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Bellevue State Park

Bellevue State Park

Dyas Unit Camping
21466 429th Avenue
Bellevue, IA  52031

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

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Facilities and Activities

 View from overlook at Bellevue State Park, Nelson UnitPicnicking/Shelters/Lodge
Picnickers at the Nelson Unit can enjoy beautiful views of the Mississippi River. Open picnic shelters may be reserved for a fee. The lodge is an ideal spot for group events such as wedding receptions and family events and is available on a reservation basis. The lodge and open shelters may be reserved online through the park reservation system.

The Dyas Unit has a multitude of camping units including electrical hookups, modern rest rooms, showers and a sanitary dumping station. Advance campsite reservations can be booked through the park reservation system. One fourth of the campsites are still available for self-registration on a first-come, first-serve basis. Camping is not allowed in the Nelson Unit.

In the Nelson Unit, three trails provide a variety of hiking experiences.  Each offers a glimpse of something different; scenic views of the Mississippi, strolls through a restored prairie and butterfly garden, and a former limestone quarry with a primitive limestone kiln in view just beyond the park boundary.

The Dyas Unit encompasses almost 4 miles of foot trails with another 1.5 miles which is called the single track trail.  Scenic overlooks, a stream with wildlife, and spring woodland wildflowers are amongst the highlights these trails offer.   Plentiful spring flowers are May Apple, Wild Ginger, Jack-in-the-Pulpit, Wild Columbine, Hepatica, Bloodroot, & Dutchman’s Breeches.   In winter, bald eagles concentrate to feed near the open waters below Lock and Dam 12. Pileated woodpeckers are occasionally seen in isolated areas.

South Bluff Nature Center
The South Bluff Nature Center in the Nelson Unit contains a variety of interesting displays on the plants, animals and geology of Bellevue State Park. The center is a remodeled golf course country club, rebuilt with mostly donated labor and supplies. It has been open to park visitors since its dedication in 1984. It is open Memorial Day to Labor Day, Saturday, Sunday and Holidays. Hours may vary depending on volunteer and staff availability.

The "Butterfly Garden", is located nearby. This unique area contains over one hundred separate plots, each featuring plants which provide food and habitat for butterflies. A network of pathways allows visitors to walk through the garden and see a wide variety of butterflies as well as enjoy the beautiful array of flowers and the pond in the center. For more information visit the website at Butterfly Garden.

High bluffs with scenic views of the Mississippi River, 770 acres with timbered walking trails, a unique butterfly sanctuary and an enclosed nature center are just some of the features that make Bellevue State Park so special. Located just south of the picturesque town of Bellevue, the park offers spectacular views of the river, the wildlife, and the unique butterfly garden.

The park lies in two separate tracts. The Nelson Unit is at the immediate south edge of Bellevue on U.S. 52, atop a 300 foot limestone bluff. The Dyas Unit is two miles further south on U.S. 52.

Nearby Towns
Bellevue is just north of the Nelson Unit of the park. Dubuque is 21 miles north on HWY 52.

Nearby Lakes

Harrington Slough
Bellevue Pond
Bowman's Slough
Bonnie Lake
Western Pond
Golden Lake
Jackson Lake
Big Mill Creek
Flat Lake (A)
South Fork Mill Creek
Bellevue Slough
Goose Lake
Twin Lakes
Maquoketa River (below Monticello)
Snider Lake
Fish Lake
Snag Slough
Little Sawmill Lake
Sawmill Lake
Densmore Lake
Green Island Lake
McGann's Lake
Brush Creek
Blake's Lake


Within park
Aquarium Display, Archery, Bicycling, Bird Watching, Butterfly Garden, Camping - Electric, Camping - Nonelectric, Camping - Youth Group, Cross Country Skiing, Day-use Lodge, Dump Station, Fishing, Geological Formations, Hiking, Hunting, Interpretive Center, Interpretive Display, Interpretive Programs, Jogging/Running, Modern Campground, Nature Center, Picnic Area, Picnic Shelter, Playground, Restrooms, Showers, Trails, Cross Country Skiing, Trails, Hiking, Viewing Platform/Overlook, Water Hydrants

Less than a mile
Antiquing, ATM/Cash Machine, Boat Launch Ramp, Boating, Canoe Rental, Canoeing, Dock, Boat, Fuel, Vehicles, Retail, Bait & Tackle, Retail, Drinks, Retail, Firewood, Retail, Ice, Retail, Snacks, Trails, Bicycle

More than a mile
Church, Firewood Sales, Golf, Grocery Store, Hospital, Marina, Motel, Water Slides