Brushy Creek State Recreation Area

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Brushy Creek State Recreation Area
Iowa State Park
Country  United States
State  Iowa
County Webster
Location Lehigh
 - elevation 1,050 ft (320 m)
 - coordinates 42°23′29″N 93°59′3″W / 42.39139°N 93.98417°W / 42.39139; -93.98417Coordinates: 42°23′29″N 93°59′3″W / 42.39139°N 93.98417°W / 42.39139; -93.98417
Area 6,500 acres (2,630.5 ha)
Location of Brushy Creek State Recreation Area in Iowa
Website: Brushy Creek State Recreational Area

Brushy Creek State Recreation Area is a state park in Webster County, Iowa in the United States. With an area encompassing over 6,000 acres (24 km2), the facility is one of Iowa's largest public outdoor recreation areas.

A relatively new recreational area, Brushy Creek did not have an easy beginning. In 1967, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources published a controversial proposal to flood Brushy Creek's forested canyon. The proposal was met with enough public opposition that the idea was debated for the next twenty years. The resultant compromise called for the DNR to protect a sensitive 260-acre (1.1 km2) parcel, construct a smaller lake of 690 acres (2.8 km2), and purchase more land to build equestrian trails (1,750 acres).

Nearby towns[edit]

Lehigh is located 5 miles (8.0 km) southwest on county road D45. Duncombe is located 5 miles (8.0 km) north on county road P73. Fort Dodge is located approximately 15 miles (24 km) northwest of Brushy Creek on Hwy 20. Webster City is located approximately 25 miles (40 km) northeast on Hwy 20.

Picnicking and shelters[edit]

Brushy Creek offers picnic areas around the park, with tables and fire grills. Two open shelters can be reserved online through the park reservation system.

Equestrian camping[edit]

Equestrian users can choose one of two modern camp facilities. The northern equestrian campground has a modern shower and restroom, 125 campsites (50 electrical), horse wash area, ample shade, a substantial hitch rail at every site (users are required to tie animals to rails) and a 100' by 200' arena. Water hydrants with potable water are available, as are picnic tables, grills, and a playground. In the future another shower/toilet building will be constructed.

The south campground has a modern shower and restroom with 62 electric, 22 non-electric sites, and 8 full water and sewer hookup sites with the same amenities as the northern campground. Advance campsite reservations can be reserved online through the park reservation system. Half of the campsites are still available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Non-equestrian camping[edit]

The non-equestrian campground has 47 sites including 39 electric sites, and 8 with full water and sewer hookups. This location makes the campground convenient for those using the nearby boat ramp and beach, and is also available for picnicking. Half of these campsites can be reserved online through the park reservation system, and the rest are available on a first come/first serve basis.

Equestrian day use staging area[edit]

There is a day-use staging area near both equestrian campgrounds that users are free to use at no charge for the day. Facilities include seasonal restrooms. Additional staging areas are being developed in the southern area.

Lake activities[edit]

Fishing is a popular activity at Brushy Creek. The creek and Des Moines River provide a challenge to the angler with smallmouth bass and panfish as favorite catches. Several boat ramps and fishing jetties are located around the 690-acre (2.8 km2) lake. A fishing pier is located on the west side of the lake, north of the beach area. There are fishing tournaments occurring almost every weekend out on the lake.

Swimming is allowed in the designated beach area only. A large sandy beach is located on the west side of the lake.


With approximately 45 miles (72 km) of multi-use trails, allowable trail activities include horseback riding, hiking, snowmobiling, cross country skiing, and mountain biking. Mountain biking is allowed on all multiple use trails. A map of these trails is on display at the information kiosks located in the equestrian campgrounds.


Hunting is also a popular activity at Brushy Creek. Hunters can pursue a variety of game species ranging from pheasants, quail, rabbits and squirrels to white-tailed deer and wild turkeys. A number of designated parking areas are located throughout Brushy Creek to provide convenient access for the hunter.

Shooting range[edit]

Two ranges are located at the Brushy Creek State Recreational Area. One is south of the park office approximately 1/2 mile north of County Rd. D-46. The other is a trap range located in the northern section of the park.

External links[edit]