DNR events have been cancelled due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Safety of our users, attendees, partners and staff is most important. When possible, events will be rescheduled and that information will be distributed accordingly. Please check this site frequently for the latest closures, postponements and updates.
Bellevue State Park

Eastern Iowa’s Bellevue State Park is rich in archaeological, historical and natural beauty. The park features beautiful overlooks of the Mississippi River. An enclosed nature center and butterfly sanctuary showcase diverse wildlife and plant life inhabiting the area. Bellevue State Park is split into two separate areas, the Nelson Unit and the Dyas Unit; camping is only available at the Dyas Unit.

Nelson Unit

Learn about a variety of plants, animals and geology of Bellevue State Park at the South Bluff Nature Center. The center is open daily Memorial Day through Labor Day, and Saturday and Sunday throughout the year. Hours may vary depending on volunteer staff and availability.

Hike three miles of trails, offering scenic views of the Mississippi River and restored prairie. The paved Nelson Unit Trail leads to the Butterfly Garden, featuring a mix of perennial and annual flowers with almost 60 different butterfly species from spring to fall. The Quarry Trail leads to a primitive lime kiln, and trails from the main overlook lead to Pulpit Rock and Native American mounds from the Middle Woodland Culture.

Hunt on 220 acres of public hunting land adjacent to the Nelson Unit (hunting is not allowed within park boundaries). Tall grass prairie and assorted food plots are scattered in the area to attract turkey, deer and pheasants.

Reserve one of three open shelters or day-use lodge for a family gathering during your visit. Shelters in the Nelson Unit offer beautiful views of the Mississippi River and may be reserved for a fee. The lodge may be reserved for group events such as wedding receptions and family reunions through the online reservation system.

Dyas Unit

Hike four miles of trails leading to scenic overlooks and a stream. The Deer Trail is a short, easy trail near the campground

Camp at one of several camping sites in the Dyas Unit, containing electric and non-electric sites, modern restrooms and showers, and a sanitary dump station. One fourth of the campsites are available for self-registration on a first-come, first-serve basis, and advance campsite reservations can be made online.

Reserve one of two open shelters for a leisurely picnic during your stay. Shelters offer beautiful views of the Dyas Unit Campground and are available for reservation through the online reservation system.

Bellevue State Park
Dyas Unit Camping
21466 429th Ave
Bellevue, IA 52031

Office (Nelson Unit)
24668 Hwy. 52
Bellevue, IA 52031

STATEWIDE FACILITY CLOSURES: All pit latrines and port-a-potties are closed until April 15, 2020. Due to lack of restroom facilities, all camping cabins and shelters are closed until April 15, 2020. Campgrounds are open but campers must provide their own self-contained bathroom until park restrooms are available. Self-contained includes bathrooms in RVs/travel trailers/5th wheels and portable camping toilets. All modern restroom and shower facilities are currently closed for the winter season. Many parks try to have modern campground facilities open in mid-April, weather permitting. Some parks open modern camping facilities mid to late April, weather permitting. All lodges are currently closed through April 30, 2020. Playgrounds are not cleaned and sanitized. DNR strongly recommends visitors avoid playgrounds to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 - user discretion is advised. (POSTED 3/30/2020)
Campground water and dump station is closed for winter season and will tentatively open around mid-April.
  • Nature center
  • Butterfly garden
  • Hunting 
  • Hiking trails
  • Playground
  • Day-use lodge
  • Shelters (5)
  • Modern restroom
  • Showers
  • Electric campsites (30)
  • Full hook-up campsites (1)
  • Non-electric campsites (5)
  • Walk to campsites (9)
  • Youth group only campsites (1)
  • Dump station