Echo Valley State Park is a secluded 100-acre park in Northeast Iowa and a great place to escape to nature! It has trout streams, a gravel trail, primitive camping, and beautiful historic Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) structures.
A Brief History of Echo Valley State Park
The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was instrumental in building the park structures at Echo Valley State Park. During the 1930s, the CCC hand-built many stone structures preserved at the park. They include a shelter house, archway, kiln, and the remains of a dam.
The park is a partnership between the State of Iowa and Fayette County. It’s owned by the state and managed by Fayette County Conservation Board.
Things to Do at Echo Valley State Park
Hike, bike, or run the Echo Valley Environmental Nature Trail
The Echo Valley Environmental Nature Trail spans the park. This 2½-mile limestone trail is a local favorite for hiking, running, and mountain biking. In addition, trail users enjoy birdwatching, seeing spring wildflowers, and viewing some small farm animals. A few small side trails spur from the main path along the way.
See the remaining historic CCC structures.
This is an excellent park for those that appreciate the quality and beauty of CCC structures! The largest CCC park structure is the shelter house/lodge, but there are other great examples of their work, like an archway and dam.
Fish the trout streams
Two trout streams, Otters Creek and Glovers Creek, meander through Echo Valley State Park, making it the ideal spot for anglers! Streams are stocked by the Iowa DNR each year.
And for those that like to camp, there’s some camping right along the stream.
Echo Valley State Park is the ideal spot for a picnic! Picnic at the historic shelter, or grab a spot along the stream. There are several picnic tables scattered throughout the park.
Go tent camping
A handful of primitive tent campsites are in designated areas for a super reasonable price! Non-electric sites are first-come, first-serve, and campers must self-register.
Things to Do Nearby
Northeast Iowa is one of the best places to visit because there’s so much to see & do. Unique geological features make it ideal for outdoor activities, like fishing, camping, and trails of every kind. Find miles and miles of hiking, biking, equestrian, and water trails. Visitors also enjoy the area’s historic buildings, shopping, and museums. Below are a few places we recommend checking out!
Volga River State Recreation Area is just 9.5 miles from the park. It’s an excellent place to camp (with full hookups!), boat, and fish. And, with over 20 miles of multi-use trails, you can hike, bike, or ride! Those with horses will enjoy equestrian camping and trails. `
Decorah, Iowa, is an excellent Iowa town just 30 miles north of the park. Tour the Fish Hatchery and museums and explore several scenic nature areas and trails. And be sure to stop in the downtown district while you’re there.
Backbone State Park is Iowa’s oldest state park, 36 miles to the south. It has unique geography and features the highest point in northeast Iowa – The Devil’s Backbone. Hike, fish, climb, paddle, camp, or rent a cabin at this excellent state park!
Cedar Rock State Park is about 50 minutes south of the park. This state park has a Frank Lloyd Wright Mid-Century-style home on a ridge overlooking the Wapsipinicon River.
Pike’s Peak State Park is nearly an hour’s drive northeast of the park, nestled on a 500-foot-tall bluff overlooking the Mississippi River. Take in the panoramic views and hike to a waterfall!
Effigy Mounds National Monument is an hour to the northeast, not far from Pike’s Peak. Check out the visitor center, trails, and ranger programs. Also, learn the history of local Native American tribes and see animal-shaped burial mounds!
Yellow River State Forest is about 45 miles northeast of the park, near Effigy Mounds and Pikes Peak State Park. And it’s the perfect spot to escape to nature! Find 40+(!) miles of multi-use trails, primitive campsites, trout fishing, kayaking, and more!
Visit Echo Valley State Park Today!
Echo Valley State Park is at 9672 Echo Valley Rd, West Union, IA 52175.