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Hardwood trees and high bluffs surround you when you take your RV rental to Maquoketa Caves Campground inside the state park of the same name. While the terrain is rugged, motorhome camping here is relatively comfortable as you'll have access to modern restrooms, showers, and a dump station. Water hydrants are also available. Most electric sites are pet-friendly and let you plug into 50 amp service. Maximum site length is 68 feet, with one electric site offering wheelchair access.
A family-friendly campground in east-central Iowa, Maquoketa Caves Campground has a children's play structure near the picnic area. In the summer, the interpretive center is open, allowing for a better understanding of the geology of the caves and its early inhabitants. Several trails meander through the park, so those looking for an exhilarating hike have several to follow.
With Dubuque less than 40-minutes’ drive from town, you can hop in your Maquoketa camper rental and trace the historical origins of the Hawkeye State, jump aboard an authentic paddle wheeler for a cruise on the Mississippi River, and meet river critters at the Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium.
Book an RV in Jackson County and explore Iowa's largest collection of caves of varying shapes, sizes, and accessibility levels. At the Maquoketa Caves State Park, caves can be explored on foot while others are best experienced on all fours. For an invigorating hike, follow the upgraded trail system that links the caves, rock formations, and lookouts. Worthwhile stops include the 50-foot "Natural Bridge," the "Balanced Rock," and the "Dancehall Cave" (where dances were once held, hence the name).
Water adventurers have 50 miles of well-developed water trail to explore on the Maquoketa River Water Trail. Beginner paddlers will have a few whitewater sections to negotiate, but the riverside scenery consisting of stone bridges, old-growth forest, and limestone cliffs make the brief white-knuckle interlude worthwhile. The river passes through the Backbone State Park where sheer, rugged dolomite limestone cliffs beckon intrepid climbers and rappellers.
Combine your love for hiking, history, and tranquility at the Wildcat Den State Park about 90-minutes' drive away when camping at Maquoketa Caves Campground. A variety of terrain takes adventurous hikers through the "Devil's Punch Bowl," the "Steamboat Rock," and the “Fat Man's Squeeze." History lovers will find a mid-19th-century grist mill here along with a turn-of-the-century schoolhouse nearby.
Campsites at Maquoketa Caves Campground also put you close to several wildlife areas such as the Black Hawk Wildlife Area (popular among equestrian riders), the Ozark Wildlife Area (characterized by sheer limestone bluffs and rolling hills), and the Pine Valley Nature Area (with the most extensive multi-use trail system). With a combined acreage of close to 1,200 acres, these green spaces provide bird watching and wildlife viewing opportunities, stream fishing, and access to the Maquoketa River.
Maquoketa Caves make up the highlight of any visit to Jackson County, and it's one of the many attractions that Maquoketa and the surrounding area have to offer. Consider setting aside a day or two to better appreciate the town's historic landmarks and areas of interest. Several gas stations and more than a dozen grocery stores can be found in town, allowing you to rent a camper near Maquoketa Caves Campground and explore the town at your own pace. And if you’re here between mid-May to mid-October, the local farmers’ market is abuzz with activity at the Ohnward Fine Arts Center on Tuesday evenings.
Maquoketa campers who like auto racing would want to see all the action at the 3/8-mile semi-banked dirt track of Maquoketa Speedway, where late models, modifieds, and street stocks vie for speed titles. Various other adventure races take place throughout the city, involving canoeing, biking, and running. To see works of regional and out-of-state artists, get up close to paintings on display at Maquoketa Art Experience. The Old City Hall Gallery exhibits works of native artists who purchased Maquoketa’s former three-story city hall and converted it into studio space.
Learn more about the history of Jackson County at the County Museum, where photos, early farm equipment, and other artifacts of the area's pioneer settlers are on display. The Clinton Engines Museum, acquired by the Jackson County Historical Society, houses the history of one of the world's largest manufacturers of small gasoline engines. Another affiliate of the historical society is the 1911 La Motte Depot, which replaced the original 1876 structure that burned down in 1910. The historic 1871 Hurstville Lime Kilns can be found just a short drive of town on US Highway 61.
Jackson County is right on the border with Illinois, so when you camp in an RV near Maquoketa, look east and plan to venture into the Land of Lincoln. Or follow the Great River Road as it winds down all the way to Deep South. Whichever journey you take is all up to you.