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-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 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

Due to weather conditions and slick roads, Park Staff have closed a section of the through Park Road. You can still access the Campground and Upper Picnic Area from the South Entrance via New Era Rd and the Lower Picnic Area through the North Entrance off of Verde Ave. (Posted 11-15-2022)
Water hydrants in the campground and picnic area are currently disconnected and will be available again around mid April 2023. The campground, hiking trails, and 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 would like to make a future reservation for the 2023 recreation season, please visit https://iowastateparks.reserveamerica.com/, or call toll free 1-877-427-2757. For all other inquires, please contact the park office at 563-263-4337. (UPDATED 10-17-2022)
  • Historic sites
  • Swings
  • Hiking trails
  • Shelters
  • Restrooms 
  • Non-electric campsites
  • Group campsite