Dubuque is blessed with many beautiful parks filled with history, gorgeous scenery, and activities for everyone. Check out these top spots for a day in the park.
Soak in the sunshine, smell the wildflowers, listen to the song of the red-winged blackbirds, and allow the natural world to stir your soul. 1,432 acres of forest, prairie, wetland, and meadows with 10 trails offer the visitor a cornucopia of natural delights. View the ancient past on the Horseshoe Bluff Trail where dolomite, a sedimentary rock laid down during the Ordovician Era when the area was submerged under a vast shallow sea, exposes fossils of prehistoric marine life. Walk along the floating trails through 15 acres of wetlands, perhaps hearing the slap of a beaver tail on the water. Deer, turkeys, squirrels, rabbits and a multitude of birds present a visual treat.
Listen to the Catfish Creek as it flows over rocks, wade in the cool water, or fish for trout. 62 wooded acres in Swiss Valley Park contain trails, picnic areas, rocky creek banks, and a playground. A mile away from the Nature Preserve and Nature Center contains 476 acres of forest, prairie, and wetlands with 10 miles of trails to enjoy it all. Follow Catfish Creek and listen to the songbirds, smell the wildflowers, and hopefully sight wildlife along the trails.
Rose gardens, hostas, woodland wildflowers, a Japanese Garden with a Koi pond and prairie grasses and wildflowers cover 56 acres of sheer beauty. All the senses will revel in the experience.
From this gem above the Mississippi River survey 3 states, the river, and lock and dam # 11. Watch as the white pelicans migrate north, listen to the barge sound its horn as it moves through the locks, and hear the wind in the trees along the bluffs. Visit one of the native stone shelter buildings and the rock gardens surrounding the fish pond to appreciate the architectural beauty of this park.