Midwest Adventure: Caves and the great Mississippi – Part II

After a long day of hiking along the Mississippi, Kyle and I decided to depart from Savanna and venture south to Davenport, IA.  I had heard wonderful things about Davenport from friends and I wanted to check it out for myself.  Since Davenport was only about 45 minutes away from Maquoketa Caves State Park, we decided it was the perfect place to spend the night.

After an hour drive from Savanna to Davenport, we explored the city.  Davenport is perfectly situated on the shores of the Mississippi River and offers a city-feel on a small scale.  Kyle and I had read about Credit Island and its abundance of white pelicans this time of year.  We drove around the island twice and were not disappointed.

pelican flying

 White Pelican

Not wanting to walk anymore, we drove by Davenport’s minor league baseball field and decided to spend the rest of the night cheering on the Quad City River Bandits.  A perfect way to relax after a busy day!

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Bandits Game

The next morning, we departed for Maquoketa Caves State Park.  I must admit I was apprehensive about venturing out to a state park in the middle of Iowa’s farmland; however, I was absolutely amazed at what we found.

maquoketa stone pathway

 The hike

maquoketa valley

The Maquoketa Caves State Park (3 hours west of Chicago) is a large wooded landscape that is situated within farmland.  It offers visitors with 6 miles of trails and 16 caves to explore.  Individuals that wish to experience the caves are required to listen to the Ranger speak about the caves and how to prevent the spread of White Nose Syndrome, which is a fungal infection the affects bats.  After listening to the information, Kyle and I were ready to hit the caves.  The largest cave is Dancehall — which is lit for easy passage.  Kyle and I could have spent the entire day under the earth exploring all the depths of this underground wonder.

cave opening mayan maquoketa

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We hiked the trails and toured other caves.  Kyle and I are definitely planning to camp at this state park’s campground this summer since this has become one of our favorite state parks in the Midwest.

If you decide to travel to Maquoketa Caves State Park to view it’s underground wonders make sure to pack sturdy shoes, flash lights, and clothes you are okay with getting dirty.  Also, when entering the Dancehall Cave you will need to hunch over for about 200 feet but then you will be able to stand upright and you will not regret the views — I promise!

Stay tuned for more photos 🙂

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