State Parks Ames IA

7 State Parks Near Ames IA: Discover the beauty of Iowa

Iowa is a state known for its natural beauty, and the city of Ames is fortunate to be surrounded by several stunning state parks. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, an avid hiker, or someone looking for a peaceful retreat, these state parks near Ames IA offer something for everyone.

From breathtaking river views to unique geological formations, these parks showcase the diverse landscapes that Iowa has to offer. You can enjoy hiking through woodlands, camping under the stars, or engaging in outdoor activities like fishing, boating, and birdwatching.

For those who prefer a more leisurely experience, these parks also provide serene settings for picnics, leisurely walks, and enjoying the beauty of nature.

Whether you’re a resident of Ames or planning a visit to the area, be sure to explore these state parks near Ames IA and immerse yourself in the natural wonders of Iowa.

Key Takeaways:

  • Ames, IA is surrounded by several state parks that offer outdoor activities and breathtaking scenery.
  • These state parks provide opportunities for hiking, camping, fishing, boating, and birdwatching.
  • Visitors can explore stunning river views, unique geological formations, and diverse landscapes.
  • These parks offer family-friendly attractions, peaceful picnic spots, and nature walks.
  • Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Iowa by visiting these state parks near Ames IA.

Pikes Peak State Park

Located in northeastern Iowa near the border with Wisconsin, Pikes Peak State Park offers awe-inspiring views of the Mississippi River. This picturesque park is a treasure trove for nature enthusiasts and adventurers alike, boasting a range of activities and scenic beauty.

Pikes Peak State Park

With 11 miles of well-maintained hiking trails, visitors can explore the park’s natural bluffs, valleys, and lush forests while immersing themselves in the tranquility of the surroundings. The trails cater to various difficulty levels, providing options for both casual strolls and challenging hikes.

The highlight of Pikes Peak State Park is undoubtedly its breathtaking views of the majestic Mississippi River. From designated lookout points, visitors can marvel at the expansive river as it winds its way through the stunning landscapes below.

The park also offers several camping sites where visitors can reconnect with nature. Whether you prefer electric or non-electric options, there are accommodations to suit every camper’s needs. Fall asleep beneath a canopy of stars and wake up to the sounds of birdsong in this idyllic camping spot.

Key Features:

  • Spectacular views of the Mississippi River
  • 11 miles of scenic hiking trails
  • Variety of camping sites

Come and experience the natural wonders of Pikes Peak State Park. Whether you’re seeking adventure on the hiking trails or simply looking to relax and soak in the beauty of the Mississippi River, this park in McGregor, IA is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike.

Wildcat Den State Park

Situated along the Iowa-Illinois border in eastern Iowa, Wildcat Den State Park offers a captivating experience for nature enthusiasts. The park is known for its unique geological formations, including magnificent sandstone bluffs that have been shaped over time. These stunning formations provide a glimpse into the area’s rich natural history, incorporating elements reminiscent of the Rocky Mountains.

One of the highlights of Wildcat Den State Park is its historic grit mill, one of the oldest working mills in Iowa. This mill showcases the region’s heritage and offers visitors a chance to learn about the area’s industrial past.

Wildcat Den State Park is an ideal destination for outdoor activities, with several picturesque hiking trails that wind through woodlands. The park’s trails cater to all skill levels, offering options for leisurely strolls as well as more challenging hikes. Along the way, visitors can enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape and observe the diverse flora and fauna that call the park home.

The park also features a refreshing creek, perfect for cooling off on hot summer days and engaging in water-based recreational activities. Whether you’re into fishing, wildlife watching, or simply enjoying a peaceful picnic by the creek, Wildcat Den State Park has something for everyone.

Wildcat Den State Park

Exploring Wildcat Den State Park

To help you plan your visit to Wildcat Den State Park, here are some key features and attractions:

  • Sandstone bluffs and geological formations
  • Historic working grit mill
  • Scenic hiking trails
  • Refreshing creek for recreational activities
  • Picnic areas for outdoor dining
  • Opportunities for wildlife viewing and birdwatching

Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or simply enjoy outdoor adventures, Wildcat Den State Park in Muscatine, IA is a must-visit destination. Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of this hidden gem and create unforgettable memories amidst the stunning geological wonders.

