Did you know Edgewood, Iowa is home to one of Iowa’s hidden treasures? Come to Bixby State Park for an adventure-filled day! For summertime exploration, you can see the ice cave, a rock that resembles a steamboat, and enjoy cool, clear fresh-water springs.
Bixby Park Preserve was formed by R.J. Bixby in 1926 after he donated 69 acres. He was a teacher, farmer, and a state legislator. Today, there are 184 acres of rugged slopes, mature hardwood trees, and a trout stream named Bear Creek. In 1979, Bixby officially became a State Preserve for outdoor enthusiasts to explore.
Plan a picnic, go on a hike, or spend some time fishing at Bixby State Park! Take in the beauty that surrounds you while on a summertime adventure. See nature’s geological features that make this park a place of incredible beauty. At one point in time, the ice cave was bulging with ice. Today, the total amount of underground ice is unknown – you can only see the ice from the entrance and feel a cool mist in the summertime heat.
The cave also has rare natural refrigeration called “Algific Slopes.” With the constant flow of cool moist air in the cave, this has created a micro-ecosystem that is full of rare or endangered flora and funa. This is the reason Bixby Park is classified as a State Park.
After exploring the cave, why not take a hike? As you make your way along the bluffs covered with all kinds of green life, you’ll come across a large rock that resembles a steamboat. Hence, its name: Steamboat Rock. Look at all the plant life and flowers blooming and notice the Castle Rock cave close by. Once you have climbed on top of Castle Rock, you’ll get an amazing bird’s eye view of the valley below. What a rewarding sight to see of vibrant colors with the rolling hills of the countryside below!
Come on down from the exhilarating hike and go dip your toes in the cool, clear water at the Big Springs. A fish may swim by and tickle the bottom of your feet. Enjoy the refreshing cool waters from this natural fountain flow into Bear Creek. It is said that in the past, over 300 gallons a minute flow from the four springs. Now that you have cooled off in the Big Spring, have a picnic or fry up your fish.
What a wonderful adventure it could be exploring nature at Bixby State Park in Edgewood, Iowa.
Image credit: Darla Kelchen CCDG