Ledges State Park

Boone, Iowa 50099

Ledges State Park

Ledges State Park Professional Review and Guide

"Picturesque sandstone bluffs line the canyon of Pea’s Creek just before it enters the Des Moines River. Take the 5.4-mile loop around the upland prairie reconstruction, down to the canyon, over to the interpretive trail around Lost Lake, and back again. Or just spend the day exploring the ledges. If you like climbing stairs or just want a nice steep hike, this is the place.

The Pennsylvanian sandstone for which Ledges State Park is so well known was deposited some 300 million years ago, when Iowa was located just south of the equator. Large rivers flowed northeast-southwest through the state, draining into the shallow sea that covered much of the western United States.The sea’s coastline was constantly in flux, migrating back and forth between Oklahoma and Illinois, periodically flooding the coastal swamps and tropical forests of Iowa (the source of our coal deposits).The rivers deposited clay, mud, and sand, which today can be found in the park’s Pennsylvanian rock record of sandstone, shale, coal, and limestone."

Ledges State Park Reviews

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7/12/2018
This a really pretty park with lots of trails and camping too. I've done geocaching here and had great time. The river is lovely and we took off our sneakers and waded in the shallower areas to cool off our feet. Lots of the trails are shady and green and there are some cool cliffs by the water. This is a really nice place to spend the day in the summer.
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6/25/2007
This is a great hike in an all-too-flat state. Take the stairs just because they are fun. Nice prairie exhibit, and a nice picnic area. Trails are not well marked, actually not marked at all so it's a bit random in terms of planning a hike. You can pick up a trail map near the parking lot, but it's not clear and there are no markings, that I could see, on the trails.
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11/13/2006
Who would have thought such a beautiful woods, streams, and elevation existed in a plains state such as Iowa? It was gorgeous!
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6/14/2002
High cliffs, beautiful overlooks of the Des Moines River, and lots of trees. This is an unsuspecting treasure in the midst of flat central Iowa.
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Ledges State Park Photos

Trail Information

Boone
Nearby City
Dog-friendly
Accessibility
5.4
Distance
866 feet
Elevation Gain
Loop/Lollipop
Trail Type
Approximately 2 to 4 hours
Duration
Year-round
Season
USGS quads: Madrid NW, Boone W
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Sep 2018