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Thursday, August 6, 2009

Maquoketa Caves State Park Appreciation Day

Maquoketa Caves State Park Appreciation Day

Saturday August 8 - 9:00 AM-5:00 PM
Schedule of Events -

Rudy Vallejo-Native American Dance
10:30am, 12:00pm, 3:00pm

Live Music
Doug and Lisa Frey --performing from 1pm-3pm --Old Lodge Shelter

Hiking Tours -Flint Knapping - Visitor Center
10:30am & 12:30pm
Doug Gonner -Dutch Oven cooking demo
4:00-5:00 pm

Please join us in celebating our appreciation for YOU and the Maquoketa Caves. Bring your own chair. Come and enjoy free popcorn & Lemonade at the visitor's Center
9:00am - 5:00pm. For more information contact Maquoketa Caves at 563-652-5833.

Maquoketa Caves is probably Iowa’s most unique state park. Its caves, limestone formations and rugged bluffs provide visitors a chance to "step back" into geological time thousands of years. Caves vary from the 1,100′ Dancehall Cave with walkways and lighting system to Dugout Cave. The remaining caves are all different sizes and shapes. Some can be explored by walking while others can best be seen by crawling. In any case, a flashlight and old clothes and shoes are most helpful.

The caves at the state park have been found to release treasures such as tools and projectile points made of stone, hundreds of years of history just waiting to be explored by you.
Early recorded history tells of the Native Americans in the area, and that they were likely visitors to the Raccoon Creek valleys. From the discovery of the caves in the 1830’s by settlers until the present day explorers the caves have revealed the story of the past.

Beautiful milk white stalactites once hung from the ceilings and stalagmites rose from the floor. Souvenir hunters have robbed the caves of this rare beauty, but many formations remain.
The park contains more caves than any other state park in Iowa. A beautiful trail system links the caves, formations, and overlooks while providing an exciting hiking experience. Many areas on these trails have seen new construction, making the journey to the caves safer and easier. Trail highlights include the dramatic "Natural Bridge" which stands nearly 50 feet above Raccoon Creek, and the 17-ton "Balanced Rock".

The park has beauty all its own each season of the year. Spring wildflowers give way to the lush green growth of summer. Fall brings dramatic hues of yellow, gold and crimson. Snow transforms the park into a winter wonderland. Whatever the season, Maquoketa Caves has something special to offer.

TrailsHikers can enjoy the scenery along the 6 miles of trails. The trails in the eastern part of the park connect the park facilities and provide access to the caves. Trail highlights include the dramatic "Natural Bridge" which stand nearly 50 feet above Raccoon Creek, 17-ton "Balanced Rock", and "Dancehall Cave." A trail in the western area of the park takes hikers past a restored prairie, an experimental oak savanna restoration and a wildlife food plot.

Interpretive Center
The former Sager’s Museum building has been converted into an interpretive center. This new facility contains detailed information about the geology of cave formations, park history, and a background of the early "inhabitants" of the park.
It also contains a "video tour" of the park, for those who are unable to withstand the rugged terrain that the park offers. This facility will be open on the weekends during the summer and by special arrangement with the park office.
Location: Maquoketa is seven miles southeast of the park. Actual address is 10970 98th St., Maquoketa, IA 52060
Phone: 563/652-5833

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Richard Leopold, director of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, will be holding public forums across Iowa again this year to discuss natural resource issues with Iowans.

The first forum will be held at
Honey Creek Resort State Park on Thursday, Aug. 6.

“I really look forward to hearing from Iowa’s citizens. Last year, we got great feedback and ideas from more than 300 attendees,” said Leopold about the seven forums held last year. “Our relationship with Iowans is something we highly value within the DNR and we will work together on the things most affecting our natural resources.”

Each public forum begins at 6 p.m. with Director Leopold outlining the DNR’s top priorities, the environmental report card, providing an update on budget cuts and discussing local issues. Another hour-and-a-half will be devoted to answering questions from the public.

