Ledges State Park Professional Guide
Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook
"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."