Hit the Trail at Lacey-Keosauqua State Park

Lacey-Keosauqua State Park in southeast Iowa boasts1,653 acres, including a stretch of the Des Moines River. Photograph: Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

Spot spring ephemerals at Lacey-Keosauqua State Park, along picturesque trails that traverse 1,653 acres of hills, bluffs and valleys. Meander along the Des Moines River at this southwest Iowa site after the melt; “Keosauqua” is a Native American term meaning “the stream bearing a floating mass of snow, slush or ice.” Or paddle on the picturesque 30-acre lake, which features a historical beach house lodge and offers a sandy area for swimmers and sunbathers.

Visitors will find both Indigenous and pioneer history, as well as a collection of Civilian Conservation Corps structures, at the park, which is the second-oldest in the state. A series of 19 burial mounds built by an ancient group of Woodland Culture Indians is situated along a peaceful overlook in the northwest section. And Ely Ford, now a beautiful picnic and trail area, was once a river crossing point on the Mormon trek westward. This site is now a component of the Mormon Pioneer Trail.

There is so much to explore that you just might want to stay overnight. Six rustic-modern family cabins take accommodations a notch above tent camping, with indoor cooking, flushing restrooms, and shower amenities. Learn more and find cabin rental information here.

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