Hiking Highlight for 7/9: Ledges State Park


Andrea Dahl/ Iowa State Daily

Some outdoor enthusiasts enjoy walking in the creeks at Ledges State Park.

Andrea Dahl

Although Iowa is commonly thought of as flat, hidden away in Madrid, Iowa lies magnificent canyons and bluffs, with sandstone ledges rising nearly 100 feet above creek beds. A 23-minute drive from Ames, Ledges State Park offers outdoor activities such as camping, boating and fishing.

With four miles of steep trails, hiking is a popular activity, however access to low-lying areas is limited due to significant flooding and construction. The DNR is working to restore the flooded areas for public use.

Flooding at Ledges is common due to the nearby Des Moines River, which flows through the west side of the park.

Current campground renovations are underway, and campsites will be closed for most, if not all, of 2018, according to the Iowa DNR website. Canyon Drive is also closed, but visitors are welcome to hike through the canyon.

Ledges became one of Iowa’s first official state parks in 1924. Visitors can enjoy wildlife, as well as nearby bike trails.