Best known for its rich farming history, Iowa is also rich and diverse in nature, with a multitude of destinations to camp and hike. If you’re planning on camping in Iowa, you’re in luck.
Effigy Mounds National Monument is situated on the bank of the Mississippi River at the eastern border of Iowa. Part of the “driftless” region of Iowa that was left untouched by the passing glaciers thousands of years ago, the area’s bluffs, forests, and other habitats host diverse ecosystems to explore and admire.
More than that, Effigy Mounds is notable for its historic settlement by the Native American Effigy Moundbuilders, who build massive sets of mounds that, from a bird’s eye view, form the shape of animals such as bears, cats, and birds. These nature-inspired monuments blend well with the natural scenery, making it an ideal site for camping.
Another excellent site for camping in Iowa is Maquoketa Caves State Park. Located next to the eastern Iowa town of Maquoketa, the 370-acre park contains amazing caves weaving throughout the limestone bedrock of the bluffs. Spelunkers and nature-enthusiasts alike will enjoy exploring the caverns, such as the 800-foot long Dancehall Cave.
Even if you’re not up for venturing into the caverns, there are plenty of other things to do at Maquoketa Caves. Hikers can walk along six miles of trails throughout the park, passing by habitats ranging from bluffs to woodlands to prairies. Unfortunately, the campgrounds are closed until October 2018 for renovations to the camping facilities, but when it is open again you should definitely consider a visit.
Camping in Iowa is diverse and plentiful, there are countless campsites and trails that you may wish to consider. Once you start exploring Iowa’s natural ecosystems, you’ll begin to see the true beauty of the vibrant state.
Spacious campground with clean facilities. Some campsites are close to the lake. Several hiking paths-Lakeshore Trail goes around the whole lake, so be sure to reserve 2-3 hours to conquer this path-more if you like to take in the scenery. Quite a bit of wildlife seen during kayaking and hiking-muskrat, beaver, swans, geese could be found on the water. Also seen: deer, bald eagles, frogs, toads, turtles. There were many that enjoyed fishing on the lake, as well. We spent our time hiking and kayaking, but fishing seemed pretty good for those partaking. Also has a nice beach!
Quiet park with lots of shade trees. 5 minutes from everything!
We absolutely loved this campground. We stayed at #70 which was a full hookup. It backed up the playground and bathrooms. Everything was in super clean and the whole campground was very well taken care of. This might be my favorite yet!
The best waterfront camping we have found near us. Small friendly community of camping. Door to door ice and concession delivery. Awesome open air roller skating rink and nightly grilling parties at the beach.
Sadly lost many ash trees, but still has some shade. Decent shower restroom building. Campground flat with electric, water and sewer at sites. Very reasonable rates. Open year around.Park has five small lakes for fishing and boating, easy hiking trails and a tough disc golf course. Quiet nice place
This campground ovvers a lot of shaded with trees hookup sutes and beautiful grassy non hookup sites. Frisbee golf course, playground, horse shoe pits and samdy heach area groomed daily. No wake lake perfect for fishing, canoeing and kayaking. Clean well-kept shower and bath buidling as well. Horse area for those who bring horses for the ridiing trails.
Have camped here twice with large groups (12-25 people) of college age friends. Was a great time with plenty to keep everyone interested.
My favorite memory was definitely swimming in the river. Also enjoyed hiking along the backbone trail, and climbing around some wooded areas.
This is about as "middle of nowhere" as you can get in Iowa 🙂! The campground offers both electric RV sites and primitive sites (with an accompanying bathhouse ~500 feet away)
The park offers a couple nice walking paths both forested and prairie. The lake is small, but I'm told has some good fishing.
This campground is just across the river from East Park, a very large part in Mason city. The river flows through the park and there are several, maybe 5 playgrounds in the park. The campground is also next door to the city pool.
This camp ground is smack dab in the middle of town. But once you're inside the campground surrounded by others it's hard to tell. You do hear quite a bit of traffic but depending on where your site is, you may not see it. I was disappointed when after years and years we were told we can no longer have a tent on your site with your camper. We would have to have our family members camp in a different part of the park.
Loved Kent park for camping. They currently have their lake drained. Estimated to be filled some time summer 2019, unknown If they will stock fish. There are so many camp sites it's nice to not have rowdy neighbors right on top of you. The park is huge and you could easily get lost. Only downfall is the gates are locked at 10pm so if you needed to come or go, you're stuck.
I absolutely loved this state park. There is so many options for fishing and camping. They even have cabin rentals for the more glamping lifestyle. They do book up quick in advance, but there is usually walk up spots available the week of too. Definitely reccomend.
It's a great recreational area, and a beautiful campground, tent camping is a breeze with very secluded sites, and well water very close to each site and a trail that leads to a large dumpster. Awesome lake to go kayaking on too!
As a family we go to Hitchcock a few times a year for the hiking and the archery range they have on-site. Both are excellent and a nice escape from the city! This spring/summer I am planning to take our boys for a nice hike in camp!
Offers cabins, fishing pond, lots of weekend activities. Amenities include store, snack bar, indoor and outdoor pool, laundry, catch-and-release fishing pond, mini golf, and more.
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