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Eastern Iowa is a prime Midwest location for RV campers. Located on the Wapsipinicon River, this area is dressed in limestone and sandstone bluffs, fields of wildflowers, and an old white pine forest. Wapsipinicon State Park is midway between Iowa City and Dubuque, due east of Cedar Falls.
This 394-acre park was dedicated to the state park system in 1923, making it one of Iowa’s first state parks. Wapsipinicon is part of a diverse ecosystem due to the intersection of the river, bluffs, and prairies. Wildlife viewing at Wapsipinicon is a popular pastime for campers.
This unique park has enough activities to keep you busy during your whole stay. Whether it’s hiking, cave exploration, golfing, hunting, or fishing, Wapsipinicon has you covered. Book an RV in Jones County and get your vacation started.
If you enjoy golfing, this park has a nine-hole golf course sponsored by the Wapsipinicon Country Club. The golf course was dedicated one year after the park was built. Local prison laborers built the course using bluff stones and wood carried down from Buffalo Creek. Bring your own clubs or rent from the Country Club and have a nice relaxing day out on the course.
There's a 140-acre area intertwined with ponds, rivers, grassy slopes, and valleys that is perfect for hunters. Wapsipinicon State Park hunters are allowed to shoot in a designated area during the appropriate seasons. Deer and turkey are the main game you’ll find in these parts.
Planning on doing some hiking at Wapsipinicon State Park? You’re in luck. This park’s unique hiking experience gives you three and a half miles of trails to explore, and also encourages you to harvest any wild mushrooms, nuts, and berries you find along the way. The views are exquisite, as the trails weave through wooded areas and wildflower-coated prairies. Along your hikes, you’ll also find great fishing spots where you can snag catfish, crappie, and bass. Also look for caves on your travels. Ice Cave and Horse Thief Cave are both worth exploring.
There are 30 campsites available for Wapsipinicon State Park campers. Half of them have electrical hookups of 30 amps. The rest are primitive campsites with nearby modern restrooms and hot showers. A few of the sites have sewer hookups as well. All sites are either hike-in or pull-through, and Wapsipinicon can accommodate camper rentals up to 60 feet in length.
There's no Wi-Fi in the park; however, guests camping in an RV at Wapsipinicon State Park should have decent cell phone service as most major providers have coverage in the area. Most campsites can be reserved online, but a quarter of the sites are saved for walk-ins. You’ll also find trash dumpsters, a playground, picnic area, a boat dock, and a park office all on-site.
Looking to see what else eastern Iowa has in store for you? Visit one of Iowa's biggest cities, Cedar Rapids. The restaurant scene here is ever-growing, as is the arts culture. Grab a burger and a beer at one of the city’s gastropubs, or have a nice Italian date night. Stop by the African American Museum, the Museum of Art, the National Czech and Slovak Museum, or any other of the city’s many museums. See a show at the theatre, or visit an old historic mansion. Whatever your interest, Cedar Rapids is going to be a spot worth seeing.
Want to do a bit of shopping while you’re exploring the area? Head over to Mount Vernon and go downtown. The streets are lined with local shops from Iowan artisans. See the cultures that are represented in the stores and boutiques in town. Downtown Mount Vernon's shops are as diverse as the citizens who live there.
Dubuque is just north of the park and is home to the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium. The Mississippi River played a huge role in the growth of the nation and still plays a big role to this day. Visitors come from all over the world to visit this museum. You’ll learn all about its historical significance of the mighty Mississippi as well as the creatures that call it home. There are over 700 individual animals to see. You’ll also learn about the fragile ecosystem surrounding the river and how to help protect it.
When it’s time to go, you won't have any problem finding a gas station to refuel the rental RV. As we mentioned earlier, there are tons of restaurants to choose from between Cedar Rapids and Dubuque. Once your tank is topped off and your bellies are full, I-80 is less than an hour south and can take you east towards Des Moines.