Wildcat Den State Park

Muscatine, Iowa 52761

Wildcat Den State Park

Wildcat Den State Park Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"The cats for which the park was named were mostly killed off in the mid-1800s, although rumors of bobcat sightings float around often enough. You can still see the Pennsylvanian sandstone outcrops, more than 300 million years after their deposition.

Along Pine Creek, just a mile upstream from its confluence with the Mississippi River, you’ll find exposed Devonian bedrock with a host of crinoid, brachiopod, and coral fossils. A delight to geologists and fern lovers, Wildcat Den State Park is the place to take your time on a slow walk so that you can enjoy the diversity of everything that’s going on there."

More Wildcat Den State Park Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Best Easy Day Hikes: Cedar Rapids (Falcon Guides)
Lynn Goya and Alexander Goya
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"This hike has it all: green woodlands, meandering streams, a slot canyon, and the chance to explore around the next corner. It is also a link within the Great River Birding Trail and the American Discovery Trail. Near the Mississippi River, this historic park is part of the American Discovery Trail and the Audubon’s Great River Birding Trail. With golden bluffs, steep terrain, historic buildings, a river and mill, and unexpected seclusion, this must have been what Iowa was like when settlers first arrived. On our visit, we met one of Iowa’s great naturalists recording bird calls without the noise of a distant highway."

Wildcat Den State Park Trip Reports

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Note my rating is relative to the area, not to all hiking or trails I've been on. I took a 90-minute hike around Wildcat Den State Park and was immensely surprised and delighted by the sights along the way. Portions of wooded cliffs, jagged sandstone formations, pine groves, and open areas adjacent to farmlands. The cliffs and rock formations were definitely the highlight, though all throughout the trail was wide, clear, and unpaved (a huge plus coming from Chicago). The trails are not too well marked, but considering the size of the area, it's hard to get lost. My wife and I took our own route, as opposed to this trail listing, and probably had a solid 5-mile hike given our pace. The old mill and schoolhouse were nice sights as well, we'd like to come back at a time when they're open for tours.

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Trail Information

Nearby City
787 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Skill Level
Approximately 2 to 3 hours
USGS Illinois City
Local Maps

Trail Log