The small town of Madrid is home to one of the oldest state parks in Iowa! According to Only in Your State, Ledges State Park will turn 100-years-old in late 2024.

Ledges State Park is described by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources as "one of Iowa’s most historic and unique nature destinations." The park is home to four miles of hiking trails, newly renovated campsites, structures that date back to the 1930s, and stunning views, but the main attraction is the canyon drive. The Iowa DNR writes:

"This winding one-way road along Pea’s Creek offers motorists breathtaking views of the canyon and Des Moines River valley. Sandstone ledges rise nearly 100 feet above the floor of the stream bed. The sandstone was deposited 300 million years ago following the retreat of the shallow sea that covered much of the Midwest. About 13,000 years ago, glacial melt-water began to cut down through the sandstone, forming the park’s dramatic cliffs and valleys." 

For the best views of Ledges State Park, visitors will want to check out the Inspiration Point, Crow’s Nest, and Table Rock overlooks. Other notable features of the park include the Hutton Memorial and the stone bridge over Peas Creek. The park is especially beautiful in the fall!

Ledges State Park is great for a day trip, but if you want to stay the night, camping is available March through November. There are both electric and non-electric campsites, as well as some "primitive" hike-in sites for more adventurous campers. Activities in the park include kayaking/canoeing, fishing, hiking, biking, bird watching, and more. You can check out available campsites HERE.

Have you ever been to Ledges State Park? Send us your photos on the station app!

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