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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.

The South Bluff Nature Center is open by appointment only. Hours may vary depending on volunteer staff availability. The Nature Center's phone number is 563-872-4019.

Bellevue State Park camping trips are easy to plan with ReserveAmerica. Bellevue State Park campground reservations can be made online. Click one of the links below to see available campsites at Bellevue State Park or day pass availability.