Maquoketa Caves State Park provides a unique spelunking experience for the whole family. The park contains more cave systems than any other park in Iowa with many caves accessible via the well-maintained trail system that runs throughout the park. Dancehall Cave is by far the most popular cave to explore with its lighted and paved walkways. Other caves can only be explored by ducking, crawling and getting dirty, so be sure to bring a headlamp or flashlight and wear old clothes. In addition to the unique cave systems, the park is also home to interesting geological formations such as the Natural Bridge, 6 miles of trails that run throughout the caves, prairies, and oak savanna, several picnic areas, a campground, and a playground for children.
Maquoketa Caves runs cave exploration programs and guided tours for visitors who are more comfortable exploring in the dark with an experienced spelunker. Cave tours are recommended for those wanting emersion into the history and geology of the park. Be sure to check out the interpretive center for details on guided tours and the fascinating history of Maquoketa Caves.
Guests to the park that plan on entering the caves either with a guided tour or on their own are required to participate in the park’s White Nose Syndrome Awareness Program, which helps to prevent the spread of the deadly disease affecting North American bats. Visit the interpretive center first for details on this short program and be sure to follow their recommendations to protect the bat population in the park.