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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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LEDGES ROAD CLOSURE UPDATE (July 11, 2024) - Due to flooding from the nearby Des Moines River, parts of Ledges State Park are currently closed to vehicle traffic. These closures include:

  • The one-way Canyon Drive, where motorists usually can drive through the low-water crossings
  • The Lower Ledges Road (through road leading out of the park to the south side of Boone)
  • Des Moines River boat ramp and parking lot
  • Flood Pole parking lot.

Visitors are welcome to hike into the canyon area at this time and the easiest access will be found by parking at the Oak Woods picnic area and then hiking either the closed roadway or any of the trails down into the canyon. On days of heavy visitation, please consider using extra parking here to explore the park. It is expected that the flooding will impact the areas mentioned above for at least the next 2 weeks.

Areas not impacted by the flooding that are still open and accessible by vehicle include the Ledges campground, Carl Fritz Henning Shelter, Lost Lake Nature Trail, and upper picnic areas near the campground entrance. For the most up-to-date information on the flooding impacts, please call the Ledges park office at (515) 432-1852.


  • 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