Wildcat Den State Park
The reason we ended up in Wildcat Den State Park was because we wanted to see the Pine Creek Grist Mill.
However, the park itself is worth a visit. It encompasses over 400 acres along the Pine Creek drainage in Muscatine County. It has a variety of picnic areas, and two open shelters are available [need to be reserved for a fee through the park manager].
From the literature we received, I discovered that, "A portion of the park was donated to the state by the Brandt sisters who actually lived there at one time. A bronze tablet dedicated to their memory has been placed in sandstone in a lovely setting where centuries-old pine trees line 75-foot cliffs."
It also has a campground with 28 campsites and "non-modern rest room facilities.
Wildlife that you might encounter are deer, woodpeckers, eagles, owls, snakes, and small rodents.
However, one of the best features of Wildcat Den State Park is its trail system. There are awesome bluffs and rock outcroppings. Some of its sites include: Steamboat Rock, Devil's Punch Bowl, and Fat Man's Squeeze.
Of course, the focal point of the park is the Pine Creek Grist Mill and the Melpine Schoolhouse [see separate tips for each].
This is a park that combines natural beauty, preservation of historical structures, camping, picnic areas, and extraordinary trails.