RV Rental Maquoketa Caves State Park, IA

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Discover Maquoketa Caves State Park


In the northeastern tip of Iowa, Maquoketa Caves State Park is an adventure lover's paradise. Surrounded by lush flora and fauna, mysterious caves lay waiting to be explored at every turn, and winding boardwalks lead through forests of warm pine trees. After walking through the rugged terrain of this magical park, you just might find yourself wondering if you're in a fairytale.

Located in the city of Maquoketa, the park has been the site of many Native American artifacts ranging from pottery to arrowheads. When the land was first purchased in 1921, a vision was born for the park to be shared with the community. This led to a major transformation of the park by the Civilian Conservation Corps and the Works Progress Administration during the Great Depression. Maquoketa Caves State Park campers can still benefit from their hard work today, with features such as the picnic shelters along the trails, stone lodge, and Dancehall Cave walkway system.

If you’re looking to scope out the area, take the 15-minute drive to rural Andrew, or refuel your rental RV with for the half-hour drive to nature-filled Bellevue for a myriad of local beauty. Whether you’re RV camping for the surrounding city attractions, unique Maquoketa Caves State Park spelunking opportunities, or simply some peace and quiet, book an RV in Jackson County to enjoy the gift of all three.

Getting Outdoors

Speaking of spelunking, what better place to dive into caves than Maquoketa Caves State Park? This unique attraction boasts a staggering 13 caves for visitors to peruse. Don your helmet, pocket a camera, and wear clothes you don’t mind getting dirty because these fascinating caves will bring out the adventurous side of you. Come and explore caverns such as Hernando’s Hideaway and Up-N-Down Cave, or journey through Dancehall Cave, where olden-day dances were once held. Hours of entertainment and excitement lurk in these caves for the explorer within you.

Another exciting activity within the park is the hiking, trail running, and strolling opportunities. Containing over five miles of trails, Maquoketa Caves State Park holds numerous opportunities to relax in the midst of nature. Open April through October, the park showcases the splendor of every season, with bright green buds in spring, matured, fragrant flowers and forests in summer, and blazing orange and red hues in the fall. Look for popular landmarks while hiking, such as the theatrical Natural Bridge, which overlooks the glistening Raccoon Creek, or the massive Balanced Rock.

If you’re looking to learn more about the park’s history, then head right over to the Interpretive Center on the outer border of the park. Featuring a museum and nature center, the facility offers intriguing insight into the early park settlers' lives as well as educational information about some of the cave’s geological formations.

Camping at Maquoketa Caves State Park

Camping with an RV at Maquoketa Caves State Park opens up a window of possibilities, with easy access to hiking trails, picnicking shelters, and the park playground. Come and choose from over 20 reservable sites, all of which offer 50-amp electrical hookups and luxurious privacy in a woodland setting.

Drive your Maquoketa camper rental on up to the campground and benefit from roomy sites which offer up to a 68-foot back-in length. Your furry friends can come along for the ride as well, as each site is pet-friendly. Modern showers, flush toilets, and a dump station are just a few of the modern conveniences that this cozy campground offers.

Exploring the Area

After perusing the Maquoketa Cave State Park Museum, you might want to have a museum marathon with a trip to Jackson County Historical Museum and Clinton Engines Museum, both of which are located right in Maquoketa. While visiting the small Clinton Engines Museum, learn about the Clinton company and how it grew to become one of the largest employers in the state, or how it revolutionized a whole way of life with a simple engine. Or, explore Jackson County Historical Museum, a massive building featuring a Hall of Fame dedicated to those who have impacted local life.

While in town, you simply can’t miss Hurstville Lime Kilns, a historical landmark that was once a thriving lime kiln. For years, the area of Maquoketa was renowned for its limestone cliffs, and in 1870, a gentleman named Alfred Hurst decided to make something of it. His first kiln was so successful that it quickly quadrupled into four larger kilns. Local men worked hard to mine the cliffs for limestone, which was used as mortar in early brick buildings. Jump forward to today and you'll find massive stone buildings worn down with time. The vibrant green coloring in the forestry, lawns, and plants all work together to give the kilns a tasteful setting reminiscent of Irish moors.

All this exploring is sure to drain your gas tank. Fortunately, you'll find gas stations throughout the industrial Maquoketa. Although some of these gas stations also offer groceries, there are over a dozen specialty grocery stores around town for all your grocery needs. And, of course, no vacation is complete without a family meal at a local restaurant. Choose from American, Mexican, café, bar-and-grill, fast-food, or Chinese at a plethora of Maquoketa restaurants. After a delicious meal with your favorite people, head back to camp for a good night's rest and get ready to tackle your grandest adventure yet at Maquoketa Caves State Park.

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Popular nearby hiking trails and campgrounds


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