Information on:

Brush Creek Canyon State Preserve

E Avenue, 90th Street

Brush Creek Canyon is a 217-acre preserve containing a rugged forested gorge along the Silurian Escarpment. Located two miles north of Arlington in Fayette County, it was dedicated as a biological and geological state preserve in 1968.

Located on the western edge of the Paleozoic Plateau landform region, Brush Creek Canyon exemplifies the dramatic landscape of a prominent ridge extending through northeast Iowa known as the Silurian Escarpment. The steep slopes and exposed bedrock of this preserve are formed by 150-foot-tall outcrops of Silurian (435 million years old) dolomite of the Hopkinton Formation. Older, underlying shales are of Ordovician age (450 million years old). In many places, large blocks of dolomite have separated from the cliffs and slumped onto the soft, wet shales underneath, often rotating and leaning as they shift position. The spectacular bluffs and slump blocks are the result of a long history of natural stream erosion in the Brush Creek valley.


Bonfire Photography

Wednesday, June 27, 2018
One of my favorite places to hike into and escape from it all. Moines Creek in the spring is a spectacular cascade of water over dolomite boulders as big as cars. Autumn is another great time to explore the canyon. There are no maintained trails in the preserve and hiking in and out can take some time. Not a state park as Google says it is a preserve that allows no hunting.

Paul DuBois

Friday, Nov. 11, 2016
Isolated, serene, challenging access to the creek. Primitive restrooms built in the 1930's. There is a pavilion with a stone fireplace. If you're here looking for trout, they're hard to find. But plenty of worthless white suckers and creek chubs to catch for extra bait.

Craig Hemsath

Friday, Sep. 15, 2017
One of the best places to escape in iowa

Susan Martin

Saturday, Jan. 14, 2017
A scenic hilly forest tucked away in the folds of cornfields in NE Iowa.

Brian Woods

Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016
Very beautiful views of the creek, natural serenity.

Brush Creek Canyon State Preserve is not affiliated with AmericanTowns Media