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With its sandstone cliffs, native plant communities and deep wooded river valley, Ledges is a truly unique place.The winding road along Pea's Creek offers motorists breathtaking views of the "canyon" and the Des Moines River Valley.Learn how to identify up to forty of these tiny, but interesting species by their differing sizes, shapes, and colors!Feel free to view or download our online slideshow of lichens found along the trail (*pdf,5MB).If you wish to visit the trail in person, bring a magnifying lens (5X to 10X power recommended) and a printed copy of the trail guide (*pdf).The trail starts at the old stone building across from the amphitheater by the entrance to the campground.The Hutton Memorial is located along a trail on the north side of the canyon.It honors Murray Lee Hutton, a strong conservationist and first director of the Iowa State Conservation Commission in 1935.
An interpretive trail featuring lichens (small plant-like organisms growing on trees and rocks) is located in the picnic area between the east entrance and the Oak Woods shelter.
Advance campsite reservations can be made online through the park reservation system. It is open mid-April through late October, Fridays, Saturdays and holidays, to PM at the campground. Ledges, one of Iowa's most popular state parks, has attracted millions of visitors.
Half of the campsites are still available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Four miles of hiking trails lead up and down steep slopes to scenic overlooks and provide access to spectacular views of Pea's Creek "canyon".
Humans have appreciated this unique area for thousands of years.
Archeological evidence found within the park dates to around 4,000 years ago.