Ledges State Park & Campgrounds

I’m almost embarrassed to admit something to you.  I have lived in Iowa for probably 42 of my 43 years of life, and I don’t think I have ever visited Ledges State Park in Madrid.  Sad, because I have lived within an hour of it for almost 30 years now?   

Nothing like making up for lost time.  We were fortunate to have some good friends give us their camping reservation when they had an unexpected conflict, and we were happy to take it off their hands for them!   The reservations our friends gave us were for a Friday & Saturday night.  We opted to also book the same campsite for Thursday night, then my husband and daughter drove it up that night to get it all set up so we could start our weekend quickly on Friday after work.  

This park and the campgrounds are beautiful.  A heavily wooded area with lots of shade, with lots of space between sites.  Both make for a quiet peaceful little getaway.  We stayed in Site 35, which you can see in the photos below.  Notice that there is quite a bit of space between campsites, which have a few trees as barrier also:

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Because we were at the end of a road, and right at the entrance to a cul-de-sac, the only thing behind our camper was a beautiful view of more trees.   It was gorgeous!

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My husband and I spent the weekend enjoying the beautiful weather, some good campfire food, and thankfully, some quiet time.  No work, no dogs, no kids… I love being able to kick back and recline in my chair with a good book in hand.

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The sun was kept out for the most part, and this was my view looking up at the sky from my lawnchair:

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I can’t even begin to tell you how many times we dozed off in our chairs– it was just that relaxing!   A soft breeze coming through the trees, helped alleviate the heat and humidity of an Iowa July summer day.

Ledges State Park campgrounds has either electric or non-electric sites.  If you decide to book, look closely at the campground map and pay attention to the description that they have for each site.  Some are easier to get into than others, and some have limitations as far as slideouts on your camper.  Also pay close attention to where the water spigots are located– with no water hookup, it helps to be close to a water source! Our site was located right by a dumpster AND a water spigot, so we were pretty happy.   While the map may make it seem like the bathroom are a hefty walk away, really all of the sites are within a pretty easy walking distance from either restroom/shower house.  

On Saturday, we decided to venture out to see the actual park itself.  Having never been there, I expected the usual park with shelters, a playground, and maybe a beach.  Boy was I wrong!  I think that Ledges State Park is probably the nicest park I’ve ever been to!  

When we drove down into the canyon, we circled down lots of winding roads, saw plenty of deer, and it was absolutely beautiful!   Nice thing about it was that it’s a one way road, so very easy to maneuver. When we got down to the bottom, I was shocked to see how many people were there.  There were families and friends, picnics and parties, hikers, swimmers… it was incredible!

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You can literally walk right in the creek and make your around the park.  There’s also a walking trail right next to the water, and plenty of hiking trails.  I wasn’t prepared for hiking, so we’ll have to come back and try that again.  

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We loved Ledges State Park so much we booked two more weekends of camping there this season!  

Have you been to Ledges?   What did you think?   What’s your favorite Iowa camping spot?

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