Spring is almost here, which means outdoor activities in Iowa are on the rise! An article from Only in Your State has named the 'the Best Short And Scenic Hikes In All 50 States,' and the pick for Iowa is the beautiful Wildcat Den State Park.

Located in Muscatine on the Mississippi River, Wildcat Den State Park is one of the most photographed state parks in the entire state of Iowa. Once you see the park for yourself, you'll understand why!

According to the Iowa DNR, Wildcat Den State Park has seven different hiking trails to choose from. The longest is the Park Boundary Trail, which is 1.7-miles long, and the shortest is the Cave Trail, which is only .17-miles long. Some of the highlights of the park include Steamboat Rock, the Devil’s Punchbowl, and Fat Man’s Squeeze. The Iowa DNR website says that "the majestic cliffs are composed of 300 million-year-old sandstone. The beautiful bluffs and rock formations provide spectacular views for hikers."

Something else that makes Wildcat Den State Park unique is the historic buildings located on site. One of them is the Melpine Schoolhouse, which was built back in 1877, and the other is the Pine Creek Grist Mill. The Visit Muscatine website says that the Pine Grist Mill was built in 1848 by Muscatine County’s first official resident Benjamin Nye and "is thought to be the oldest working mill on its original site between the Mississippi River and the Rockies." Both the schoolhouse and the mill are open for tours from May through September.

Which Iowa state park in your favorite? You can check out 20 of the parks located in Eastern Iowa HERE.

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The park is gorgeous in the fall.

Gallery Credit: Julie James

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