Field Trips & Programs at the Mines of Spain

We have over 1,400 acres of prairie, wetland, and woodland waiting to be explored on your next field trip. The Mines of Spain State Recreation Area, home to the E.B. Lyons Interpretive Center, is conveniently located 3 miles south of the city of Dubuque, right along the Mississippi River. Together the Interpretive Center and the park provide an organic learning environment to allow children of all ages to discover nature and local history – right at their finger tips.

Outdoor Education Options

A variety of field trip and program options are available:

  • May – October
  • November – April


Hour-long field trips are offered year-round. Students and groups begin their program with an introduction in the E.B. Lyons Interpretive Center before they hit the trails! (Pre-K through 6th grade) 


Two-hour extended field trips are available to cover multiple topics and can include either longer distance hikes or hands-on equipment. (2nd through 6th grade)


The Mines of Spain experiences changes in plants and animals throughout the year. These hour-long programs allow us to look at the changing of the seasons in the park. (Pre-K through 6th grade)

Classroom/Outreach [Available November – March]

If you are unable to come to the park, bring the park to you! We have 45-minute programs for the park staff to visit your classroom with an interactive lesson that includes live animals, furs, and artifacts. (Pre-K through 6th grade)


When staff-led programs are not available, self-guided trips are an educational way to still visit the park on your own! (Pre-K through 6th grade)

Other Educational Opportunities: Service Learning

Make a difference in the park today! Our 2 hour service learning projects provide students with the opportunity to help make the park a better place, while learning what it takes for a career in managing natural resources. (6th through 12th grade)

Scheduling Your Field Trip or Program

Call the park office at 563-556-0620. Schedules fill up fast so we recommend you call one month in advance of your desired date(s). Please have the following information ready when you call:

  • Program topic
  • Contact name, phone number, e-mail address
  • Group size, grade, & number of adults
  • School/Group name and address
  • Date(s) & time(s) of interest.


Programs are limted to 40 students per hour. Larger groups can be accommodated based on staff availability, please call for details. We recommend a teacher and chaperone ratio of 1:8.


Bus transportation grants/scholarships are available for schools and groups. This money has been made possible thanks to the Friends of Mines of Spain. Grants are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, in varying amounts. Please call the park office for more details.

 Joan and Howard Higley Bus Scholarship Application

Additional Information

Cancellation Policy

If you need to cancel or reschedule your visit, please contact the park office at 563-556-0620.

Mines of Spain staff will notify the listed point of contact on the morning of the program if it must be cancelled due to inclement weather.

Carry-in / Carry-out Policy

All Iowa State Parks and State Recreation Areas have a carry-in, carry-out waste policy. Please bring trash bags for your lunch so you can take your trash and dispose of offsite.

Review Leave No Trace principles with the class before your visit.


Field trips and programs at the Mines of Spain are free of charge. You are responsible for your own transportation. There may be scholarships available. Donations can be made to the Friends of the Mines of Spain our supporting non-profit

Waivers and Reservations of Equipment

If you are interested in reserving park equipment, which includes but is not limited to: fishing poles, butterfly and aquatic nets, waders, and canoes or kayaks for your group, please call the park office at least 30 days in advance to reserve equipment and fill out a liability waiver.