MUSCATINE COUNTY: Wildcat Den State Park


Wildcat Den State Park in Muscatine County has some amazing hiking trails.  We parked near the Pine Creek Grist Mill, but didn't get a chance to tour it.  The mill is open for tours Wednesday-Sunday from 12:30 pm to 4:30 pm from June to August, and is open weekend afternoons in May and September. 

Just across the road from the parking lot is the start of the Mill Trail.  It was very hot and buggy, which made the 0.6 mile trail feel much longer.  However, once it connected to the Punch Bowl Trail the beautiful scenery was definitely worth the hike.  In total, we hiked a 2.2 miles on the Mill Trail, Punch Bowl Trail and Canyon Ridge Trail.

The Grist Mill parking lot has modern restrooms, a picnic shelter and swings (no playground).  Iowa Parklands has a great trail map for Wildcat Den that you can download for 99 cents.  One aspect I really like about Iowa Parklands maps compared to Iowa DNR maps is that they show parking areas.  We met up with two other families and knowing where parking was made it much easier to pick a place to meet.

After hiking, we headed nearby for lunch at Lighthouse Bar & Grill.  It was very close to the park and everyone in our group of 6 adults and 2 kids enjoyed lunch there.  There's no air conditioning, but their screened patio had fans and a great breeze with views of the Mississippi River.