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Decorah Camping and Biking, Iowa

Looking for Decorah Camping? This charming bike-friendly Iowa town is the perfect family place to camp, shop, and explore.

Decorah IA Camping and Biking

This is the time of year when we start thinking about summer vacation. Last year, we weren’t sure where we would go but decided to camp somewhere with great biking nearby. I googled Midwest family biking trails, and one of the results was the Trout Run Trail in Decorah.

family next to a sculpture on a bike trail

When we looked up Decorah camping, we found that this 11-mile paved bicycle trail was accessible from a campground run by the city. It sounded like the perfect family destination after visiting Fisherman’s Corner and Wyalusing State Park.

Decorah Camping

The Pulpit Rock Campground is run by Decorah Parks and Recreation. This picturesque campground is located along the Twin Springs Trout Spring, with several of the 115 sites being creekside. Get the 2024 camping rates here.

Pulpit Roc Campground sign

A majority of the sites are first-come-first-serve, although you can call the day of arrival for a site to be held for you. The people at check-in were very helpful and friendly.

Pulpit Rock Campground Offices

Each trailer site has a gravel driveway that is mostly level. Most of the electrical sites are 30amp, although there are some 50amp.

There is a firepit, power, and picnic table on each site. Water sources are scattered throughout the campground.

campsite at Pulpit Rock Campground

Our site backed up to the Deer Creek.

Deer Creek in Decorah Iowa

The grounds are green and well-manicured. Trees provide shade for sites mostly around the perimeter of loops.

Pulpit Rock Campground
Pulpit Rock Campground Showerhouse

There are two bathhouses. They are older but clean. The showers had great pressure and were warm.

The creek is so relaxing to sit by. The only drawback to this campground is the nearby Hwy 52, frequented by trucks.

Fortunately, the road is quiet overnight.

people fishing in a creek for trout
grilled trout
our grilled trout dinner

Biking the Trout Run Trail

The campground has access to the Trout Run Trail, which can take you downtown in minutes. The entire 11-mile trail runs through town and country. 4.5 miles of this bike path is strenuous.

people on bikes on a trail next to cows

We started our ride by tackling this hard part. The gears were lowered and went very slowly up the steep parts. We are glad we got the challenging part over with early.

2 people on the Trout Run Trail
curvy trail at Trout Run Trail

The rest of the trail is easy!

The bike path goes right past the Decorah Fish Hatchery, which raises Brook and Rainbow Trout.

girl feeding fish at the Decorah Fish Hatchery

Seeing all the fish in the raceways is a lot of fun. Fish food can be purchased with a quarter. Or, in our case, 13 quarters.

We would have spent more if we had more coins on hand.

Trout Run Trail signs

A trout fishing stream, Siewers Springs, and a butterfly garden are nearby. The world-famous Decorah Eagles Webcam is located by the hatchery.

There is bicycle artwork along the trail and around town.

Trout Run Trail artwork

Delightful Decorah

We also visited Dunning Springs, the Ice Cave, the farmer’s market, and Decorah’s charming downtown area.

mural in Decorah Iowa

There is also the Vesterheim Norweigan-American Museum, which has a great gift shop and is great for hiking and canoeing or kayaking on the Upper Iowa River, which runs through town.

We visited the Laura Ingalls Wilder Park and Museum in Burr Oak, which is north of Decorah, and the Iowa Dairy Center located to the south.

Decorah is a cute town to visit, with so much going on. If you like to ride your bike, it’s a must-visit! Find out more at Visit Decorah.

More Midwest Campgrounds More Biking Adventures
Shabbona State Park, IL
Peninsula State Park, WI
Virginia Creeper Trail Bike Trail
Zuid Kennemerland National Park

smiling man wearing a Trout Run Trail t-shirt
We had to get Trout Run Trail shirts!


Thursday 10th of September 2020

There is Heritage Farm. Home to Seed Savers Exchange. Beautiful to visit and experience.

Karen - Kupon Girl

Wednesday 10th of January 2018

This looks like a lot of fun! I haven't camped out since I was a little kid! Decorah Fish Hatchery I would love to go and visit. I have been following for 8 years now the Decorah Eagles.


Wednesday 10th of January 2018

Next time we are bringing a roll of quarters for the fish hatchery. :)

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