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Ledges State Park

Ledges State Park is one of Iowa’s most historic and unique nature destinations, especially for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. A four-mile trail system winds through steep slopes and scenic overviews, with sandstone ledges towering 100 feet above the Des Moines River. Numerous 1930s CCC structures can be viewed throughout the park including an iconic stone bridge spanning Peas Creek. An ideal destination for the seasoned hiker, daytime picnickers and campers, Ledges State Park takes visitors on a breathtaking excursion amongst Iowa’s natural beauty.


Hike the four-mile trail system that leads to spectacular views of Pea’s Creek “canyon.” While most trails are steeper in nature, a fully accessible interpretive trail to Lost Lake is also available at the southern end of the park. An interpretive trail is also located near the Oak Woods shelter and features lichens—small plant-like organisms growing on trees and rocks—so bring your magnifying glass to identify these creatures up close.

Camp in one of the newly renovated campsites at Ledges. If you’re feeling adventurous, try one of the primitive hike-in sites. Modern restrooms, showers, a trailer dump station and playground are also located in the campground. Advanced reservations can be made through the online reservation system for Ledges State Park. 100% of the campsites are reservable and a reservation is required. The campground accepts reservations March - November and is closed December - February.

Streamwalk Peas Creek along the Canyon Road. The creek is typically ankle deep and offers a unique way for kids and families to experience the outdoors.

Visit the Hutton Memorial in honor of Murray Lee Hutton, a strong conservationist and first director of the Iowa State Conservation Commission in 1935. The Hutton Memorial is located on the north side of the canyon.

Reserve one of two shelters at Ledges. The Oak Woods picnic shelter and nearby restrooms are located in the eastern area of the park and are fully accessible. The shelter in lower Ledges is dedicated to the park’s first custodian, Carl Fritz Henning. Both shelters can be reserved through the online reservation system for Ledges State Park and provide an affordable, scenic setting for your next outdoor gathering.

Ledges State Park
Ledges State Park
1515 P Ave.
Madrid, IA 50156
Ph. 515-432-1852

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WINTER SEASON CLOSURES:  The Canyon Drive is currently CLOSED to vehicle traffic due to icing of the low water crossings, making vehicle passage unsafe. Visitors are welcome to hike into the Canyon area at this time from either the Oak Woods picnic area (near the Canyon entrance gates) or the Flood Pole parking lot in Lower Ledges. The campground is currently closed to overnight camping and the roadway is gated closed. Visitors are welcome to hike into the campground though. Modern restrooms throughout the park are currently closed as well. Portable restrooms will be available in the Oak Woods picnic area and canyon area of the park until the end of November. There is also a pit vault latrine open and available year round just west of the campground entrance. (This alert was updated on 11/27/2023)

From late October through the winter months, park staff will be conducting prescribed fire resource management activities in Ledges State Park on days where the weather is favorable. Be advised you may encounter delays in reaching certain parts of the park when a prescribed fire is being conducted. Signs will be posted along roadways adjacent to any fire activity. If you have any questions about prescribed fire activities at Ledges State Park, please call the park office at (515) 432-1852. This alert was updated on 11/6/23.

The Oak Woods Shelter is currently closed to public access until further notice. No reservations are being taken for the shelter at this time, but the Carl Fritz Henning shelter remains open and available for reservation this season. This alert was updated on April 13, 2023.


  • Amphitheater
  • Interpretive trails
  • Hiking trails
  • Playground
  • Shelters
  • Modern restrooms
  • Showers
  • Electric campsites
  • Walk-to/non electric campsites
  • Full hook-up campsites
  • Youth group only
  • Firewood sales
  • Dump station