116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Whether your favorite is Hernando’s Hideaway, Shinbone, Wye, or the 1,000-foot-long Dancehall, the limestone caves at Maquoketa Caves State Park will be open to the public April 15 for the first time in more than a year.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources announced Tuesday the caves will reopen after closures because of COVID-19 and winter bat hibernation.
The Jackson County park is regularly one of the most-visited parks in Iowa’s state park system because of its attractions, including the Natural Bridge, a towering arch 50 feet above Raccoon Creek, and Balanced Rock, a 17-ton rock formation that defies gravity.
Parking is limited, with only 150 spots and as many as 1,500 visitors on summer weekend days, so the DNR suggested visiting on weekdays or mornings or evenings on the weekends. The park has some enclosed stairways and boardwalks, so the DNR asks visitors to try to social distance as much as possible.
If visitors plan to enter the caves, they will be required to attend a short program about preventing the spread of white-nose syndrome, a fungus that was detected in 2012 on a Maquoketa Caves bat.
The recently renovated campgrounds at Maquoketa Caves State Park now are available for same-day reservations. To find links for camping reservations, visit www.iowadnr.gov/maquoketacaves