Memorial Day is coming up quickly, and that means it’s time to clean out the camper and get it ready for the first outing of the season. After this spring cleaning, the only thing left to do is decide your destination. Here are five excellent recommendations which dot the beautiful Iowa countryside.
1. Backbone State Park
Rock climbing isn’t something that often comes to mind when considering camping in Iowa, but at Backbone State Park you can do just that. With a stretch of steep bedrock formed by the meandering Maquoketa River, this park features many challenging cliffs of rugged dolomite limestone along with a cold, clear stream to do some trout fishing.
2. Pikes Peak State Park
Nestled along the bluffs of the rolling Mississippi, Pikes Peak State Park is the perfect place for a picturesque getaway. The park offers several hikes which run beside ancient burial grounds of Native Americans. These formations, known as Effigy Mounds, were a main part of the native Woodland Culture from 800 to 1200 A.D. and are a monument to the ancient native people as well as to Mother Nature.
3. Maquoketa Caves State Park
Jaw-dropping stalactites and stalagmites await in the caves of Maquoketa, and all of these natural wonders are accessible from within the park and are free of charge. The caves range from the lofty variety with walkways and lighting systems to those which can only be reached on all fours.
4. Yellow River Forest
This gem of a state park sits in the fertile corner of northeastern Iowa and is a wonderful getaway for the niche camper. Whether you fancy horse riding, hiking, backpack trails, fishing, or even hunting (in allocated areas and during certain times of year), this park has it all. You can even come back in the winter months for snowmobiling and cross-country skiing.
5. Ledges State Park
Providing a picturesque backdrop for central Iowa, Ledges State park is a conservationist’s dream. It was one of Iowa’s first state parks and boasts sandstone cliffs, sweeping valleys, rolling prairies, and lively woodlands. The park is also home to a wide assortment of lichen which bring the area to life with remarkable colors and forms.
If the only hitch to your getaway camping plan is that you need a truck to haul your camper, then head over to Lady Luck® Casino in Marquette for the Keep on Truckin’ events happening all month:
Sunday, May 1 - Saturday, July 2
- Enter to win a new Ford F-150* or $20,000 cash.
- Each Sunday, earn 25 times, and on Mondays, earn 10 times the entries.
- On Fridays and Saturdays, 75 qualifiers will be drawn for the final drawing.
- The grand finale drawing will be on Saturday, July 2.
Fridays and Saturdays from 5-9:30 p.m.
- Win prizes such as cash, FanPlay, and gas cards (as well as 75 qualifiers for the grand prize).
Saturdays from 1-4 p.m.
- Win your share of $550 in gas cards.