My twin brother (who lives in Tennessee) was home for a couple weeks in early July so I decided to plan a trip to Iowa to do some hiking! Our first stop on our trip was Wildcat Den State Park. This state park is about 4 hours from St. Louis and located just outside of Muscatine, Iowa.
We first stopped to check out the Pine Creek Grist Mill. This mill was built in 1848 by one of the county’s first settlers. The mill is beautiful and rustic. A historic bridge is also located here and allows you to cross Pine Creek to get a different view of the mill.
Next, we headed out on our hike. We started at the trailhead just across the road from the mill parking lot. When this trail met up with the loop, we stayed to the right, hiking the loop in a counter clockwise direction. This part of the trail is awesome! The trail leads past rock outcroppings and beautiful bluffs stretching over 75 feet above you. The scenery is amazing.
I was kind of confused as to where we were at and I even had a trail map. We ended up at a large picnic area and then we found the trail again on the other side of the main road to the left a bit. This part of the trail is probably the highlight of the park. The trail leads down into a ravine.
The trail follows a small creek and there are so many small bridges and rock formations along the way.
I am sure glad we stumbled upon this trail otherwise, I would have been disappointed!
Overall, this state park packs a lot of awesome features into a fairly short hike. I think overall, we hiked about 3 miles. This could even be cut down to a shorter hike if you did not start at the trailhead by the mill.