McIntosh Woods State Park

Located on the northwest shores of Clear Lake in northern Iowa, McIntosh Woods State Park offers a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. The park provides a range of activities to enjoy in the midst of stunning natural surroundings.

  • Engage in fishing with the opportunity to catch various fish species in Clear Lake’s fertile waters.
  • Explore the lake’s beauty through boating and kayaking adventures, allowing you to soak in the serenity and tranquility of the surroundings.
  • Embark on scenic hiking trails that wind through the park, offering breathtaking views and opportunities for exploration.

During the winter months, McIntosh Woods State Park transforms into a winter wonderland, inviting visitors to partake in exhilarating activities amidst the snowy landscapes.

  • Experience the thrill of cross-country skiing as you glide across the glistening snow-covered trails.
  • Take on the challenge of snowshoeing and feel the crunch of fresh snow under your feet as you traverse the park’s winter wonderland.
  • Engage in the popular winter pastime of ice fishing and try your luck at catching fish beneath the frozen surface of Clear Lake.

McIntosh Woods State Park also features a picturesque beach along the peninsula, perfect for leisurely walks, picnics, and basking in the beauty of Clear Lake.

Clear Lake McIntosh Woods State Park

Experience the wonders of McIntosh Woods State Park in Ventura, IA, where outdoor adventures await amidst the breathtaking landscapes and serene atmosphere.

Ambrose A. Call State Park

Ambrose A. Call State Park is a serene 138-acre oasis nestled in the rugged hills, dense forests, and picturesque farmlands of northern Iowa. This hidden gem, located near Algona, IA, offers visitors a chance to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the region.

Named after Ambrose Call, one of the area’s first settlers, this state park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. The park features a two-mile trail that winds through the woodland, providing ample opportunities for hiking and exploring the scenic surroundings.

Disc golf enthusiasts will find themselves in paradise at Ambrose A. Call State Park. The park boasts an 18-hole disc golf course that winds through the beautiful prairies. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player, this course offers a challenging and enjoyable experience for all.

Key Features of Ambrose A. Call State Park
Rugged hills
Dense forests
Picturesque farmlands
A two-mile woodland trail
An 18-hole disc golf course

Ambrose A. Call State Park is a perfect destination for those seeking a serene escape in the midst of nature’s bounty. Whether you’re hiking through the rugged hills, enjoying a round of disc golf, or simply taking in the beauty of the prairies, this park will leave you refreshed and revitalized.

Visit Ambrose A. Call State Park in Algona, IA, and embark on an unforgettable outdoor adventure amid the rugged hills and prairies of this magnificent park.

Waubonsie State Park

Located in the scenic Loess Hills of southwest Iowa, Waubonsie State Park offers a breathtaking natural retreat for outdoor enthusiasts. With nearly 2,000 acres of diverse landscapes, this Iowa state park is a paradise for hikers, bikers, and horse riders.

One of the park’s highlights is the Sunset Ridge Nature Trail, which provides awe-inspiring views of the Missouri River Valley. As you hike through the picturesque Loess Hills, you’ll be treated to panoramic vistas and the beauty of nature.

For anglers, Waubonsie Access Lake provides a serene setting for fishing, surrounded by the park’s tranquil ambiance. Whether you’re casting a line or simply enjoying the peacefulness of the lake, it’s a perfect spot to relax and connect with nature.

Waubonsie State Park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts seeking adventure and natural beauty. With its extensive trail system, stunning views, and recreational opportunities, it’s a must-visit destination in southwest Iowa.

Elinor Bedell State Park

Elinor Bedell State Park, established in 1998, is a hidden gem located in Spirit Lake, IA. This beautiful state park is a haven for camping enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers alike.

For those seeking a camping getaway, Elinor Bedell State Park offers a well-equipped campground with full hook-ups and various amenities. Whether you prefer tent camping or RV camping, this park has you covered. Set up your campsite surrounded by nature and enjoy the tranquility of the park.

