Malanaphy Springs State Preserve is located on the Paleozoic Plateau landform region and contains a rugged forest, a large spring, and a waterfall. Visitors can follow a trail from the parking area to a spring flowing from a cliff’s opening. Visitors are also encouraged to visit the beautiful 10-foot waterfall, which is at the end of a series of cascading falls flowing over a porous lime deposit at their base and emptying into the Upper Iowa River (total height is ~ 60′).
The steep slopes contain a forest with many rock outcrops throughout. The preserve houses more than 300 native vascular plants including sugar maple and basswood in the forest canopy and ironwood in the understory. Although there are dozens of springs that flow into the waters along your float from Bluffton to Decorah, Malanaphy Springs is the most well-known spring along the Upper Iowa River.
How to get here:
From the intersection of Iowa Highway 9 and US Highway 52, follow Highway 52 north. In one mile, turn left (west) on Pole Line Road. In 2.2 miles turn right onto Bluffton Road. In .7 miles, take note of a parking lot on the right. The spring is a 1-mile walk.