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Wildcat Den, a Beautiful Iowa State Park

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Last Friday, a friend a I packed up our kids and headed out for one last hoorah before school gets under way. We decided to go to Wildcat Den, an Iowa State Park, about 20 minutes from where we live.

Wildcat Den, a Beautiful Iowa State Park

blankWildcat Den is a really neat place. It boasts a working grist mill, an old school house, and miles of fun hiking trails. We packed a picnic and enjoyed the gorgeous day {and don’t tell anyone – we learned a few things from our schoolroom – aka the world around us}. Here are some of the sights from our afternoon.

blankThis is the working grist mill, called Pine Creek Grist Mill. Well, it was operational last time we were there. But the waterwheel was missing from the back this trip. I’m not sure why. Since I grind my own flour, I am always curious about grist mills! And I love the look of this old building.

blankThis is a bridge! 😉 I have always loved this bridge called Pine Creek Bridge. And I really love this picture. So if you happen to be a real photographer and know that this Instagram photo really stinks, please do me a favor, and don’t tell me!

blankThe water proved irresistible – despite mothers who asked their kids not to get too wet.

blankOur combined 7 children pretending to be soldiers. It took a lot to get this shot. They were all wet and cold and ready to get moving. But the minute I said stand like soldiers, their attention was all mine!

blankWe saw dear tracks, a snake,  – and this crayfish actually made its way down my son’s shirt…he didn’t like that much and ended up with nice pinch marks on his torso. Of course, when he realized what was down his shirt, he felt quite pleased – “a crayfish caught ME, he said…”

blankThe littlest one wasn’t sure about getting her feet muddy.

blankAnd the two middle girls wanted to dry off in the sun. They had blue lips and shivers – uncharacteristic for an August day in Iowa.

Wildcat Den is an awesome State Park. If you’re ever in Eastern Iowa, I really recommend taking a trip there. We sure enjoyed our afternoon.

Happy Friday, Bloggy Friends. Thanks for reading.


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About Michelle Marine

Michelle Marine is the author of How to Raise Chickens for Meat, a long time green living enthusiast and rural Iowa mom of four. An avid traveler, Michelle has lived on three different continents and has driven all four kids across the entire USA (by herself!). She loves sharing farm-to-table recipes, their family travel adventures, and gardening and homesteading tips on her popular lifestyle blog, SimplifyLiveLove.com.


    • blankMichelle says

      She’s jealous. She was on this trip with us, but we joined a new homeschool group in the QC this summer and they have some pretty awesome trips arranged this fall. She doesn’t like to hear about them! We’ll see…

  1. blankAthena at Minerva's Garden says

    Hi Michelle: This looks like such a fun outing–the kids look like they’re having a blast! I really like the mill–such a picturesque building. Thank you for stopping by my blog today for a visit–nice to hear from you! I’m going to go pick some sunflowers, too!

  2. blankSisters Playing House says

    Oh my word – I can’t even believe that you wrote about this. I used to visit wild cat den when I was little and visiting my grandparents. They lived in Muscatine. I’ve been back as an adult, but it’s been many years. Glad to see the pics – brings back memories.

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