A day at the Ledges

Scott Strehlow

Now is the time for exploring outside. The harsh Iowa weather is finally coming to an end (knock on wood). The birds are chirping and let’s face it, you’re running out of excuses from exercise. But getting active doesn’t have to be a chore, make it an adventure. Put down the smartphone and try your hand at hiking in Ledges State Park.

Hiking is the main attraction of the park. There are over thirteen miles of trails that lead visitors to impressive lookout points and hidden valleys. This park is built for the adventurous ISU student willing to get their feet dirty and endorphins high. But don’t think you have to be a world class athlete to make the trip. While some slopes provide steep climbs, the interpretive trail is a great start if leisure is the name of your game. Whether it be a stroll by Lost Lake or a trek to Pea’s Creek Canyon, Ledges will give a sense of belonging all Iowa residents should enjoy.

If hiking doesn’t sound inviting, don’t give up yet. Biking, fishing, boating, and camping are all available within the park. The Des Moines River runs through the west part of the area and offers fine stream fishing and canoeing opportunities. Ledges includes designated camping areas and general park amenities like bathrooms, shelters, and electricity.

Bicycling is another activity that often gets overlooked by visitors. The Central State Park Bike Path is relatively flat with a few hard trails. It passes through not only Ledges but also Big Creek and Springbrook State Park. Be sure to bring a mountain bike or hybrid at least, this adventure will be go through a solid variety of terrain.

You can reach this Iowa beauty in a mere 20 minutes. The park is 18 miles from cyclone country four miles away from Boone. Go online for more information and interactive/downloadable maps to help make your visit more effective. Let’s get moving!


Ledges State Park

1515 P Ave.

Madrid, IA 50156

ph. 515-432-1852