Welcome - already a member? Sign In
Not a member yet?Sign Up

Find Campsites

Water on and Modern Restroom/Shower Bldg. Open for Season: The water is on and the modern restroom/shower building is open for the summer season. The dump station water is on & fully functional.

Bellevue State Park, IA

Status: Open year round.   Season Dates
Max reservation window: Tue Oct 06 2015   Later Dates


Bellevue State Park is home to one of Jackson County's most scenic Mississippi River overlooks. The park is rich in archaeological, historical and natural beauty. Atop a 250 foot tall limestone bluff, the main overlook offers a breathtaking view of the Upper Mississippi River Wildlife Refuge, Lock & Dam #12, and the quaint river town of Bellevue.

Bellevue State Park is located in two separate tracts: The Nelson Unit and the Dyas Unit.

Nelson Unit Attractions:
  • The South Bluff Nature Center is open seasonally and offers visitors a chance to see a variety of Iowa's native animals up close and learn about historical cultures and native plants and trees of the area.
  • The Butterfly Garden is a one-acre garden planted with a mix of perennial and annual flowers that provide food for caterpillars and nectar for a wide variety of butterflies. Almost 60 different species of butterflies visit the garden from spring to fall. The garden's frog pond is a favorite of younger visitors.
  • The Nelson Unit also has a day-use lodge and three open picnic shelters that may be reserved for your special event.
  • On the western edge of the Nelson Unit is the park's 220-acre public hunting area. The area is planted to tall grass prairie and assorted food plots to attract turkey, deer and pheasants.
  • There are just over two miles of hiking trails located in the Nelson Unit. The trails range from a peaceful stroll through our beautiful Butterfly Garden to a more strenuous hike on the Quarry Trail to view a primitive lime kiln. From the main overlook, it is an easy walk to Pulpit Rock or the Indian Mounds that date back to the Middle Woodland Culture (500 B.C. to A.D. 1200). Dyas Unit Attractions:
  • The Dyas Campground has both electric and non-electric sites.
  • Two open picnic shelters, with wonderful views, are available for reservation or for a leisurely picnic.
  • The Dyas Unit encompasses almost 4 miles of foot trails, scenic overlooks, and a stream with a wide variety of aquatic-life and other wildlife. The Deer Trail is a short, easy trail near the campground that the entire family will enjoy.
  • In winter, bald eagles concentrate to feed near the open waters below Lock and Dam 12. Pileated woodpeckers are occasionally seen in isolated areas.
  • Nearby Attractions:

    Bellevue is just north of the Nelson Unit of the park. Dubuque is 21 miles north on Hwy 52.

    Services & Amenities:

    Within Facility
    • Archeological Sites
    • Archery
    • Bicycling
    • Bird Watching
    • Boat Launch Ramp
    • Boating
    • Dump Station
    • Geological Formations
    • Hiking
    • Hunting
    • Interpretive Programs
    • Jogging/Running
    • Modern Restroom
    • Nature Center
    • Park Office
    • Parking
    • Playground
    • Showers
    • Toilet, Pit/Vault
    • Trash Dumpster
    • Walking
    • Water Hydrants
    • Wildlife Viewing
    Less Than 1 Mile
    • Antiquing
    • CHURCH
    • Cabins
    • Fishing
    • Fuel, Vehicles
    • River
    • Town
    Greater Than 1 Mile
    • Golf
    Greater Than 10 Miles
    • Hospital
    • Marina
    • Motel
    • Water Slides
    Alerts and Important Information

    The South Bluff Nature Center is open 1:00 to 4:00 pm Saturdays and Sundays and Holidays by appointment. Hours may vary depending on volunteer staff availability.

    Getting There:

    GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
    42.24722, -90.42278
    42°14'50"N, 90°25'22"W

    Dyas Unit campground: Take Hwy 52 south of Bellevue 3 miles, turn right onto 429th Ave. which is a gravel road, then take first right into the park. The campground is located at the top of the hill on the left. Nelson Unit Park office, Butterfly Garden, Lodge, Nature Center: Located just off Hwy 52 on the southern edge of the city of Bellevue. Once you cross over the bridge, take an immediate right into the park.

    Contact Information:

    Mailing Address:

    Bellevue State Park
    24668 Hwy. 52
    Bellevue  IA  52031

    Phone Number:

    Information:  (563)872-4019