Wapsipinicon State Park

Wapsipinicon State Park sits on the edge of the charming town of Anamosa, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Many of the park’s structures, including the stone arch bridge, lodge and shelters were handcrafted by prisoners from the nearby Anamosa State Penitentiary and remain historic icons to visit. Wapsipinicon is abundant in unique formations and geology, so make sure to take your time exploring the natural wonders of this state park.


Hike more than three miles of multi-use trails, winding through wooded areas and open grass prairies. The trails to Horse Thief Cave and Ice Cave lead to the recreation area, and the other trail meanders to Dutch Creek. These multi-use trails are also open to cross country skiing and snowmobiling in the winter.

Explore the bowl-shaped Horse Thief Cave and Ice Cave hidden in the rocky bluffs along the trails. Horse Thief Cave is named after legendary horse thieves who used the cave as an escape while traveling decades ago, and Ice Cave is named for its chilling temperatures inside. Prior to their use by horse thieves, the caves served as a shelter for prehistoric Native American cultures.

Fish along the Wapsipinicon River, also known as the Wapsi. Dutch Creek runs through the park and empties into the Wapsi, which is a feeding area for walleye. The river is popular for its channel and flathead catfish, spring crappies, bullheads and smallmouth bass.

Golf at the nine-hole golf course owned by the Wapsipinicon Country Club and located within park boundaries. Please call the country club at 319-462-3920 for more information about fees and times.

Camp in Wapsipinicon’s shady campground, offering the perfect setting for a weekend getaway or family vacation. The modern campground has non-electric and electric campsites, showers and restrooms. Advanced reservations can be made through the online reservation system for Wapsipinicon State Park.

Reserve the Dutch Creek or Playground Shelter for an outdoor gathering during your visit. The Playground Shelter is ADA accessible, and the Rotary Lodge is a larger venue available year-round for large events. The lodge can be reserved up to 12 months in advance through the online reservation system for Wapsipinicon State Park.

Wapsipinicon State Park
21301 County Road E34
Anamosa, IA 52205
Ph. 319-462-2761

FINAL PUBLIC NOTICE The Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Parks Bureau has applied for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Public Assistance (PA) Program funding through Iowa’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division (IHSEMD) as a sub- recipient. Under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), federal actions must be reviewed and evaluated for feasible alternatives and for social, economic, historic, environmental, legal, and safety considerations. Under Executive Order (EO) 11988 and EO 11990, FEMA is required to consider alternatives, and to provide a public notice of any proposed actions in or affecting floodplains or wetlands. EO 12898 also requires FEMA to provide the opportunity for public participation in the planning process and to consider potential impacts to minority and low income populations. This notice may also fulfill requirements under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA). Funding for the proposed project will be conditional upon compliance with all applicable federal, tribal, state, and local laws, regulations, floodplain standards, permit requirements and conditions. Sub-Applicant: Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), Parks Bureau Project Title: 154689-New Wapsipinicon State Park, PA-07-IA-4421-PW-01530 Location of Proposed Work: • Dutch Creek stream bank within Wapsipinicon State Park from GPS: 42.092652, - 91.285113 to 42.092652, -91.285113); and • Wapsipinicon Riverbank within Wapsipinicon State Park from GPS: 42.09815, - 91.28330 to 42.09353, -91.27622. Special Flood Hazard Area Zone: This project will perform work in the A Zone, the area of 1% annual chance of flooding, and in the floodway per Jones County FIRM panel 19105C0210E, dated 4.4.2011. Proposed Work and Purpose: IDNR within Wapsipinicon State Park, will replace of fill, riprap and slope protective filter fabric existing pre-disaster along approximately 140 linear feet of Dutch Creek stream bank (from 42.092652, -91.285113 to 42.092285, -91.285237) and will install an additional slope protective filter fabric and riprap along approximately 70 linear feet of eroded Dutch Creek stream bank (from 42.09284, -91.28511 to 42.092652, -91.285113) for improved resiliency from future flood events. IDNR will also restore an eroding Wapsipinicon Riverbank within Wapsipinicon State Park (from 42.09815, -91.28330 to 42.09353, -91.27622) to reduce continued repetitive damages occurring in future storm and flooding events and to improve aggregation of substrate materials for aquatic habitat through the construction of in river bioengineering features. The preliminary design plan is for placement of 20 straight vanes 90 feet long approximately distanced 150 feet apart and was developed using Iowa’s River Restoration Toolbox (River Restoration Toolbox | Iowa DNR). Final design of the project will include collection of additional river data such as pebble counts and hydrologic data to refine the design potentially reducing the number of straight vanes and shifting placement of the vanes. The straight vanes are proposed to be low profile structures relative to the large size of the river. They will encourage stabilized deposition of substrates and vegetative growth where they intercept the banks and scour out increased depths toward the tips of the structures. Utilizing a qualified mussel surveyor, a mussel salvage and relocation will occur prior to construction to comply with state endangered species regulations. The qualified surveyor in compliance with scientific collector permitting will cease and notify USFWS if federally listed mussels are encountered during the relocation effort. Project Alternatives: Alternative #1 (No Action): The no-action alternative would not be appropriate because it would leave the stream and riverbanks of Dutch Creek and the Wapsipinicon River within Wapsipinicon State Park subject to continued bank erosion which will ultimately result in damages over time or during a significant flood event to adjacent roads and recreational resources. Alternative #2 (Repair using fill and riprap only): The stream and riverbanks could be repaired utilizing only fill and riprap, however, this repair would not be sustainable during future flood events and would likely result in repetitive repairs following each significant event. The threat of future damage to adjacent roads and recreational resources would remain. Alternative #3 (Bioengineered straight vanes in combination with riprap): This is the option being pursued by this grant. Work will construct bioengineered stream and riverbank protection, which will help control bank erosion and will protect the state park roads and recreational resources from flooding during future events. The bioengineering alternative will also stabilize the river substrates improving river values and habitat for aquatic invertebrates. Comment Period: This will serve as the final public notice regarding the above-described action funded by the FEMA PA program. All comments received can be submitted online, via email, to FEMA at teri.toye@fema.dhs.gov. Please use the subject line: “IA-4421-PW-1530, New Wapsipinicon State Park”. Interested persons may also submit comments and questions in writing, or request a map of this specific project, by writing to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Region 7, 11224 Holmes Road; Kansas City, MO 64131. Written comments should be sent with the subject line “IA-4421-PW-1530, New Wapsipinicon State Park”, to the above address within 15 days of the date of posting. All comments are due by no later than 15 days of the posted date of this notice. POSTED ON 01/20/22: End of Notice
PARK ROAD CLOSURE: Effective December 20th, 2021: The main park road between the playground and the campground is now closed for the winter season. (12-20-21)
WINTER CLOSURES: Effective October 18th, 2021: The modern restrooms, water, and drinking fountains are closed. Campsites with 30 amp electricity will remain on. (posted 10/18/2021)
  • Golf
  • Historic sites
  • Hiking trails
  • Playground
  • Boat launch ramp
  • Boat dock
  • Day-use lodge (1); ADA accessible
  • Shelters (2)
  • Modern restrooms
  • Showers
  • Electric campsites (13)
  • Full hook-up campsites (1)
  • Non-electric campsites (8)
  • Walk to campsites (3)
  • Youth group only campsites (1)