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“Another great adventure” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Maquoketa Caves State Park

Maquoketa Caves State Park
10970 98th Street, Maquoketa, IA 52060
319-652-5833
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Attraction details
Davenport, Iowa
Level Contributor
22 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Another great adventure”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

We live near the caves and visit often and are never disappointed by the park. We always find a fun trail to follow or cave to explore. It's a great place to camp, have a gathering or reunion, a picnic, or a day of exploring.

Visited September 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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53 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Davenport, Iowa
Level Contributor
51 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Maquoketa Caves and Trails”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2012

We went to Maquoketa Caves for my husbands birthday in May. The Caves are great and really neat to see. My 6 year old step son loved watching the bats fly around the caves and enjoyed the adventure that the caves brought. Going inside the caves is a must in order to get the real experience and they are definitely worth seeing.
The trails on the other hand are a bit different and if your not careful its easy to get away from where you want to be. We ended up taking off on a trail that landed us way behind the park. Instead of taking the trail back due to the up hill walk we would of had to take we ended up walking all the way around the outside of the park. I would suggest that all visitors stop and pick up maps of the park before taking off on any trail adventures.

Visited May 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Illinois
Level Contributor
62 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 100 helpful votes
“Cool Caves - Unlike Any Other State Park”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2012

Maquoketa Caves State Park is one of the most unique places that I have ever visited. Even without the caves, this would be a beautiful place - lots of trees, wildflowers, hills, rock outcroppings, a pretty creek and pleasant trails. What makes this state park so special is the chance to explore the caves. There are about 15 caves listed on the park map. This is nothing like "show" caves that you may have visited; there is no guide turning on lights and pointing out interesting formations. You are on your own here, free to discover the beauty of this underground world.
Make sure to wear old clothes and shoes since you'll be down on your hands and knees, flat on your stomach or back, inching your way in to see what lies in those dark holes. Bring flashlights, or better yet headlamps so that your hands will be free. It wouldn't hurt to have some knee pads and gloves too. If getting down on your belly in the mud doesn't appeal to you, take a walk through the huge Dance Hall Cave; you can remain vertical through this one, and there are overhead lights to help you see. Wide Mouth Cave was one of my favorites. A wide opening led to a smaller area where my husband and I sat for a long time in the cool cave, no lights, no sounds, no other people, just perfect peace. Another favorite was Barbell Cave. The opening of this cave sits high off the ground, and the rock is almost completely smooth from all the folks who have entered, so it was a little challenging to enter. From there, we crawled through a tight space to a larger area where you have enough room to sit down. A small opening leads to a larger chamber where you might even be able to stand. We really enjoyed the chamber above the Middle Dance Hall entrance, where we were able to climb up and look down on our fellow hikers without them seeing us. The Natural Bridge and Balanced Rock are good spots for photos.
There is a small visitor center near the entrance to the park, with some interesting displays. Before setting off on the trails, visitors need to listen to a short talk about white nose syndrome, a disease that has killed millions of bats in the United States. If you have been in other caves, your clothing, shoes, and all equipment needs to be thoroughly disinfected before entering the Maquoketa caves in order to prevent the spread of this disease.
Entrance to the park is free. Make sure to check the park website for closures; this year the caves close beginning October 15 for bat hibernation.

Visited September 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
La Plata, Argentina
Level Contributor
43 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Great place for a 4 hours stay, very well organized”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2012

Today, I just visited the caves, nice experience, ideal for a different afternoon.
Everything is very well organized, there are people assisting and explaining before starting the walk, they also provide a map and a short introduction to the place.
Incredible! there is no fee required to visit.

Visited August 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Morrison, Illinois
Level Contributor
120 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
“Nice half day outing”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2012

It’s been three years since we visited the caves. We planned a trip when we heard they were reopening the caves in 2012, while taking precautions against the bat affected white nose fungus. The precautions include a short informative message from a DNR rep and bleach treated mats visitors walk through before and after visiting the caves. Very easy, no big deal.
We took our grandkids, ages 8 and 9, to the caves for an afternoon outing. We all loved it. None of the caves are too scary; some are so small the kids could enter by themselves without fear. There’s a nice picnic area off the parking lot/restrooms so bringing drinks and snacks or lunch works great. Three years ago we brought the same kids to the caves and they loved it just as much when they were 5 & 6. An extra pair of shoes is advisable as some caves are muddy.

Visited July 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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