It’s no secret - I love summer adventuring with my kids. I live for packing a picnic, spending the day outside, napping the baby in a sling or on a blanket, and watching my kids tumble into bed heavy limbed and super sleepy from a summer day well-spent.
Today, I’m sharing a few of our favorite spots to creek stomp. These locations offer shallow waters easily accessible within a short hike from parking.
*Please note* summer rains can make creek beds swell and add currents that are unsafe for little walkers. Always offer careful, hands-on supervision of children around water.
Morgan Creek County Park, Palo
This park gets its name from the creek that winds throughout. The creek is most easily accessible by parking in the lower day use area parking and walking the trail north towards the campground. Once summer hits, make sure to pack bug spray, as the creek is popular with mosquitoes.
Pinicon Ridge County Park, Central City
To find this awesome creek stomping spot, take the park entrance south of the Wapsipinicon River. (The north entrance is for the campground.) Park at the trailhead for Woodpecker Hill trail (right before you reach the observation tower). Head down the trail about .5 miles until you reach “Horseshoe Falls” and a large wooden bridge. This limestone outcropping makes a fantastic spot for splashing. Pack water shoes or rain boots to avoid any sharp rocks.
Wapsipinicon State Park, Anamosa
Dutch Creek cuts through the park and may be accessed at several points. For an easy walk, park near the playground and walk the short distance to the creek. This makes a great opportunity to alternate between the hot surfaces of the playground and the cool water of the creek. This state park has several caves which can make for a fun family day of exploration.
Photo credit Kelli Eggert
Bever Park, Cedar Rapids
Between the barn at Old MacDonald’s Farm and the duck enclosure, you’ll cross a bridge over a shallow creek just right for mucking about. Pack a picnic and enjoy the nearby shelter or take a hike on the dirt trail just north of the ducks.
Photo credit Suzanne Halekas
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Johanna received a Ph.D. in English in 2014. Now a postpartum doula and educator of childbirth, breastfeeding, and infant sleep, she blogs about pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and parenting.