12 Best Waterfalls in Iowa You Must Visit [List of 2024]

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waterfalls in Iowa

Even while many of Iowa’s cascades seem like wild waterfalls, they are really artificial dams. It’s not hard to find Iowa’s many waterfalls. Each of them is simple to reach without a long journey.

Nonetheless, if you’re looking for some outdoor adventure during your time, these breathtaking waterfalls in Iowa are a must-see.

1. Willow Creek Waterfall

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Willow Creek Waterfall is one of the best waterfalls in Iowa

Willow Creek Waterfall is the best waterfall in Iowa to visit. This lovely spillway, which can be seen near the junction of South Carolina Avenue and 1st Street Southeast waterfalls in Iowa, is part of Willow Creek’s calm journey through Mason City.

Because the waterfall is on private property, it’s necessary to abide by any posted signs and respect the property owner’s rights. Nevertheless, it’s a really sweet hidden treasure in a town that’s already really charming and worth a trip there.

2. Ledges State Park

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As its name implies, Ledges State Park is famous for its stunning rock ledges; even though its cliffs are admittedly considerably less steep, they are comparable to the Midwestern Grand Canyon.

Ledges State Park is a fantastic pit stop for outdoor enthusiasts of all skill and interest levels due to its tendency for stunning fall colors in the autumn or its network of accessible hiking trails.

3. Macbride Falls

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Macbride Falls

MacBride Falls State waterfalls in Iowa are special for their inter-lake destination; as the Iowa River runs through this area, it broadens out into Coralville Lake to the west & Lake Macbride to the east and is a very popular hangout for sailors, kayakers, canoers, & other water professional athletes. It is only a small portion of a large space of watery wilderness just north of Iowa City.

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4. Dunning’s Spring

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Closer yet to Decorah, the Dunning’s Spring waterfall, which is more than 200 feet in height and hidden within a park of the same name that offers a variety of forested hiking paths, is unquestionably one of the most magnificent in the state.

Dunning’s Spring Park, which runs beside the Iowa River, has wheelchair-accessible entrances, parking spaces, and picnic sites for families looking to unwind for a while. For families traveling with young children, the waterfall is a wonderful alternative because it’s only off Ice Cave Road.

5. Briggs Woods Waterfalls

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Briggs Woods Waterfalls

The Briggs Woods Waterfalls, a series of moderate cascades all along the Boone River, provides a great deal of visual beauty for a relatively small amount of work.

These best waterfalls in Iowa are best viewed along the Watauga River Recreation Trail, which is easily accessible through a brief trek and extends just under six miles point-to-point through the park and even beyond. A large portion of the route is paved, making it a perfect alternative for rollerblades, wheelchairs or stroller pushers, and cyclists.

6. Union Grove State Park Spillway

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Union Grove State Park, another state-maintained green space, includes Union Grove Lake and a big area of land adjacent to it. Although the park has many worthwhile attractions to consider, the outflow is one of the well-liked to visit and take pictures of.

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7. Beed’s Lake Spillway

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A modest but lovely natural retreat, Beed’s Lake State Park is notably popular with locals and tourists from Hampton, Latimer, and Coulter waterfalls in Iowa.

While Beed’s Lake Spillway, which also shimmers in the sun as it tumbles swaying gently on the tiered rock backdrop it sits on, is one of the most picturesque aspects of the experience, the lake itself is frequently considered the main attraction because it offers plenty of possibilities for boating, swimming, fishing, and other water-based recreation.

8. Bridal Veil Falls

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People who are new to Iowa might be shocked to find that there is a Pikes Peak Nature Reserve this far east, but there is, and it also has one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the state. It is best to visit Bridal Veil Falls in the spring or summer when the hiking conditions aren’t snowy and icy.

Bridal Veil Falls is also a common waterfall name that you might recognize from that other states like Colorado or Washington. This small but stunning waterfall streams slowly above a rock ledge covered in greenery.

9. Malanaphy Spring Falls

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The Malanaphy Spring waterfalls in Iowa are located inside the Upper Iowa River Access Area, also known as the Malanaphy Springs State Reserve, and may be reached by a straightforward and quite short hiking path that travels for approximately two miles and experiences an elevation difference of just over 200 feet.

This track is well-liked among trail runners due to its short length and mostly flat terrain, and birders visit to see some sought-after avian companions.

10. Siewer’s Springs

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Siewers Springs, a spillway technically, is located on the southern edge of Decorah, which shows out to be a little of the best waterfalls in Iowa; who knew? Siewers Springs produces steady and beautiful water flow into the stream below year-round. In addition, the Decorah Fishing Hatchery, a fascinating destination to learn more about how our seafood is produced and delivered to us, is situated in the same preserve where this waterfall resides.

11. Malanaphy Spring Falls

The Decorah area’s third waterfall on the list is located northwest of town. Getting to this spring-fed waterfall requires a two-mile (round-trip) trail hike along the Upper Iowa River. After your waterfall tour of Decorah, head back downtown and fuel up at in lovely restaurants or cafes.

12. Beulah Springs Falls

Located near the entrance to Spook Cave Campground, the falls are just to the north, on Bloody Run Creek. It is one of Iowa’s lesser known waterfalls, but offers one of the most stunning views on this list.

A trip to one of these waterfalls may be a great way to spend a day outside with the family, since they are often located in areas with other interesting sights to see and sports to partake in.

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