List of Iowa state parks

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Iowa Locator Map.PNG
Map of State Parks of Iowa
Hold cursor over locations to display park name;
click to go to park article.
Green pog.svg State-managed parks; Red pog.svg County-managed parks

This is a list of Iowa state parks and recreation areas. These state parks of the U.S. state of Iowa can be split into two groups based on management. The first group are those state parks managed by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. The second group are those state parks managed by the county in which they are found.

DNR-managed state parks[edit]

Park name County or counties Nearby city Area[1] Date established[2] Body of water Remarks[2]
acres ha
Ambrose A. Call State Park Kossuth County Algona 7002130000000000000130 700213000000000000053 1925 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 70032000000000000002,000 7003200000000000000810 1919 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 70031162000000000001,162 7003116200000000000470 Badger Creek Lake Features a 276-acre (112 ha) fishing lake outside Des Moines.
Banner Lakes at Summerset State Park Warren County Indianola 7002222000000000000222 700222200000000000090 2002 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 7002319000000000000319 7002319000000000000129[3] 1934 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 7002770000000000000770 7002770000000000000310[4] Mississippi River Comprises two units on high river bluffs, with a nature center and butterfly garden.
Big Creek State Park Polk County Polk City 70033550000000000003,550 70033550000000000001,440 Big Creek Lake Surrounds an 866-acre (350 ha) recreational reservoir originally created as a flood control project.
Black Hawk State Park Sac County Lake View 700186000000000000086 700186000000000000035[5] 1935 Black Hawk Lake Comprises shoreline on the southernmost glacial lake in Iowa.
Brushy Creek State Recreation Area Webster County Lehigh 70036500000000000006,500 70036500000000000002,600[6] 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 7002423000000000000423 7002423000000000000171[7] 1981 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 700155000000000000055 700155000000000000022 1924 Clear Lake Abuts the south shore of 3,643-acre (1,474 ha) Clear Lake.
Dolliver Memorial State Park Webster County Lehigh 7002600000000000000600 7002600000000000000240[8] 1925 Des Moines River Showcases tall river bluffs and narrow ravines.
Elinor Bedell State Park Dickinson County Spirit Lake 700180000000000000080 700180000000000000032 1998 East Okoboji Lake Provides public access to one of the Iowa Great Lakes.
Elk Rock State Park Marion County Knoxville 7002850000000000000850 7002850000000000000340[9] 1978 Lake Red Rock Comprises two parcels on Iowa's largest body of water.
Emerson Bay State Recreation Area Dickinson County Milford 700112000000000000012 70011200000000000004.9 West Okoboji Lake Provides public access to one of the Iowa Great Lakes.
Fairport State Recreation Area Muscatine County Muscatine 700117000000000000017 70011700000000000006.9[10] Mississippi River Provides water recreation opportunities 6 miles (9.7 km) from Wildcat Den State Park.
Fort Atkinson State Preserve Winneshiek County Fort Atkinson 70005000000000000005 70005000000000000002.0[11] 1968 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 7002221000000000000221 700222100000000000089 1930[12] 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 70031641000000000001,641 7003164100000000000664 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 70031200000000000001,200 7003120000000000000490 1940 Cedar River and several lakes Protects a natural area within the Waterloo – Cedar Falls metropolitan area.
Green Valley State Park Union County Creston 7002990000000000000990 7002990000000000000400[13] Green Valley Lake Surrounds a 390-acre (160 ha) recreational reservoir.
Gull Point State Park Dickinson County Milford 7002195000000000000195 700219500000000000079[14] 1933 West Okoboji Lake Protects a natural area on one of the Iowa Great Lakes.
Honey Creek State Park Appanoose County Moravia 7002828000000000000828 7002828000000000000335 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 7002828000000000000828 7002828000000000000335 2008[15] 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 70031653000000000001,653 7003165300000000000669 1921 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 7002770000000000000770 7002770000000000000310 1936 Lake Ahquabi Surrounds a 115-acre (47 ha) recreational reservoir named "resting place" in the Fox language.
Lake Anita State Park Cass County Anita 70031062000000000001,062 7003106200000000000430 1961 Lake Anita Surrounds a 171-acre (69 ha) recreational reservoir.
Lake Darling State Park Washington County Brighton 70031387000000000001,387 7003138700000000000561 1950 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 7002366000000000000366 7002366000000000000148 1934 Lake Keomah Surrounds an 83-acre (34 ha) recreational reservoir.
Lake Macbride State Park Johnson County Solon 70032810000000000002,810 70032810000000000001,140 1937 Lake Macbride, Coralville Lake Borders an 812-acre (329 ha) recreational reservoir.
