Iowa’s Maquoketa Caves Reopen to Visitors
After being closed for two years, Iowa’s Maquoketa Caves State Park recently reopened its caves to visitors.
A major attraction, the caves helped bring in more than 200,000 visitors to the park each year. Since their closure that number had dropped 80% to a mere 40,000 people each year.
In order to combat the concerns that visitors might inadvertently spread geomyces destructans, the fungus that causes WNS, from one cave to the next by their shoes or clothing, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources has implemented a short educational program.
Before entering into our caves you have to go through an education awareness program we’re doing this to prevent the spread of this disease, to the best of our knowledge we do not have the fungus. So this program is to make people aware of the importance of our bats and inadvertently spreading this disease, Scott Dykstra, Ranger
Local businesses are anxiously awaiting the visitors returning to the area.