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home | Locations | 11 of 12 Types of Iowa Recreational . . .
 

11 of 12 Types of Iowa Recreational Facilities--State Parks
Ivan Gillis
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Iowa State Parks

Park name

County or counties

Nearby city

Body of water

Remarks[2]

 
 

Ambrose A. Call State Park

Kossuth County

Algona

Des Moines River

Features heavily wooded hills and a reconstructed log cabin on the site of the first cabin in Kossuth County, built in 1854 by settler Ambrose A. Call.

 

Backbone State Park

Delaware County

Strawberry Point

Maquoketa River, Backbone Lake

Features a rock ridge up to 80 feet (24 m) high, a recreational reservoir, and a museum on the Civilian Conservation Corps in Iowa.

 

Badger Creek State Recreation Area

Madison County

Van Meter

Badger Creek Lake

Features a 276-acre (112 ha) fishing lake outside Des Moines.

 

Banner Lakes at Summerset State Park

Warren County

Indianola

Banner Lakes

Provides fishing and mountain biking opportunities on the site of a rehabilitated open-pit coal mine.

 

Beed's Lake State Park

Franklin County

Hampton

Beed's Lake

Surrounds a 99-acre (40 ha) reservoir crossed by a 170-foot (52 m) causeway built by the Civilian Conservation Corps.

 

Bellevue State Park

Jackson County

Bellevue

Mississippi River

Comprises two units on high river bluffs, with a nature center and butterfly garden.

 

Big Creek State Park

Polk County

Polk City

Big Creek Lake

Surrounds an 866-acre (350 ha) recreational reservoir originally created as a flood controlproject.

 

Black Hawk State Park

Sac County

Lake View

Black Hawk Lake

Comprises shoreline on the southernmost glacial lake in Iowa.

 

Brushy Creek State Recreation Area

Webster County

Lehigh

Des Moines River, Brushy Creek Reservoir

Forms one of the state's largest public outdoor recreation properties, with a 690-acre (280 ha) reservoir.

 

Cedar Rock State Park

Buchanan County

Quasqueton

Wapsipinicon River

Offers tours of a Frank Lloyd Wright house built in 1950 in his Usonian style.

 

Clear Lake State Park

Cerro Gordo County

Clear Lake

Clear Lake

Abuts the south shore of 3,643-acre (1,474 ha) Clear Lake.

 

Dolliver Memorial State Park

Webster County

Lehigh

Des Moines River

Showcases tall river bluffs and narrow ravines.

 

Elinor Bedell State Park

Dickinson County

Spirit Lake

East Okoboji Lake

Provides public access to one of the Iowa Great Lakes.

 

Elk Rock State Park

Marion County

Knoxville

Lake Red Rock

Comprises two parcels on Iowa's largest body of water.

 

Emerson Bay State Recreation Area

Dickinson County

Milford

West Okoboji Lake

Provides public access to one of the Iowa Great Lakes.

 

Fairport State Recreation Area

Muscatine County

Muscatine

Mississippi River

Provides water recreation opportunities 6 miles (9.7 km) from Wildcat Den State Park.

 

Fort Atkinson State Preserve

Winneshiek County

Fort Atkinson

None

Interprets the remains of a U.S. Army frontier fort manned from 1840-1849 to monitor the resettled Ho-Chunk tribe.

 

Fort Defiance State Park

Emmet County

Estherville

None

Commemorates the site of a fort built to protect the Iowa border during the Dakota War of 1862.

 

Geode State Park

Henry County

Danville

Skunk River, Lake Geode

Features a 187-acre (76 ha) recreational reservoir and a display of geodes, the Iowa state rock.

 

George Wyth Memorial State Park

Black Hawk County

Waterloo

Cedar Riverand several lakes

Protects a natural area within the Waterloo – Cedar Falls metropolitan area.

 

Green Valley State Park

Union County

Creston

Green Valley Lake

Surrounds a 390-acre (160 ha) recreational reservoir.

 

Gull Point State Park

Dickinson County

Milford

West Okoboji Lake

Protects a natural area on one of the Iowa Great Lakes.

 

Honey Creek State Park

Appanoose County

Moravia

Rathbun Lake

Provides outdoor recreation opportunities on the north shore of 11,000-acre (4,500 ha) Rathbun Lake.

 

Honey Creek Resort State Park

Appanoose County

Moravia

Rathbun Lake

Mixes outdoor recreation with higher-end amenities such as a lodge, luxury cabins, golf course, and indoor water park.