If you’re a horse lover, you’ll be thrilled to know that Elinor Bedell State Park has dedicated horse riding trails. Saddle up and explore the scenic trails, immersing yourself in the beauty of the park’s surroundings. Whether you’re a seasoned rider or a beginner, these trails offer a memorable equestrian experience.

History enthusiasts will be intrigued by the park’s connection to the Lewis & Clark historic trail. Parts of the trail run through Elinor Bedell State Park, allowing visitors to follow in the footsteps of these famous explorers. Take a step back in time and imagine the adventures of Lewis and Clark as you explore the park.

Elinor Bedell State Park provides a peaceful retreat for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Whether it’s camping under the starry night sky, horseback riding through picturesque trails, or uncovering the history of the Lewis & Clark expedition, this park offers an unforgettable experience. Visit Elinor Bedell State Park and create lasting memories in the heart of Iowa’s natural beauty.

Nine Eagles State Park

Discover the natural beauty of Nine Eagles State Park, located in the serene southern region of Iowa. This family-friendly state park is a hidden gem, offering a peaceful retreat for nature enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers.

One of the main attractions of Nine Eagles State Park is its diverse wildlife, making it a haven for birdwatching enthusiasts. Explore the park’s nine miles of hiking trails that wind through stunning landscapes, providing a delightful opportunity to immerse yourself in nature and spot various bird species in their natural habitat.

For those looking for a refreshing swim, the park features a swimming beach where you can relax and enjoy the crystal-clear waters. Whether you’re taking a dip or lounging on the shore, the picturesque setting of Nine Eagles State Park provides an idyllic backdrop for a day of relaxation.

In addition to its natural beauty, Nine Eagles State Park offers picnic areas where families can gather and enjoy quality time together. Let the little ones explore the small playground while you savor a delicious picnic surrounded by the tranquility of the park.

Escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and immerse yourself in the serene ambiance of Nine Eagles State Park. With its birdwatching opportunities, hiking trails, swimming beach, and family-friendly amenities, this hidden gem in Davis City, IA, is a must-visit destination for anyone seeking a peaceful retreat in the heart of nature.


What are some state parks near Ames IA?

Some state parks near Ames IA include Pikes Peak State Park, Wildcat Den State Park, McIntosh Woods State Park, Ambrose A. Call State Park, Waubonsie State Park, Elinor Bedell State Park, and Nine Eagles State Park.

What activities can I do at Pikes Peak State Park?

At Pikes Peak State Park, you can enjoy scenic hiking trails, camp in designated campsites, and take in the stunning views of the Mississippi River.

What does Wildcat Den State Park offer?

Wildcat Den State Park offers unique geological formations, including sandstone bluffs, as well as hiking trails, a creek for recreational activities, and a glimpse into Iowa’s history with one of the oldest working grit mills.

What outdoor activities are available at McIntosh Woods State Park?

McIntosh Woods State Park offers a range of outdoor activities such as fishing, boating, kayaking, hiking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and ice fishing. Visitors can also enjoy a boardwalk trail and a beach along Clear Lake.

What can I expect at Ambrose A. Call State Park?

Ambrose A. Call State Park features a two-mile trail through woodland, an 18-hole disc golf course, and a serene escape in the rugged hills, forests, and farmlands of northern Iowa.

What makes Waubonsie State Park special?

Waubonsie State Park, nestled in the scenic Loess Hills, offers diverse landscapes, extensive trails for hiking, biking, and horse riding, as well as breathtaking views of the Missouri River Valley.

What amenities does Elinor Bedell State Park provide for camping?

Elinor Bedell State Park offers a campground with full hook-ups and various amenities for camping. The park also has horse parks and riding trails, as well as parts of the Lewis & Clark historic trail for history exploration.

What can I do at Nine Eagles State Park?

At Nine Eagles State Park, you can enjoy birdwatching, hike on nine miles of trails, swim at the designated beach area, have a picnic, and spend quality time with your family at the small playground.

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