West Des Moines

2900 University Ave Suite 300
West Des Moines, IA 50266

Places to Scatter Ashes in Iowa

Pikes Peak State Park

Located just south of McGregor, where the Wisconsin and Mississippi rivers meet, the park has beautiful wooded bluffs and valleys, and trails that are easily accessible; one trail goes past Bridal Veil Falls, a refreshing spring and another leads to breathtaking views of the Mississippi River valley below.

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Ledges State Park

Near Boone, Ledges has 4 miles of hiking trails that lead to stunning scenic overlooks, and a fully accessible trail that leads to Lost Lake. The winding road along Pea’s Creek offers breathtaking views of the Des Moines River Valley, in which visitors can canoe.

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Pilot Knob State Park

Near Forest City, Pilot Knob is especially popular in the fall, when the foliage colors are stunning. It encompasses 700 acres and offers a beautiful trail to the Pilot Knob tower, built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. The quarter-mile trail has an upward slope to the tower and offers spectacular views from the top.

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Maquoketa Caves State Park

Near the city of Maquoketa, Iowa’s most unique park is on the National Register of Historic Places. A beautiful trail system links a series of caves, formations, and overlooks, and the park has something special in every season: spring wildflowers, lush summer growth, dramatic fall colors, and a snowy wonderland in winter.

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Additional Notes on Scattering Cremated Remains in Iowa

Additional Notes on Scattering Cremated Remains in Iowa

The Iowa Administrative Code states that scattering of cremated remains is subject to any applicable local ordinances or cemetery rules. The law prohibits you from scattering ashes on public property or on private property without permission of the property owner. (Iowa Administrative Code 641-97.13(3).)

Iowa Cremation FAQs

What happens when you can't afford funeral services in Iowa?

Iowa law mandates that counties pay the funeral and burial expenses of indigent residents who have no income, no family who can afford the costs, and are ineligible for assistance from the Social Security or Veterans administration.

What is state cremation rate?

Iowa cremation rate is 54.3%, according to 2020 CANA Annual Report.

What veterans’ benefits are available in Iowa?

The VA benefits provided (at no cost to the family) include a fixed amount toward funeral expenses; a grave site; opening and closing of the grave; perpetual grave site care; a government headstone or marker; a United States burial flag that can be draped over the casket or accompany the urn (and is given to the next of kin after the service); and an engraved presidential memorial certificate signed by the current President, expressing the country’s grateful recognition of the veteran’s service.

How many funeral homes are there in Iowa?

There are 46 funeral homes in 34 cities of Iowa.

Iowa State Facts

State nickname: The Hawkeye State

State motto: Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain.

Population: 3,090,416

State bird: Eastern Goldfinch

State tree: Bur oak

State flower: Wild Prairie Rose

Bonus fact 1: Iowa is the only state with navigable rivers (the Missouri and the Mississippi) defining its borders.

Bonus fact 2: The movie The Bridges of Madison County was based on fiction, but the setting is real. There were originally 19 covered bridges from the 1800s in the county, but only six remain today.

Bonus fact 3: The well-known Iowa State Fair was first held in 1854, and now attracts more than 1 million people each year. Since 1911, the fair has included a cow sculpture made of 600 pounds of butter.

Bonus fact 4: Iowa has opened the presidential primary process with its caucuses since 1972.

Bonus fact 5: Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “the Big Bopper” Richardson, three major names in rock ‘n’ roll, died when their plane crashed near Clear Lake, Iowa. It’s known as “the day the music died.”

*State population based on estimates provided by the 2014 U.S. Census.
*Cremation rate provided by the most recent study by CANA in 2018.