There are plenty of great places to see gorgeous fall colors in eastern Iowa. One of them is just a short drive away.

Many people love to drive along the Mississippi River in extreme eastern Iowa this time of the year. While it's definitely beautiful, sometimes you just don't have the amount of time needed for an hours-long day trip. Such was the case yesterday, so Julie and I made the short trip to Palisades-Kepler State Park outside Mt. Vernon. We weren't alone. There were more people in the park yesterday than I've ever seen at one time.

The area that now encompasses Palisades-Kepler was home to a restaurant, a general store, and about 200 residents in the 1890s. By 1922, it had become a park.

It was originally known as Palisades State Park because the State Board of Conservation pointed out "these palisades lining the Cedar River are quite special."

In 1928, Louis Kepler donated his estate, doubling the size of the park. Fittingly, it would become Palisades-Kepler State Park. Today, Palisades-Kepler is 840 acres and is one of only two state parks in Linn County. The other is Pleasant Creek State Recreation Area at Palo.

Before we get to the beautiful fall photos from our visit to Palisades-Kepler State Park, here's a drone video from the summer of 2022, the park's 100th Anniversary. The water levels were already low, but unfortunately, they are even lower now due to the continuing drought.

Set aside a little time to visit this Linn County treasure this summer. Save a little more time than you think you'll need, though. Yesterday, Julie said to me, "I could just stay here all day and listen." Yes, the beauty of Palisades-Keper State Park isn't just encompassed by what you see, it's also the peacefulness of what you hear.

Fall Photos from Palisades-Kepler State Park Near Mt. Vernon

The park is gorgeous in the fall.

Gallery Credit: Julie James

Palisades-Kepler State Park in the Fall

I took a drive out to Palisades-Kepler State Park in Mount Vernon to capture some of the beautiful fall colors before winter takes over. I hope you enjoy the scenery as much as I did!

Gallery Credit: Courtlin

Palisades-Kepler State Park Celebrates 100 Years

The 840-acre state park just south of Mount Vernon, Iowa celebrates its 100th birthday in 2022. Home to hiking trails, a beach, ramps for boats, camping, and fishing, it's long been a popular destination. The limestone bluffs of Palisades-Kepler State Park just add to its allure.

Gallery Credit: Jacob Glandon Photography

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