While visiting my twin brother in Grinnell, Iowa, we took a drive to Ledges State Park. This park is located west of Ames, Iowa and is beautiful and unique.
As you enter the park, rolling farm fields give way to a stunning canyon. We first parked by the Oak Woods Shelter and hiked Trail 3. This trail leads along a high ridge line with views of the canyon floor.
Trail 4 then goes north down to the canyon floor or south to Council Ring. We stayed up on the ridge and went to Council Ring.
From here, we hiked down a set of stone stairs to Table Rock. Table Rock is a huge, flat rock!
We then hiked along Trail 6 which led down to the canyon floor.
A one-way, winding road leads down into the canyon and follows Pea Creek. This is the main attraction at Ledges State Park. There are several fords along the drive where the shallow creek crosses the road. During heavy rainfall the canyon drive can close due to flooding so plan accordingly. I also read that the drive closes in the winter as well.
You could really spend all day in the canyon wading in the stream. My brother brought his new dog, Adlai along and he loved the water!
My brother and dad wanted to explore the creek more so Ellie and I headed back up Trail 4. This trail was steep, but rewarding once we made it back up to the top.
Ellie and I hopped back in the car and drove through the canyon. There are a lot of pull offs and interesting areas to explore. One thing to note is that since the canyon drive is one-way, once you reach the end, it is pretty much the end of the park and you have to drive all the way back to the entrance if you missed something etc. Also, the hiking trails are towards the middle/end of the canyon drive.
I absolutely loved this park and wish we could have hiked more! I highly recommend this park if you are near Ames, Iowa. Have you ever been here? What did you think? Leave a comment below!