 

Lacey-Keosauqua State Park

Van Buren County

Keosauqua

Des Moines River

Protects Indian mounds and a 30-acre (12 ha) lake on a bend of the Des Moines River.

 

Lake Ahquabi State Park

Warren County

Indianola

Lake Ahquabi

Surrounds a 115-acre (47 ha) recreational reservoir named "resting place" in the Fox language.

 

Lake Anita State Park

Cass County

Anita

Lake Anita

Surrounds a 171-acre (69 ha) recreational reservoir.

 

Lake Darling State Park

Washington County

Brighton

Lake Darling

Honors Ding Darling, two-time Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning winner and early conservationist, with a 171-acre (69 ha) recreational reservoir.

 

Lake Keomah State Park

Mahaska County

Oskaloosa

Lake Keomah

Surrounds an 83-acre (34 ha) recreational reservoir.

 

Lake Macbride State Park

Johnson County

Solon

Lake Macbride, Coralville Lake

Borders an 812-acre (329 ha) recreational reservoir.

 

Lake Manawa State Park

Pottawattamie County

Council Bluffs

Lake Manawa

Provides boating opportunities in the Omaha – Council Bluffs metropolitan area on a 772-acre (312 ha) lake created by the Missouri Riverchanging course after the Great Flood of 1881.

 

Lake of Three Fires State Park

Taylor County

Bedford

Lake of Three Fires

Surrounds an 85-acre (34 ha) recreational reservoir named for a Council of Three Firesmeeting once held there by three Native American tribes.

 

Lake Wapello State Park

Davis County

Drakesville

Lake Wapello

Surrounds a 289-acre (117 ha) recreational reservoir.

 

Ledges State Park

Boone County

Boone

Des Moines River, Pea's Creek

Showcases a 100-foot (30 m) deep sandstone gorge with concretions jutting from its side like ledges.

 

Lewis and Clark State Park

Monona County

Onawa

Blue Lake

Commemorates the site where the Lewis and Clark Expedition camped on August 10, 1804; with a replica of their keelboat on a 220-acre (89 ha) oxbow lake.

 

Lower Gar State Recreation Area

Dickinson County

Arnolds Park

Lower Gar Lake

Provides public access to one of the Iowa Great Lakes.

 

Maquoketa Caves State Park

Jackson County

Maquoketa

Raccoon Creek

Preserves 13 caves, some developed with lighting and walkways and others in a natural state.

 

Marble Beach State Recreation Area

Dickinson County

Orleans

Spirit Lake

Provides the largest campground in the Iowa Great Lakes region.

 

McIntosh Woods State Park

Cerro Gordo County

Ventura

Clear Lake

Provides the primary boating access to 3,643-acre (1,474 ha) Clear Lake.

 

Mines of Spain State Recreation Area and E. B. Lyons Nature Center

Dubuque County

Dubuque

Mississippi River

Features a monument to Julien Dubuque, the first European settler in Iowa, and recipient of a 1796 land and mining grant from then-owner the Governor of Spain.

 

Mini-Wakan State Park

Dickinson County

Spirit Lake

Spirit Lake

Lies on the north shore of the state's largest natural lake, in the Iowa Great Lakes region.

 

Nine Eagles State Park

Decatur County

Davis City

Nine Eagles Lake

Features a 64-acre (26 ha) recreational reservoir and surrounding woods.

 

Okamanpedan State Park

Emmet County

Dolliver

Okamanpeedan Lake

Provides fishing and boating access on the south shore of a lake on the Iowa – Minnesota border.

 

Palisades-Kepler State Park

Linn County

Mt. Vernon

Cedar River

Features dramatic river bluffs and deep ravines on the site of an early 20th Century resort.

 

Pikes Peak State Park

Clayton County

McGregor

Mississippi River

Features a 500-foot (150 m) river bluff named by Zebulon Pike several years before documenting Pikes Peak in Colorado.

 

Pikes Point State Park

Dickinson County

Spirit Lake

West Okoboji Lake

Offers one of the most popular swimming beaches in the Iowa Great Lakes region.

 

Pilot Knob State Park

Hancock County

Forest City

Pilot Knob Lake, Dead Man's Lake

Features an observation tower built by the Civilian Conservation Corps on Iowa's second-tallest point, and the state's only sphagnum bog.

 

Pine Lake State Park

Hardin County

Eldora

Iowa River, Upper and Lower Pine Lakes

Encompasses two lakes surrounded by 250-year-old eastern white pines.

