Wapsipinicon State Park is a state park of Iowa, USA, located in the bluffs and ravines adjacent to the Wapsipinicon River. The park has many amenities for various activities including camping sites, hiking trails, boating, picnicking areas, and scenic views of the river valley. It also features an interpretive center open year-round, concessions during warm months, and a public campground with modern facilities that opens on Memorial Day weekend and closes Labor Day. There are over 200 campsites at the park all located within walking distance of each other.
In total there are seven different trail systems available ranging from easy to moderate difficulty depending upon which path you choose. Some of these trails include:
- Big Basin Trail
- Beaver Creek Trail
- Camp Loop Road
- Concession Drive
- Little Piney Ridge Trail
- North Rim Trail
- Rock Bluff Nature Trail
- Scenic Overlook
- Short Sands Beach
- Tanglefoot Trails
- Ufferman Cove
- Woodland Loop
Interpretive Center Open Year-Round Located inside the main entrance of the park near the boat ramp. Displays items related to the history and ecology of the area as well as information about the people who have lived in the region since time immemorial. Interpretive Center Entrance Sign A simple limestone structure similar to a bridge signal tower, this marks the beginning of the park’s loop road. This unique feature allows visitors to drive onto the grounds year round, 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. Visitors may access their vehicles by way of a remote key fob entry system. No permit or special parking pass is required.
Camping/RV Sites All tent and trailer sites share one common area that includes picnic tables, fire rings, and vault toilets. Half of the campsites are pet friendly. Modern showerhouse and restroom facilities are provided. Group Camp (over 18) To accommodate large groups such as church youth groups, school classes, etc., a group camp facility is available. It consists of two separate but adjoining RV campsites. Each site can hold up to 40 recreational vehicle units. They have full hookups with water and electric only. Water and electric sites are 1-1/2 miles apart. Backcountry Tenting Area Primitive tent sites are available in three distinct natural environments; hardwood forest, oak savanna, and prairie.
Most sites are pet friendly. Modern restrooms and showers are provided. Numerous picnic areas are scattered throughout the park with varying degrees of shade. Two pavilions may be reserved for a fee. Boat Launch The park provides a boat launch into the river without charge. Motorboating is not permitted above the Highway 69 Bridge. Rafting Not recommended due to dangerous currents below the dam. Fishing Access to the river is possible any time of year. Ice fishing takes place mainly in January. Hunting Ground-Nesting birds are protected. Shooting range None. Archery only, no hunting of groundhogs or small game.
There are 7 different trail systems at the park, ranging from easy to difficult, depending on your skill level. Easy trails include the Beaver Creek Trail, Camp Loop Road, and sections of the Sandstone Trail. Moderate trails include most of the rest of the Sandstone Trail, the 3/4 mile Wildcat Point Fireline, and part of the South Pond Fireline. Hard trails consist of the entire length of the West Branch Indianola Trail and the 1+14mile Cedar Falls Trail. Parking Fees $7 daily, permits valid for 5 days or a week are also available.
Seasonal passes can be purchased at the park office. Campsites $18 – $22 per night, 2-night stay minimum, reservations require credit card number. Pets are allowed on designated sites for a flat fee of $8 per night. Group Camp (over 18) $16 per person per night, reservation requires at least 4 people per site and must be made before reserving the site. Modern Restrooms & Showers Facilities at the campground include hot showers, flush toilets, and laundry facilities. Laundry machines are available to use whenever they are operational.
The campground opens on Memorial Day weekend and closes Labor Day. Reservations are accepted when making a reservation for a regular site or premium site. These reservations are non-refundable once booked. Camping Cottages Pet friendly cottages with heating, air conditioning, and private bathrooms are available to rent. Up to four pets are allowed at no additional cost. The cottages have a maximum occupancy limit of six persons. Prices vary throughout the year. Annual Passes are offered for those who wish to save on frequent visits.