Decorah Parks and Recreation is working to make your parks better
Below are current projects you might encounter in the parks.  Please email us at if you have any questions.

Dunning's Spring parking lot

Dunning's Spring and Ice Cave Access

With Quarry Street/Ice Cave Road now closed to thru traffic, the access to Dunning’s Spring and Ice Cave has been compromised and leads to congestion at the entrance to Dunning’s Spring.   Visitors should park in the gravel lot near the river on the south side of Ice Cave Road. If the parking lot is full, visitors may park along Ice Cave Road. Please be respectful of private property.  Dunning’s Spring Waterfall: From the gravel parking lot it is about a 200 yard walk along the paved drive to Dunning’s Spring Waterfall. Please note, there is not parking at the waterfall. The paved drive is open to drop off traffic for those with mobility concerns.  Ice Cave: From the gravel parking lot it is about a ½ mile walk east on Ice Cave Road to the cave. Ice Cave is open to the public with no fee for admission.  For more Ice Cave info, click here.

Phelps Park Bridge

Phelps Park Trail

Two Iowa Great Places projects will be taking place on the Phelps Trail near helps Park:

  • Heading west on the trail from Phelps Park, work will be taking place in June and July to repair the rock steps and approach to the first bridge. Walkers will usually be able to get by, however for safety reasons occasionally there will be times the trail will be closed.
  • Heading north to Dug Road, an old trail that had been abandoned will be reopened in June or July. The trail will be complete with pillars marking the entrances and signage.
garlic mustard

Eradication of Invasive Species

Friends of Decorah Parks are organizing volunteers to help control garlic mustard and Dames Rocket.  This group has been working on eradicating garlic mustard in our parks since the early 2000's, and have now added another plant of the mustard family, Dames Rocket.  Both of these plants are very aggressive and can take over an area and keep out native species.

Carlson Park trail

Carlson Park

Initial work has begun on Decorah’s newest park.  A master park plan will be put together in 2020-21 to guide future park development.  In the meantime, park crews have cleared a “main loop” through the park that will serve as both a maintenance road as well as a trail.  There will be a period of time in June and maybe July following construction that the trail will be seeded down and then closed to allow the grass a chance to get going.

picture of Pulpit Rock trail

Pulpit Rock Trail

As part of an Iowa Great Places project, DPR is restoring an abandoned trail in Will Baker Park that leads up to Pulpit Rock.  There are two parts to this project, neither one should impact the park experience very much:

  • New trail head with rock pillars and new signage
  • Trail work in late June or July