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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 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.


Hike one of the diverse trails at Wildcat Den, offering fascinating views of sandstone bluffs and natural formations such as “Steamboat Rock,” and the “Devil’s Punch Bowl." 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-Saturday from 10:00am to 5:00pm and Sunday 12:00pm-5:00pm from May through early October. Visit 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 for Wildcat Den State Park.

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 through the online reservation system for Wildcat Den State Park.

Wildcat Den State Park
1884 Wildcat Den Road
Muscatine, IA 52761
Ph. 563-263-4337

TRAIL CLOSURE:  Due to the wet heavy snow that we received, a couple of very large trees have fallen over the top of two of the Parks Trails.  The Cave Trail, from the Lower Picnic Area to the crossing at State Park Rd., will be closed until Park Staff are able to get the larger tree removed and make necessary trail repairs.  The Punchbowl Trail, between the Mill Trail intersection to the Punchbowl Stairs, is placed as a "USE WITH CAUTION" as a large tree fell over the trail near one of the bridges.  The trail is still passable at this time, just please be aware of the hazard.  Park Staff are working to get these trees taken care, If you have any questions please contact the Park Office at 563-263-4337.  All other Trails are open for use at this time. (Posted 2/5/2024)

The Pine Creek Grist Mill is closed until Spring of 2024. (Posted 10/23/2023)

The campground and trails at Wildcat Den State Park remain open throughout the winter months, however, water hydrants and the modern restroom are closed for the season. These services will resume around May 1st, 2024. Pit latrines, located in the campground and Upper Picnic Area, will remain open year-round.  The Pine Creek Grist Mill and Melpine Schoolhouse are closed for the season.  If you have any questions, please call the park office at 563-263-4337  (UPDATED 10/16/2023)


  • Historic sites
  • Swings
  • Hiking trails
  • Shelters
  • Restrooms 
  • Non-electric campsites
  • Group campsite