Ledges State Park
Ledges State Park
4.5
See what travellers are saying
  • iowarhino13
    Saint Paul, Minnesota302 contributions
    nature enjoyment
    Grew up going here every year as a kid, came back a few weeks ago and brought my kids. Love the hiking trails through the forest and river valley areas. Cool viewpoints of Des Moines river, and walking through the creek beds on the canyon drive.
    Visited May 2023
    Written 6 June 2023
  • Cello12345
    Urbana, Illinois545 contributions
    Take a dip!
    This park has a fun drive through a canyon - the road crosses the adjacent stream many times. Each time the stream and road intersect, there's a low water crossing, which means you're driving through water. So, the road will be closed if the stream is too deep (and during the winter). On this summer weekend day, the stream was very popular with families in swimsuits...just having fun in the water by each parking area. In fact, we had trouble finding a place to park the car! Also part of the park is a boat launch into the Des Moines River, but it isn't really set up for non-boaters to enjoy the river.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 29 July 2023
  • cenzt
    Iowa5,819 contributions
    Hiking Ledges State Park
    Great trip. We arrived at approximately 4:30 pm and made our way towards the entrance of the park. The park was relatively big and contained various hiking trails, along with a scenic drive that included driving through small puddles of water. We hiked on several different trails, including the Canyon Road and Table Rock Loop, Ledges Table Rock Trail and Inspiration Point, Crow's Nest Loop, Oak Woods, Prairie, and Hog's Back Loop and the Lost Lake Nature Trail. The trails ranged from easy to difficult, and included hiking through the forest for a majority of the time. We were able to view several different water features, including a swamp and a creek. Several of the trails did contain quite a few stairs and a lot of inclines/declines. Tip: I recommend spending 3.5 hours here if you truly want to see everything.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 4 September 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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4.5
79 reviews
Excellent
48
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Jane M
Chicago, IL50 contributions
Oct 2023 • Friends
Hiked on a cold morning on the Lost Lake trail. Easy to find and easy to follow the trail signs. Beautiful views along the river and through the woods.
Written 31 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

cenzt
Iowa5,819 contributions
Jul 2023 • Solo
Great trip. We arrived at approximately 4:30 pm and made our way towards the entrance of the park. The park was relatively big and contained various hiking trails, along with a scenic drive that included driving through small puddles of water. We hiked on several different trails, including the Canyon Road and Table Rock Loop, Ledges Table Rock Trail and Inspiration Point, Crow's Nest Loop, Oak Woods, Prairie, and Hog's Back Loop and the Lost Lake Nature Trail. The trails ranged from easy to difficult, and included hiking through the forest for a majority of the time. We were able to view several different water features, including a swamp and a creek. Several of the trails did contain quite a few stairs and a lot of inclines/declines.

Tip: I recommend spending 3.5 hours here if you truly want to see everything.
Written 4 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Cello12345
Urbana, IL545 contributions
Jul 2023 • Couples
This park has a fun drive through a canyon - the road crosses the adjacent stream many times. Each time the stream and road intersect, there's a low water crossing, which means you're driving through water. So, the road will be closed if the stream is too deep (and during the winter). On this summer weekend day, the stream was very popular with families in swimsuits...just having fun in the water by each parking area. In fact, we had trouble finding a place to park the car!
Also part of the park is a boat launch into the Des Moines River, but it isn't really set up for non-boaters to enjoy the river.
Written 29 July 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

iowarhino13
Saint Paul, MN302 contributions
May 2023
Grew up going here every year as a kid, came back a few weeks ago and brought my kids. Love the hiking trails through the forest and river valley areas. Cool viewpoints of Des Moines river, and walking through the creek beds on the canyon drive.
Written 6 June 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Grover R
Pensacola, FL18,062 contributions
Apr 2023 • Solo
Not sure why this is bars and nightclubs because this was a great state park with natural beauty and hiking. With that said, I was headed to Des Moines from NW Iowa and wanted to find a top hike in the state. This was perfect as I did the hike from Inspiration Point to Table Rock.

