Stayed at this campground for 3 nights while visiting Des Moines. We stayed in Loop 1- site 138 because we wanted electrical. The electrical box has 2 standard household plugs which is nice. This loop was mostly RVs due to the electrical hook ups. There aren't really trees between the sites, but it is in a wooded area which is nice and there is some space between the sites so you don't feel like you are right on top of the other people. Generally, people were pretty quiet, especially once it got dark. Each site as a gravel drive and then open gravel area with a picnic table and fire pit with grill grate. Plenty of room for camp chairs and other furniture you may want to set up. There is a grassy area all around the gravel with plenty of room for multiple tents. 2 bath/shower houses within a short walk from the site- they were both clean and solid to use. There are some short trails within the park which are generally well marked, but just 1 trail is longer than about 1/2 a mile. Didn't check it out, but there is also a large lake. Lots of picnic areas throughout the park. There's also a volleyball court and free lending library near one of the bathhouses. Overall, I'd recommend this campground as long as you don't mind seeing your neighbors. Quick drive into Des Moines too.
Took my new to me PUP on her maiden voyage to Jester Park in July with my two kids, best friend and her daughter. We BARELY made it, pulling in on a Thursday around 4, and snagged one of 2 spots left! We were lucky enough to get a corner lot with some good shade trees. Staff was friendly, bathrooms were SUPER clean and campground was very quiet! The downfall is that raccoons in the park have 0 fear of humans, and I had an unknown hole in the wheel well cover… OF COURSE right into the cabinet where I kept the dog food. After a grand total of 3 hours sleep trying to figure out what on earth these critters were SO FASCINATED with at our site, we patched the hole with duct tape, the cabinet with duct tape and used a broom for security at 4am. (Yep, they got right in to my camper but no harm came to the sleeping kids, the snoring dog, the gang of 4 raccoons or the two adults unless you consider a severe lack of sleep to be harmful!) There's a lot to do at Jester Park including a natural playscape and plenty of beaches nearby. Would 100% stay again with a reservation and a solid raccoon proof plan!
Good fishing nice open areas and trails to explore. Lots of cool kid activities. Buffalo ranch near by which is cool as well as Pingora outdoor supply store near by where you can purchase firewood and other camp supplies.
Great park with many different activities available!
Beautiful views from our campsite. No electricity in this part of the campground, but that also made it less crowded. Definitely coming back 👍
Jester Park is our go-to camping destination in central Iowa! By far, this county park has a lot of fun activities and access points to the Saylorville waterway circuit. In addition to the water access ways, there is a sweet pond to fish in, several hiking trails, a brand new (opened August 2018) Nature Center, amphitheater, bison and bird viewing, and even cabins if you want to rent them (fully stocked, linens included!).
Our favorite spot to camp is 410 and 409. It's a secluded area within the 400s that is lined with trees on one side and a drop off into the Saylorville water circuit on the other (see photos). For $15/night/camping spot, you can enjoy the best view of stars and amazing sunsets. We go a couple times a year to camp and Jester has even been the place where we hold special events like birthdays/going away parties.
The campgrounds are clean and quiet. Currently some camping spots are out of use due to flooding, but they are working on clean up
Great campsite for a night or the weekend. We camped in one of the sites nearest the water with no amenities. Not crowded with easy access to each site!
I've been here several times! It's a HUGE park and so many hiking trails! They have a fun kids exploration area along with a viewing area with elk and Buffalo. Nearby there's a brand new mini golf course along with a full golf course. Definitely worth a stop!