Wildcat Den State Park

One of the most photographed Iowa state parks, at Wildcat Den State Park, visitors will find both historical and natural treasures to explore. Trails wind through a variety of terrain, leading to geological formations and the “Fat Man’s Squeeze”—a narrow pathway along the trail’s sandstone bluffs. Visit the Pine Creek Grist Mill, the oldest working grist mill between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains, for a glimpse into Iowa’s past. Whether you’re looking to explore history or enjoy the peace and quiet of the outdoors, Wildcat Den State Park is the ideal destination.


PLAN YOUR VISIT

Hike one of the diverse trails at Wildcat Den, offering fascinating views of sandstone bluffs and natural formations such as “Steamboat Rock,” “Devil’s Punch Bowl” and the “Fat Man’s Squeeze.” Trails are best observed during the peak of summer and fall when the season’s colors illuminate the park’s surroundings.

Explore the 19th century Pine Creek Grist Mill located on Pine Creek in the eastern part of the park. The mill was built by Benjamin Nye in 1848 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The park is also home to the “turn of the century” one-room Melpine schoolhouse. The mill is open for tours to the public Wednesday-Sunday from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. from June to August, and is open weekend afternoons in May and September. Visit www.pinecreekgristmill.com for more information about interpretive programs and history of the mill.

Reserve one of two open shelters at Wildcat Den. The Mill Shelter is ADA accessible and all shelters can be reserved through the online reservation system.

Camp in one of the primitive sites at Wildcat Den by reserving a spot in the park’s non-modern campground. The campground has water and vault toilets, but there is no electrical service or showers. Advance campsite reservations can be made online.



Wildcat Den State Park
1884 Wildcat Den Road
Muscatine, IA 52761
Ph. 563-263-4337
Wildcat_Den@dnr.iowa.gov


The Pine Creek Grist Mill and Melpine Schoolhouse are CLOSED for the season. The modern restroom building, located near Pine Creek Grist Mill, is CLOSED for the season. The water hydrants in the primitive campground, and lower picnic area are disconnected. These facilities will re-open around May 1st, 2020. Pit latrines, located in the upper picnic area and primitive campground, will remain OPEN throughout the winter months. Trails are open year-round. If you have any questions, please call the park office at 563-263-4337 (POSTED 10/30/2019).
AMENITIES AT A GLANCE
  • Historic sites
  • Swings
  • Hiking trails
  • Shelters (2)
  • Restrooms 
  • Non-electric campsites (29)