Lake Manawa State Park Pottawattamie County Council Bluffs 70031529000000000001,529 7003152900000000000619 Lake Manawa Provides boating opportunities in the Omaha – Council Bluffs metropolitan area on a 772-acre (312 ha) lake created by the Missouri River changing course after the Great Flood of 1881.
Lake of Three Fires State Park Taylor County Bedford 70031155000000000001,155 7003115500000000000467[16] 1935 Lake of Three Fires Surrounds an 85-acre (34 ha) recreational reservoir named for a Council of Three Fires meeting once held there by three Native American tribes.
Lake Wapello State Park Davis County Drakesville 70031150000000000001,150 7003115000000000000470 Lake Wapello Surrounds a 289-acre (117 ha) recreational reservoir.
Ledges State Park Boone County Boone 70031200000000000001,200 7003120000000000000490[17] 1924 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 7002176000000000000176 700217600000000000071 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 70007000000000000007 70007000000000000002.8 Lower Gar Lake Provides public access to one of the Iowa Great Lakes.
Maquoketa Caves State Park Jackson County Maquoketa 7002323000000000000323 7002323000000000000131[18] 1921 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 700164000000000000064 700164000000000000026 Spirit Lake Provides the largest campground in the Iowa Great Lakes region.
McIntosh Woods State Park Cerro Gordo County Ventura 700162000000000000062 700162000000000000025 1943 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 70031387000000000001,387 7003138700000000000561 1981 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 700120000000000000020 70012000000000000008.1 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 70031119000000000001,119 7003111900000000000453 Nine Eagles Lake Features a 64-acre (26 ha) recreational reservoir and surrounding woods.
Okamanpedan State Park Emmet County Dolliver 700119000000000000019 70011900000000000007.7 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 7002840000000000000840 7002840000000000000340 1922 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 7002970000000000000970 7002970000000000000390 1935 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 700115000000000000015 70011500000000000006.1 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 7002528000000000000528 7002528000000000000214[19] 1923 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 7002585000000000000585 7002585000000000000237 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 70031927000000000001,927 7003192700000000000780[20] 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 7002661000000000000661 7002661000000000000267 1962 Prairie Rose Lake Surrounds a 218-acre (88 ha) recreational reservoir.
Preparation Canyon State Park Monona County Moorhead 7002344000000000000344 7002344000000000000139 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 7002649000000000000649 7002649000000000000263 Red Haw Lake Surrounds a 72-acre (29 ha) recreational reservoir.
Rice Lake State Park Winnebago County Lake Mills 700115000000000000015 70011500000000000006.1 Rice Lake Abuts a 1,200-acre (490 ha) lake.
Rock Creek State Park Jasper County Kellogg 70031697000000000001,697 7003169700000000000687[21] 1952 Rock Creek Lake Surrounds a 602-acre (244 ha) recreational reservoir.
Springbrook State Park Guthrie County Yale 7002920000000000000920 7002920000000000000370 1926 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 Woodbury and Plymouth Counties Sioux City 70031069000000000001,069 7003106900000000000433[22] 1935 Big Sioux River Preserves a natural section of the Loess Hills.
Templar State Recreation Area Dickinson County Spirit Lake 700110000000000000010 70011000000000000004.0 Spirit Lake Provides a sheltered lagoon for launching boats on the Iowa Great Lakes.
Trapper's Bay State Park Dickinson County Lake Park 700157000000000000057 700157000000000000023 Silver Lake Offers additional public recreation space on the periphery of the Iowa Great Lakes region.
Twin Lakes State Park Calhoun County Rockwell City 700115000000000000015 70011500000000000006.1 North Twin Lakes Comprises two day-use areas on a 453-acre (183 ha) natural lake.
Union Grove State Park Tama County Gladbrook 7002282000000000000282 7002282000000000000114[23] 1938 Union Grove Lake Surrounds a 110-acre (45 ha) recreational reservoir.
Viking Lake State Park Montgomery County Stanton 70031000000000000001,000 7003100000000000000400 Viking Lake Preserves natural areas surrounding a 110-acre (45 ha) recreational reservoir.
Volga River State Recreation Area Fayette County Fayette 70035500000000000005,500 70035500000000000002,200 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 7002250000000000000250 7002250000000000000100 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 7002390000000000000390 7002390000000000000160 1923 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 70031247000000000001,247 7003124700000000000505[25] 1926 Lake Virginia Showcases unique Loess Hills topography, with rental facilities restored from a former Girl Scout camp.
Wildcat Den State Park Muscatine County Muscatine 7002423000000000000423 7002423000000000000171[26] 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 7002547000000000000547 7002547000000000000221 Missouri River Showcases a bottomland hardwood forest on a former sandbar island named after former governor George A. Wilson.

