|Distance||2.5 miles roundtrip|
- Views of the Mississippi River bluffs
- Bridal Veil Falls
- Prehistoric burial mounds
Pikes Peak State Park often appears on lists of the best and most scenic parks in Iowa. This scenery-packed hike strongly demonstrates why: not only will you enjoy the tremendous views of the Mississippi River bluffs that the park is famous for, you will also pass prehistoric burial mounds and a waterfall. All of this wrapped in a pristine forest setting with unique topography provides a nice surprise to visitors who believe Iowa is just a big, flat cornfield.
From the parking lot, walk towards the buildings and make your way to the overlooks. Mere steps from your car, you can enjoy the view pictured below, which for many is the entire reason to visit this park. Your view will likely be even better than mine; smoke from Canadian wildfires obscured the view and unusually high water covered much of the green islands in the middle of the river.
This scenic hike will prove to you that there is more to Iowa than farmland. With the many scenic views and small waterfall, this is one place you shouldn't miss. Connect with me using the social media links below and share your adventures!
Dogs are allowed on leash. I wouldn't recommend doing this entire hike if you have kids due to the stair, length, and the monotony of the end of the hike, but families certainly could hike to Bridal Veil Falls and back. You can definitely hike here during the three warmer seasons; it's unclear which trails if any are groomed for skiing in the winter, but you'll be able to hike to the falls -- just be careful on the stairs in case they're icy. This is one of the more popular state parks in Iowa, so expect to see others on the hike.
Located just outside of McGregor, use the Google Maps link below to navigate through the rural highways required to reach this part of the state.
Google Maps Directions
Parking, Fees, and Facilities
Parking is free! There are flush toilets, water, and a concession stand near the lot.
Wyalusing State Park, Wisconsin
Effigy Mounds National Monument, Iowa
Charles Mound, Illinois
Maquoketa Caves State Park, Iowa