It's no secret that my family and I love to get out and explore. Now, usually this time of the year most of our favorite spots are closed off or blocked due to winter weather conditions. However, in this state park, the party is just getting started for the year with a 100th anniversary kickoff celebration at Ledges in Iowa.

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Ledges State Park is gearing up for a grand celebration and to mark this momentous occasion, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) staff, along with members of the Friends of the Ledges, will host a kick-off event on December 21st at the Boone City Hall Auditorium. The doors open at 6pm., with a captivating presentation scheduled for 6:30, and the best part – it's free for all to attend.

Credit: Google Maps
Credit: Google Maps

The event promises to be an engaging journey through the park's history, shedding light on how Ledges earned its distinction as one of Iowa's first state parks. Attendees can also look forward to insights into upcoming events, projects, and changes slated for 2024. Furthermore, Friends of the Ledges members will unveil plans for a year-long celebration and the establishment of an endowment fund to ensure the park's preservation well into the next century.




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Ledges State Park stands as one of Iowa's most historic and unique nature destinations, particularly cherished by hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. The park boasts a four-mile trail system winding through steep slopes and scenic overviews, with sandstone ledges towering 100 feet above the Des Moines River. Visitors can explore numerous 1930s Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) structures, including an iconic stone bridge spanning Peas Creek.




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For those planning a visit, camping enthusiasts can enjoy newly renovated campsites, with options ranging from modern facilities to primitive hike-in sites. The park's rich natural offerings extend to a streamwalk along Peas Creek, providing a unique experience for families and children to connect with the outdoors.

For those wishing to visit the park, staff will be conducting prescribed fire resource management activities on favorable weather days throughout the winter. The Canyon Drive is also currently closed to vehicle traffic due to icing of the low water crossings, making vehicle passage unsafe. Additionally, the campground is currently closed to overnight camping and the roadway is gated closed. Modern restrooms throughout the park are currently closed as well, but there is a pit vault latrine open and available year round just west of the campground entrance. Visitors should also be aware of current closures, including the temporary shutdown of the Oak Woods Shelter.

For additional details and reservations, interested individuals can contact the park office at (515) 432-1852. Whether attending the kick-off event or planning a future visit, Ledges State Park promises an amazing experience surrounded by the natural beauty and historical significance that truly defines this Iowa gem.

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