When people ask me how is Iowa different from other Great Plain states, this park and hike are great examples, trees and elevation. Yes, much of western Iowa is one cornfield connected to another. However, Des Moines River cuts through the state and really carves a beautiful landscape with hills and vista and most notable forest and trees. In trying to find the area I wanted to hike, I nearly drove the entire park which has a beautiful road along the river with lots of access for boats and other water activities. However, what brought me to Ledges was its woods and hikes and they were great.

This is a great park to see the natural beauty of Iowa. Another natural spot in Iowa that I can not say enough great things about.
Written 5 May 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bob Kramer
Ankeny, IA243 contributions
Oct 2022
1st time visit to Ledges State Park on Friday October 21st. The weather was great, with temperature in mid - 70's, mostly clear skies, and little wind. Of course we went to see the Fall leaves in full color, but there are some pretty good hiking trails too.

If you're planning on going, plan accordingly so take note ...
1) Many (most) of the trails have some fairly steep terrain, and you will see an example in at least one of my pics.
2) Due to the steep terrain, they poured concrete slabs on many of the incline / decline area which make it easier to navigate.
3) Also, there are railroad ties used as steps in many areas.
BUT ...
4) I would suggest staying away from many of the hiking trails as many of them are not for the faint of heart (there are no hand railings!)
5) Especially avoid the trails if it has rained / stormed / or otherwise many make the trails sloppy with mud or slippery leaves.

But again, on a perfect day like it was yesterday, the trails were easy to navigate, and my wife and I are both 69 years old. There is one pic that shows her ahead of me rounding a bend on the trail toward Table Rock. This 20ftsection of the trail is the most treacherous, as you can see we are going down a pretty steep decline and making sharp bend at the same time. But, we made it, and the views from Table Rock were fantastic!

So, should you go to Ledges State Park? YES. There are ample pullovers that you can use in your vehicle to get out and stretch your legs and take in the scenery if you don't feel like hiking. Nice picnic areas too!
Written 22 October 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Michelle S
Shawnee, KS388 contributions
Jul 2022
This park is a true gem. The landscape within the park is gorgeous. The Clear Creek that runs through the park is fun to both sit in and splash with the kids (and getting splashed by the vehicles driving through) but also hiking the actual creek bed through the park, depending on the water level. The many trails (I think there were at least 9) within the park have varied hiking ability and changes in terrain. The camping areas and restrooms were well maintained. There are plenty of picnic areas along the one way drive through the park. We were surprised that Iowa does not have a day use fee for their state park and the camping fees are more than reasonable. A great time was had and we will be back.
Written 25 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

N0rmalee
Bossier City, LA673 contributions
Oct 2021 • Couples
Absolutely beautiful landscape with plenty of ledges and some picturesque bridges, the road actually has a couple of places where you go thru a little water. Evidently this is a favorite spot for senior photos but sometimes the park is closed due to high water…
Written 5 October 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Cryptic_Tourist
Saint Louis, MO742 contributions
Jun 2021 • Friends
I can’t lie, I really wasn’t expecting there to be any good hiking in Iowa at all. Thankfully, my friend recommended I check this place out and it was excellent! There’s plenty of elevation gain to make your hike challenging. What the park lacks in scenic views, it makes up for in fun trails.

It wasn’t crowded at all which was nice considering it was summer time. I would definitely hike here again!
Written 27 June 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Joann G
Milford, IA94 contributions
May 2021
If you are in the area, it's definitely worth your time to stop. It is a beautiful area and we enjoy walking the trails. We like hiking to the crows nest and looking out over the park. We also like driving the road and going through the water on the road. We have been there during flooding and now during low water times. It just a great place. We have walked several different trails and can see how they are keeping them up. The one going to the crows nest is getting a little rugged but then how do you fix something that has been there for years and years.
We love this area and would recommend anyone to stop and stretch your legs with a good hike.
Written 15 May 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Ledges State Park - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Frequently Asked Questions about Ledges State Park