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Wildcat Den State Park
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)
The Pine Creek Grist Mill, Melpine Schoolhouse, and modern restroom facility are CLOSED for the winter season. The water hydrants in the primitive campground and lower picnic area are disconnected. All restroom facilities are CLOSED until mid April. Trails are OPEN year-round. The primitive campground is OPEN to self- contained camping units on a first-come, first-serve, walk-in basis. If you have any questions, please call the park office at 563-263-4337 (POSTED 3/28/2020).


Facilities and Activities

Wildcat Den State Park offers a variety of picnic settings ideal for a pleasant outdoor cookout. There are two open shelters available and may be reserved online through the park reservation system.

Wildcat Den State Park is a great place for a family to "get away from it all" for a weekend or a family vacation. The campground has several campsites and non-modern rest room facilities. Advance campsite reservations can be made online through the park reservation system. One fourth of the campsites are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Camping is also available at Fairport Recreation Area.

One of the major features of Wildcat Den State Park is its trail system. Trails wind through a variety of terrain and lead to such fascinating sites as "Steamboat Rock," "Devil's Punch Bowl," and " Fat Man's Squeeze." The beautiful bluffs and rock outcroppings provide spectacular views to hikers.

Pine Creek Grist Mill

Pine Creek Grist Mill at Wildcat Den State Park.

Wildcat Den State Park is one of the most unique in Iowa, combining natural beauty and solitude, preservation of historical structures, trails, camping and picnic areas for recreational use.

One of the focal points of the park is the Pine Creek Grist Mill located in the eastern part of the park on Pine Creek. The mill was built in 1848 by Benjamin Nye, one of Muscatine County's first settlers who also built the county's first store and post office in 1838. The Pine Creek Grist Mill is one of the finest examples of mid nineteenth century mills left in the country and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The Friends of Pine Creek Grist Mill Gift Shop (563-263-4818) is located in the mill at the park. Items for sale include soft drinks, candy and a variety of mill-related souvenirs. Questions can also be addressed to Tom Hanifan at tomhanifan@yahoo.com

The "turn of the century" Melpine Schoolhouse is located near the mill and offers park visitors another glimpse of Iowa's past. To learn more about the mill, the Melpine Schoolhouse, and the work of the Friends of Pine Creek Grist Mill, visit their website at www.pinecreekgristmill.com.

A portion of the park was donated to the state by the Brandt sisters who actually lived there at one time. A bronze tablet dedicated to their memory has been placed in sandstone in a lovely setting where centuries-old pine trees line 75-foot cliffs.

Fairport Recreation Area
For a different type of camping experience, why not try the Fairport Recreation Area Campground located 6 miles away from Wildcat Den State Park on Highway 22. Fairport is located right on the Mississippi River.

Nearby Towns
Muscatine, Iowa , is located 10 miles west of Wildcat Den. Davenport, third largest city in Iowa, is located 15 miles east of the park.

Nearby Lakes

Wyoming Slough
Hershey Slough
Drury Slough
Hog Island


Within park
Bird Watching, Camping - Nonelectric, Camping - Youth Group, Cross Country Skiing, Hiking, Interpretive Programs, Non-modern Campground, Picnic Area, Picnic Shelter, Restrooms, Stream/Creek, Trails, Hiking, Walking, Water Hydrants , Wildflower Viewing, Wildlife Viewing

Less than a mile
More than a mile
Area Attraction, ATM/Cash Machine, Boat Launch Ramp, Dock, Boat, Dump Station, Fish Cleaning Station, Fish Hatchery, Fuel, Boats, Medical Clinic, River, Town