Wapsipinicon State Park Article

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Wapsipinicon State Park
Stone Arch Bridge Wapsipincon State Park.jpg
Map showing the location of Wapsipinicon State Park
Map showing the location of Wapsipinicon State Park
Location of Wapsipinicon State Park in Iowa
Location Jones, Iowa, United States
Coordinates 42°05′43″N 91°17′08″W / 42.09528°N 91.28556°W / 42.09528; -91.28556
WAPSIPINICON STATE PARK Latitude and Longitude:

42°05′43″N 91°17′08″W / 42.09528°N 91.28556°W / 42.09528; -91.28556
Area394 acres (159 ha)
Elevation876 ft (267 m) [1]
Governing bodyIowa Department of Natural Resources
Website Wapsipinicon State Park
Wapsipinicon State Park Historic District
Architectural style Rustic
NRHP reference # 14000669 [2]
Added to NRHPSeptember 22, 2014

Wapsipinicon State Park is located south of Anamosa, Iowa, United States. The 394-acre (159 ha) park is along the sandstone and limestone bluffs of the Wapsipinicon River, from which it derives its name. It is one of the oldest state parks in Iowa, and it was listed as a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places in 2014. [2]


The initial 180 acres (73 ha) for the park was donated by a local citizens group that raised around $23,000 in 1921 to buy the land in order to preserve it and to keep the timber from being logged. [3] The park was dedicated in 1923, making Wapsipinicon one of the first state parks established in Iowa. [4] The park has several archaeological sites where evidence of Pre-Columbian era societies lived. [5] Two historic bridges that cross the river are also part of the park's historic nature, including the Hale Bridge, which was moved here in 2006. [6]

The facilities in the park were developed in the 1920s and the 1930s utilizing the Rustic style of architecture. Unlike many state parks in Iowa from this era that had their facilities built by the Civilian Conservation Corps, a public work relief program during the Great Depression, Wapsipinicon's facilities were constructed by prisoners from nearby Anamosa State Penitentiary. [3] They built the shelters, stone arch bridges and the roads. The limestone for the structures was quarried locally, and it took about five years to complete the construction. In the years following the inmates continued to maintain the park.

The park's recreational activities include camping, fishing and boating. Trails are provided for hiking, cross country skiing and snowmobiling. There are also a couple of caves to explore, including an ice cave. The park is a terminus for the Northeast State Park Bike Route, which connects it to Pikes Peak State Park and Backbone State Park by way of county highways. [4] Hunting is allowed in season in an adjacent 140 acres (57 ha) that was acquired in 1990. A nine-hole golf course in the park is maintained by the Wapsipinicon Country Club.


  1. ^ "Wapsipinicon State Park". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. 1979-04-30. Retrieved 2016-11-02.
  2. ^ a b National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  3. ^ a b "Wapsipinicon State Park seeks National Historic status". Globe Gazette. Mason City, Iowa. December 24, 2012. Retrieved 2016-12-06.
  4. ^ a b "Wapsipinicon State Park". Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved 2016-11-02.
  5. ^ "Wapsipinicon State Park Historic District". National Park Service. Retrieved 2016-11-02.
  6. ^ "Hale bridge". Iowa Department of Transportation. Retrieved 2016-11-02.