County-managed state parks[edit]

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

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Iowa State Parks & Recreation Areas [brochure]". Iowa Department of Natural Resources. 
  2. ^ a b All data come from respective Iowa Department of Natural Resources webpage unless otherwise noted.
  3. ^ "Beed's Lake State Park" (PDF). Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved 2011-01-16. 
  4. ^ "Beed's Lake State Park" (PDF). Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved 2011-01-16. 
  5. ^ "Black Hawk State Park" (PDF). Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved 2011-01-17. 
  6. ^ "Brushy Creek State Recreation Area" (PDF). Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved 2011-01-17. 
  7. ^ "Cedar Rock State Park" (PDF). Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved 2011-01-17. 
  8. ^ "Dolliver Memorial State Park" (PDF). Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved 2011-01-17. 
  9. ^ "Elk Rock State Park" (PDF). Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved 2011-01-17. 
  10. ^ "Fairport State Recreation Area" (PDF). Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved 2011-01-17. 
  11. ^ "Fort Atkinson State Preserve" (PDF). Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved 2011-01-17. 
  12. ^ Tidemann, Michael (2008-07-27). "Wittenben tells Kiwanians of Fort Defiance progress". Estherville Daily News. Retrieved 2011-01-17. 
  13. ^ "Green Valley State Park" (PDF). Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved 2011-01-17. 
  14. ^ "Gull Point State Park" (PDF). Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved 2011-01-17. 
  15. ^ Operations Manager, Rathbun Project Office. "Honey Creek Resort State Park". U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Retrieved 2011-01-17. 
  16. ^ "Lake of Three Fires State Park" (PDF). Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved 2011-01-21. 
  17. ^ "Ledges State Park" (PDF). Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved 2011-01-21. 
  18. ^ "Maquoketa Caves State Park" (PDF). Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved 2011-01-22. 
  19. ^ "Pilot Knob State Park" (PDF). Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved 2011-01-23. 
  20. ^ "Pleasant Creek State Recreation Area" (PDF). Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved 2011-01-23. 
  21. ^ "Rock Creek State Park" (PDF). Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved 2011-01-23. 
  22. ^ "Stone State Park" (PDF). Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved 2011-01-23. 
  23. ^ "Union Grove State Park" (PDF). Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved 2011-01-26. 
  24. ^ "Walnut Woods State Park" (PDF). Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved 2011-01-26. 
  25. ^ "Waubonsie State Park" (PDF). Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved 2011-01-26. 
  26. ^ "Wildcat Den State Park" (PDF). Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved 2011-01-26. 
  27. ^ Iowa Department of Natural Resources (2006). "Iowa State Parks Managed by Other Government Entities" (PDF). Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved 2011-07-12. 

External links[edit]