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. Some campsites are available on a first-come, first-serve basis and advance reservations can be made through the online reservation system for Ledges State Park.

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

Friend’s Group: friendsoftheledges@gmail.com

The Canyon Drive is currently CLOSED to vehicle traffic due to freezing temperatures, snow, and icing of the low water crossings. Visitors are welcome to hike in to the canyon at this time, but vehicle access is prohibited. Parking is available at the entrance to the Canyon Drive in the Oak Woods Picnic Area, or near the Canyon exit in the Flood Pole Parking Lot. (This alert was updated on 1/14/2022)
Modern restroom and shower facilities throughout Ledges State Park are CLOSED for the winter season. A pit vault latrine is open and located just west of the campground entrance. Campground water hydrants and the RV dump station are off for the winter season. A frost-free water hydrant will remain ON at the campground entrance year round. Electricity will remain ON throughout the winter to those campsites equipped with hook-ups. The campground remains open all year, and all sites are available right now on a first come, first serve basis through the self-registration system at the park. (This alert was updated on 1/14/2022)
  • Amphitheater
  • Interpretive trails
  • Hiking trails
  • Playground
  • Shelters (2)
  • Modern restrooms
  • Showers
  • Electric campsites (53)
  • Walk-to/non electric campsites (25)
  • Full hook-up campsites (16)
  • Youth group only (1)
  • Firewood sales
  • Dump station