East Central Iowa · Iowa State Parks · The Mud Belt-Traveling the Mississippi

Iowa State Parks-Historic Hiking at Wildcat Den & Saulsbury Bridge…….

The changing of the seasons isn't changing the smiles on these two. Charlie and his Best friend Tippy Lou take a breather on the old Saulsbury Bridge. http://www.muscatinecountyconservation.com/saulsbury_about.php
The changing of the seasons isn’t changing the smiles on these two. Charlie and his best friend, Tippy Lou, take a breather on the old Saulsbury Bridge.
http://www.muscatinecountyconservation.com/saulsbury_about.php

Wildcat Den State Park & Saulsbury Bridge Rec Area-Muscatine, IA: Muscatine County (Our 22nd County!)

Natural pools, swift running creeks, miles of wooded hiking trails, and historical buildings and bridges at your discovery… there’s a peaceful sanctuary that needs places like these and the Pearl of the Mississippi has this packaged for all that seek these destinations. I was going for a pirate movie intro. How was it? We’re off to Muscatine!

Charlie, myself, and our family dog, Tippy Lou, embarked (see what I did there…em”barked”. That was awesome.) on our path to Muscatine early in the morning. We successfully loaded up on treats and snacks in Lone Tree and found our way into Wildcat Den State Park before I got a bag of cashews down. Another warm autumn afternoon greeted us as we stretched and readied ourselves for a long day of exploration.

Muscatine is another historic experience unique to Iowa's long relationship with the Mississippi River.  https://www.facebook.com/VisitMuscatine?fref=ts http://www.muscatine.com/
Muscatine is another historic experience unique to Iowa’s long relationship with the Mississippi River.
https://www.facebook.com/VisitMuscatine?fref=ts
http://www.muscatine.com/
One of Iowa's best blends of history and nature is located right here at Wildcat Den. http://www.iowadnr.gov/Places-to-Go/State-Parks-Rec-Areas/Iowas-State-Parks/ParkDetails/ParkID/610122
One of Iowa’s best blends of history and nature is located right here at Wildcat Den.
http://www.iowadnr.gov/Places-to-Go/State-Parks-Rec-Areas/Iowas-State-Parks/ParkDetails/ParkID/610122

You may take a look at the Iowa DNR website, or this blog post, and say to yourself, “That does look quite lovely. I think I’ll head there and check it out.” Then you’ll arrive at Wildcat Den and realize that all that you saw online, or in brochures, doesn’t do it any justice compared to what your own eyes see.

The historic Pine Creek Mill and It's perfect backdrop of Wildcat Den State Park flowing past and surrounding it's landscape.
The historic Pine Creek Mill and its perfect backdrop of Wildcat Den State Park flowing past and surrounding its landscape.
Overlooking the Pine Creek Mill with it's natural pool is a preserved bridge stretching across the running creek busy with active wildlife. We're still not sure if Tippy enjoyed the frogs or tried to protect us from an eminent reptilian attack.
Overlooking the Pine Creek Mill with its natural pool is a preserved bridge stretching across the running creek busy with active wildlife. We’re still not sure if Tippy enjoyed the toads or tried to protect us from an eminent reptilian attack.
A bridge side view of the creek bed flowing through Wildcat. The old mill area alone can keep an entire family occupied for hours. Get dirty for once!
A bridge side view of the creek bed flowing through Wildcat. The old mill area alone can keep an entire family occupied for hours. Get dirty for once!
Right next to the Pine Creek Mill is a common piece of proud Iowa preservation. The Hawkeye State is steeped in education and the roots of our old rural one room school houses are peppered all across our countrysides.
Right next to the Pine Creek Mill is a common piece of proud Iowa preservation. The Hawkeye State is steeped in education and the roots of our old rural one room school houses are peppered all across our countrysides.

After marching into the woods, snaking our way up and down the creek bed, and many attempts to catch minnows with our bare hands, the three of us took a breather in the slight breeze and refueled for our next mission to yet another historic bridge.

We saw this sign on our way to Wildcat and knew what our next stop would be as we headed back west. http://www.muscatinecountyconservation.com/saulsbury_about.php
We saw this sign on our way to Wildcat and knew what our next stop would be as we headed back west.
http://www.muscatinecountyconservation.com/saulsbury_about.php

The detoured travels of our “way there” and “way back” can yield some great times on our road trips. The great part is how the kids are now starting to get just as excited for these opportunities as their parents get. We came to Muscatine to keep active and the day was still young enough to carry on with that habit. Not too far from Wildcat Den is Saulsbury Rec Area.

Saulsbury Bridge Rec Area offers plenty of hiking trails, camping, and riverfront activity along the Cedar River. Perhaps those minnows you caught at Wildcat could come in handy here?
Saulsbury Bridge Rec Area offers plenty of hiking trails, camping, and riverfront activity along the Cedar River. Perhaps those minnows you caught at Wildcat could come in handy here?
Through the dense woods we stumbled on what we were looking for. The old Saulsbury Bridge. Now serving as a tool of discovery and imagination for Team Goodvin and anyone else loves areas like this. The Cedar River was down on this day and that allowed us to explore under the bridge and along the sandbars. Tell what else you need to fill up your day!
Through the dense woods we stumbled on what we were looking for. The old Saulsbury Bridge. Now serving as a tool of discovery and imagination for Team Goodvin and anyone else who loves areas like this. The Cedar River was down on this day and that allowed us to explore under the bridge and along the sandbars. Tell what else you need to fill up your day!

We combed the outskirts of Muscatine and look forward to making plans to visit the historic interior someday. Our state parks are yielding more and more adventures for us and we’ve only made to a few so far. Keep exploring, Iowa. Our DNR is ready to show you our own great outdoors and they’re keeping The Iowa Gallivant very busy!

Be sure to read about our other adventures at Iowa State Parks like Lake MacbrideLake Darling, Pleasant Creek and Maquoketa Caves.

Thanks for reading! -Team Goodvin

9 thoughts on “Iowa State Parks-Historic Hiking at Wildcat Den & Saulsbury Bridge…….

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s