 

Pleasant Creek State Recreation Area

Linn County

Palo

Pleasant Creek Lake

Surrounds a 410-acre (170 ha) recreational reservoir located between the cities of Cedar Rapids and Waterloo.

 

Prairie Rose State Park

Shelby County

Harlan

Prairie Rose Lake

Surrounds a 218-acre (88 ha) recreational reservoir.

 

Preparation Canyon State Park

Monona County

Moorhead

None

Preserves a section of the Loess Hills on the site of a town founded in 1853 by a Mormon splinter group led by Charles B. Thompson.

 

Red Haw State Park

Lucas County

Chariton

Red Haw Lake

Surrounds a 72-acre (29 ha) recreational reservoir.

 

Rice Lake State Park

Winnebago County

Lake Mills

Rice Lake

Abuts a 1,200-acre (490 ha) lake.

 

Rock Creek State Park

Jasper County

Kellogg

Rock Creek Lake

Surrounds a 602-acre (244 ha) recreational reservoir.

 

Springbrook State Park

Guthrie County

Yale

Middle Raccoon River

Features a conservation education center, a rental retreat, a 17-acre (6.9 ha) lake, and public hunting areas.

 

Stone State Park

Woodburyand Plymouth Counties

Sioux City

Big Sioux River

Preserves a natural section of the Loess Hills.

 

Templar State Recreation Area

Dickinson County

Spirit Lake

Spirit Lake

Provides a sheltered lagoon for launching boats on the Iowa Great Lakes.

 

Trapper's Bay State Park

Dickinson County

Lake Park

Silver Lake

Offers additional public recreation space on the periphery of the Iowa Great Lakes region.

 

Twin Lakes State Park

Calhoun County

Rockwell City

North Twin Lakes

Comprises two day-use areas on a 453-acre (183 ha) natural lake.

 

Union Grove State Park

Tama County

Gladbrook

Union Grove Lake

Surrounds a 110-acre (45 ha) recreational reservoir.

 

Viking Lake State Park

Montgomery County

Stanton

Viking Lake

Preserves natural areas surrounding a 110-acre (45 ha) recreational reservoir.

 

Volga River State Recreation Area

Fayette County

Fayette

Volga River, Frog Hollow Lake

Provides wildlife habitat and extensive recreation options along a waterway featuring limestone bluffs and old steel bridges.

 

Walnut Woods State Park

Polk County

West Des Moines

Raccoon River

Preserves a bottomland hardwood forest within the Des Moines metropolitan area featuring the largest stand of black walnut trees in North America.[24]

 

Wapsipinicon State Park

Jones County

Anamosa

Wapsipinicon River, Dutch Creek

Features rocky cave- and crevice-ridden bluffs, a nine-hole golf course, and an 1877 steel bridge that is on the National Register of Historic Places.

 

Waubonsie State Park

Fremont County

Sidney

Lake Virginia

Showcases unique Loess Hills topography, with rental facilities restored from a former Girl Scoutcamp.

 

Wildcat Den State Park

Muscatine County

Muscatine

Pine Creek

Features 75-foot (23 m) cliffs, rock formations, and several historic structures, including an 1848 gristmill that is on the National Register of Historic Places.

 

Wilson Island State Recreation Area

Harrison County

Missouri Valley

Missouri River

Showcases a bottomland hardwood forest on a former sandbar island named after former governor George A. Wilson.

 

County-managed state parks

The following state parks are managed by local county conservation boards:[27]

Park Name

County or Counties

Nearby City

Bobwhite State Park

Wayne County

Allerton

Cold Springs State Park

Cass County

Lewis

Crystal Lake State Park

Hancock County

Crystal Lake

Eagle Lake State Park

Hancock County

Britt

Echo Valley State Park

Fayette County

West Union

Frank A. Gotch State Park

Humboldt County

Dakota City

Heery Woods State Park

Butler County

Clarksville

Kearny State Park

Palo Alto County

Emmetsburg

Lake Cornelia State Park

Wright County

Cornelia

Lake Icaria State Park

Adams County

Corning

Margo Frankel State Park

Polk County

Saylorville

Mill Creek State Park

O'Brien County

Paullina

Oak Grove State Park

Sioux County

Hawarden

Oakland Mills State Park

Henry County

Oakland Mills

Pammel State Park

Madison County

Winterset

Sharon Bluffs State Park

Appanoose County

Centerville

Spring Lake State Park

Greene County

Grand Junction

Swan Lake State Park

Carroll County

Carroll

Three Mile Lake State Park

Union County

Creston

 




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