There is a little known hidden gem in Decorah Iowa, that is well worth a visit! At first glance Decorah is just another small town in Iowa with not a lot going on, but if you take the chance to visit, you will realize the area is packed full of adventure!

One of my favorite sites is the Dunning Springs and Ice Cave Trail. This area encompasses about 3/4 of a mile, and features some beautifully rugged Iowa terrain.

Dunning Spring sits up on the hillside about 200 years North of the Upper Iowa River, and is a 200 foot spring fed waterfall. There is a boardwalk trail that will take you all the way to the top. The waterfall cascades down the hill side and is a fun place to get during the hot summer months. There is also a cave right next to the waterfall that is fun to explore. If you follow the water all the way down from the spring to where it pours into the river you will find a second smaller waterfall. There are picnic tables set up throughout the park, and the rivers edge is a popular place for fisherman as well.

About a half mile East of the waterfall is the famous Decorah Ice Cave. This is another popular spot during the summer as the cool air can be felt just approaching the cave entrance. The city is currently working to build a better stairway to the caves opening. The area between the cave and the spring features a scenic overlook and numerous trails, along unique rock formations.

Aside from the waterfall and ice cave, the Decorah fish hatchery is just a few blocks away and is another place worth a visit. The fish hatchery is open to the public 365 days a year from sunrise to sunset. About 130,000 catch-able-size rainbow trout are raised each year. Located behind the fish hatchery is yet another waterfall. Siewers Springs be sure to stop by this beautiful spot during your visit to the hatchery.  It’s the perfect place for a picnic, relaxing in the shade or dipping your line in for a trout. Water flows from an underground spring in the hillside and flows over a man-made structure creating a lovely cascade of water.

If that wasn’t enough reason to visit Decorah, than let me tell you about the Upper Iowa River. The Upper Iowa river is one of the most popular rivers in the Midwest for kayaking, canoe trips and tubing. I have used two different outfitters in the past and was very happy with both of them. Chimney Rock Canoe Rental and Bluffton Resort Campground both provide equipment and full shuttle service.

If your looking for lodging or a campground, Decorah High Point Cabins has some of the most beautiful cabins I have ever seen. Pulpit Rock Campground has an amazing location just minutes from downtown Decorah.

This entire town has adventure all over it. Do yourself a favor and plan a trip to Decorah as soon as possible. You won’t regret it!

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