Last Updated on December 4, 2016 by Jody Halsted
We’ve been enjoying spectacular spring weather this year- dry and warm (usually it’s cool and rainy). The warm weather got us thinking about summer camping and we decided to check out the grounds at Ledges State Park and then take a hike. We had a perfect day for our adventure.
Though the weather was dry we had quite a bit of rain- and a lot of snow melt- just a week before so the lower ledges were closed to traffic. That didn’t stop people from hiking down to the lower areas, though some paths were closed due to the flooding.
Ledges State Park is a hikers paradise. Trails range from leisurely to quite difficult and hiking from the bottom to the top of the Ledges can change your elevation by 280 feet! The girls were great sports as we carefully descended steep stone steps that had been added to the hillside.
Some of those steps are uneven and even large for me, so we were very impressed with our little hikers. Of course they took a cue from other hikers on the paths and picked up walking sticks for the more even ground…
The well posted paths lead you through the park to places like the Council Ring, Lookout Point and Table Rock; the latter being a large flat outcropping of rock overlooking- and overhanging- the river below.
Another exciting feature of hiking through Ledges State Park is the creek crossings on the road. This provides terrific shallow pools for splashing in the summer. Of course the water was high, fast and quite cold so we did our best to stay dry and crossed on the safety barricades.
Many structures around the park- including the stone steps- were built in the 1930’s era Civilian Conservation Corps projects. The stone bridge is one of those projects. I love how it looks almost like it came out of the earth as naturally as the trees and ledges.
We are looking forward to returning this summer for a weekend of camping!
Ledges State Park is located just south of Boone, Iowa. Entry into the park is free. There are 95 campsites; 40 electric, 42 non-electric and 13 hike-in. Half the sites can be reserved online, the rest are first come- first served. Be sure to book early for holiday and peak weekends!
If you need food to fuel your hike- or you’re sick of campfire food- head into Boone and take a meal at the Colorado Grill. I recommend the Monte Cristo.