Public forums scheduled for
Director Leopold are as follows listed by date:

Honey Creek Resort State Park Lodge
Thursday, Aug. 6, 6 p.m.

Dolliver State Park Lodge
Thursday, Aug. 20, 6 p.m.

Lake Macbride State Park Main Lodge
Thursday, Aug. 27, 6 p.m.

Bellevue State Park Lodge
Thursday, Sept. 3, 6 p.m.

Lake of Three Fires State Park Lodge
Tuesday, Sept. 8, 6 p.m.

Clear Lake
Clear Lake State Park Lodge
Thursday, Sept. 17, 6 p.m.

Sioux City
Stone State Park Lodge
Thursday, Sept. 24, 6 p.m.

MEDIA CONTACT: Tammie Krausman, DNR, at (515) 402-8763 or

Sunday, August 2, 2009

“Mob the Quab” Iowa Mountain Bike Champeonship Race

On Sunday, August 9, 2009 the Iowa Mountain Bike Championship Series heads south.

By Bruce Brown

Have you heard of the famous Chequamegon 40 in Wisconsin that is run on cross country ski trails, forest roads, snowmobile trails and wooded lanes? That's right!! We now have a "Cheqaumegon like" race in our very own Iowa series.

Coming for the second time is Iowa's very own “Mob the Quab” backwoods, super fast, fat tire XC race held on a course loop that rolls on the multi-use cross country ski, snowmobile, and hiking trail that circles Lake Ahquabi. The race loop utilizes backwood sections of the wooded trails throughout Lake Ahquabi State Park to make for a scenic race filled with unique challenges.
COURSE: The 6.75 mile loop includes a trip around Lake Ahquabi's multi-use trail with additional sections that include backwood trails. You will encounter gravel, dirt, roots, ruts, grass, logs, wooden bridges, railroad tie stairs, climbs, fast descents and the best nature has to offer on this scenic course. The loop will be the perfect test of one's fitness with all of the full throttle speed and all of the climbing, but will not be technical in nature to scare off the entry level racer. In fact, this will be a perfect venue for first timers and experts alike.

RACE DAY SCHEDULE: [Mass Start for 2009]
CAT 1 Expert Men/Women's Open - 12:00pm (prizes: 100% expert entry fee pay out for top 3 in Expert Open and Women's Open categories)

CAT 2 Sport Men/Sport Women/Singlespeed/Sport Junior - 12:00pm (prizes and awards for winners)

CAT 3 Beginner Men/Beginner Women/Beginner Junior - 12:00pm (prizes and awards for winners)

Awards Ceremony: After the completion of all categories (approximately 2:00 pm)

REGISTRATION INFORMATION:Registration is on the day of the race starting at 9:00am and closes 15 minutes before each race begins.Entry Fee: $20 for Expert/Sport/Singlespeed; $15 for Beginner/Junior

DIRECTIONS:Lake Ahquabi State Park is five miles south of Indianola (17 miles south of Des Moines) on Hwy. 65/69 and one mile west on G-58. Enter Lake Ahquabi State Park through the main entrance where G-58 ends and the entrance gate is located at the 4 way stop. Parking and registration will be at the Lake Ahquabi Lodge (once you enter the park, take the first left at the Lodge sign). We have the Lodge rented for the day of the race and restrooms are located inside.

MAKE IT A FAMILY OUTING:The start/finish line area below the Lodge is only a few minutes walk from the swimming beach and boat rental. Bring the entire family and let the kids swim and build sand castles. Or rent one of the many canoes, kayaks, double kayaks, row boats, or paddle boats available. There is a concession stand with food and drinks as well as lots of shade and picnic tables for those seeking to avoid the sun.

YOUR MOB the QUAB Race Director/Promoter:Bruce Brown

More Information:
515-961-0251; 515-205-4295