Monday, July 26, 2021

Nine Eagles State Park

We left for a hiking adventure bright and early Saturday morning. We hoped to get a good hike in before the temps reached the high 90's. We got a sorta hike in before minis and pups melted on the trail and we cut the hike short. After taking a couple of months off from our state parks tour, we came back in July with a weekend in NE Iowa (read about that here) and a quick visit to Nine Eagles State Park. Unfortunately, Iowa's water quality in lakes is terrible right now, so our hopes for doing water activities were destroyed.

The drive down to Nine Eagles State Park is easy, straight down I-35, into an Amish community, and then through the park. This area would be gorgeous in the fall. The park itself seemed to be well kept, but the trails are a different story. The hiking trails were overgrown, full of cob webs (which makes me believe very few people hike on these trails), and parts of the trail had open wires on it. I'm confused about that or where the lines were even leading to. 

Zeus was so disappointed we told him, "no water!" that he cried. He was very hopeful for a dip in the lake!

The minis were excited to see lily pads on the lake. When I asked them why, they repeated some random thing we learned about lily pads during homeschool last year and I had no idea what they were talking about. Clearly, it's been a long year!

Anyway, I would love to say that the heat was the reason we didn't have fun, but in all honesty, the unkept trails ruined it for us. The park did have decent camgrounds and even had a large equestrian campground. There were large spaces for camping, places for hay, and well built hitching posts. Not a single person was staying in the equestrian campground, nor did the equestrian trails look recently used, but we didn't hike on those trails, so I can't say for sure. The clearest portions of the trails around the lake had been recently mowed, but those happened to be around all the fishing areas, which were well kept as were all picnic areas.

This would have been a great lake to take the kayaks out on, but due to high levels of Ecoli in the water, we didn't feel comfortable taking the risk. Despite the water quality warning posted at the beach, there were still families swimming in the water and having beach picnics. We're keeping our eyes on the water quality reports, so we know just what state parks to head to next because we're really hoping to turn those into days on the water!