Mississippi River near the Iowa-Illinois border, this 770-acre site attracts nature lovers with its scenic views, wooded walking trails, and unique butterfly sanctuary. Four-legged visitors are welcome at this pawrific park, so pack up your pup, hop into the car, and get ready for a doggone good time!
The Bellevue State Park comprises two separate tracts: the Nelson Unit sits atop a 300-foot limestone bluff just south of the town of Bellevue, while the Dyas Unit is 2 miles farther south on US 52. Both units offer various trails for adventurous doggos to sniff and explore. As you and Fido tackle the trails in the Dyas Unit, you will discover a stream with wildlife, beautiful overlooks, and spring woodland wildflowers. Some of the flowers that can be seen here include mayapples, bloodroots, jack-in-the-pulpits, and Dutchman's breeches. During winter, keep an eye out for bald eagles near the open waters below Lock and Dam 12.
In the Nelson Unit, hikers are treated to puptacular views of the Mississippi. This is also where you'll find the park's butterfly garden, where ruffly 60 species of the colorful insects can be spotted over the season each year. To attract butterflies, the garden features a variety of plant species, including sweet basils, marigolds, black-eyed Susans, wood sorrels, and forget-me-nots. Follow the pathways to explore this special area, which is among only a handful of such gardens in the country.
Whichever parts of the park you find yourselves in, always keep your pooch on a 6-foot leash and pick up after them. If you'd like to spend more than a day at Bellevue, camping is available in the Dyas Unit. Most of the campsites have electric hookups, and all guests have access to modern restrooms, showers, and a sanitary dumping station. Note that doggos cannot be left unattended in the campground.
Experience the natural beauty of east Iowa with your canine pal at the Bellevue State Park!