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Palisades-Kepler State Park

Palisades-Kepler State Park is a beautiful outdoor destination on the banks of the Cedar River outside Cedar Rapids. Dramatic river bluffs, deep ravines, majestic hardwood trees and an abundance of wildlife characterize the area, and Native American Indian mounds mark the early history of the park. Established in 1922, Louis H. Kepler donated his estate to the park in 1928, nearly doubling its size. Much of the park’s rustic character can be found in park structures built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s.


Hike five miles of rugged trails at Palisades-Kepler, taking visitors through diverse wildlife and forest habitats. In the spring, a variety of wildflowers can be spotted along the trails.

Fish for numerous species in the Cedar River, including channel catfish, bass and walleye. Anglers often fish by boat or along the shore near the old dam. A modern boat ramp provides convenient access to the river.

Stay overnight in one of four family cabins or at the park’s campground. One cabin is ADA accessible, and all cabins contain a shower, restroom, stovetop and refrigerator. Visitors must provide their own bedding, towels and cooking supplies. The park’s campground contains electrical hookups, modern shower, restroom facilities and a trailer dump station. One-fourth of the campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis, and advanced campsite and cabin and campground reservations can be made through the the online reservation system for Palisades-Kepler State Park.

Reserve one of two open picnic shelters for an outdoor gathering during your visit. The stone lodge is perfect for wedding receptions or any family gathering and can be reserved through the the online reservation system for Palisades-Kepler State Park.

Palisades-Kepler State Park
700 Kepler Dr
Mount Vernon, IA 52314
Ph. 319-895-6039

Seasonal Closures: Campground, Cabins, Lodge, and Shelters closed for the season. Campground and cabins reopen mid April (weather dependent), lodge reopens on May 1st. The road past the lodge and the campground road are closed for the winter season. Visitors may use the accessible parking lots and walk through the park. All water systems are off for the season. (Posted October 31, 2023)


  • Hiking trails
  • Boat ramp
  • Day-use lodge ; ADA accessible
  • Shelters
  • Modern restrooms
  • Showers
  • Modern family cabins
  • Electric campsites
  • Non-electric campsites
  • Tent only campsites
  • Buddy campsites
  • Youth group only campsites
  • Dump station