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Brandon , IOWA

99 Reviews32 Campgrounds

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Most Recent Brandon Camping Reviews
Great campground with lots of activities.

If you're looking for a wooded campground that offers you both quiet sites to relax but also offers a variety of activities for all ages, this is the place for you to setup your tent, or RV. For little ones, there is a large sand playground area with slides and swings. There is a sand beach to swim, where they also rent kayaks & canoes. The campground is located along the Cedar river, for those who want to boat and fish on a river, as well as multiple lakes to fish and a lake to ski. There are numerous soft bike trails throughout the park. And a hard trail that is part of 150 miles of bike trails in the Waterloo & Cedar Falls area.

The campground's shower house is handicap accessible. All sites have 50 amp service and the water provided is from the city of Waterloo. There is an onsite dump station.

Nice cabin vacation

Cabins were nice - not luxury or glamping but clean and in good condition.  The gentleman that takes care of the campground takes great pride in his work and it shows - kudos to him!  There is a nice hiking trail around the lake, about 8 miles complete loop.  there is a bit of elevation change and not many opportunities to "bail out" so take water and pace yourself.

Stay Here

Driving cross country, this was my favorite campground. I had a large, private site that had a mowed path leading to the lake. The large lake is beautifully landscaped with walking bridges made from recycled iron and memorial trees of many varieties. There is about a two mile trail circumventing the entire lake. I was there in early October so the weather was too chilly to use the nice beach. Great shower house.

A little crowded but very nice!

This park has two campgrounds. The modern side on the north end of the park with full hookups, and the primitive side on the south side of the park with no electricity or water hookups. Both campgrounds have flushing toilets but only the modern side has showers. All restroom facilities are very well kept. Beautiful park with lots to do! Only thing keeping me from giving it 5 stars is how busy both campgrounds get on weekends and holidays giving you little to no privacy since sites are pretty close together.

Many different camping options

There are two campgrounds at this park (the first state park in Iowa): a primitive one and a “modern” one. The primitive one (Six Pine) only has a pit toilet and each site has a fire grate and a picnic table. The modern campground (South Lake) has 30 amp, 50 amp, and tent sites. The electric sites are very close together (too close for our liking) so we opted for a tent site. We were in a loop with about six sites, and while the site size was generous and spaced a decent distance apart, there was no delineation between sites and no specific place to park your vehicle (and you cannot park on the road). These sites were also decidedly bumpy and not level; it took us about 15 minutes of maneuvering our van around to find a reasonably level spot. 

The restrooms were six separate rooms, each complete with toilet, sink, and shower; they were clean. 

We drove around the park and saw the balanced rock (meh) and I walked the short distance to the mouth of the cave. There was good signage to find the cave but once there, no information about the cave and its safety (or not) was available so I opted not to explore its dark and wet interior! There are seven trails in the park; the East Lake trail was a treat to hike. It hugs the lake for about two miles and while you can veer off onto the Bluebird Trail, I enjoyed hiking out and back for a different view. You can also hike from the South Lake campground to the beach– about a mile but the trail does start and stop, and you have to walk on the road for a bit. You can rent kayaks, canoes, and paddleboats but we did not take advantage of this. We also did not swim so I cannot speak to the quality of the lake (other reviewers took issue with this). There is also a CCC museum, but it was not open while we were there. 

We stayed one night which was sufficient for us. It might have been nice to stay longer if we decided to rent kayaks or hike different trails.

Peaceful stay

Great county campground with water and electric sites, dump at exit. Bathrooms on loop B are dirty and dated. I suggest going up to the Plains loop and use it's facilities. Very clean and new bathrooms and showers.

Favorite Iowa Park

This park is perfect for families or anyone looking for plenty of activities. They have boat rentals, amazing trails, a camp store onsite, a swimming beach and super clean bathrooms. Stayed at tent site #24 in the Southlake Campground, and it was fairly quiet even on a busy holiday weekend.

Great park!

I tent camped at Six Pines Campground for 3 nights in August. The park has two campgrounds and this one is non electric with pit toilets and water. Each site has a picnic table and fire ring with a really nice grill. The sites are large and flat and the ones on the outside of the loop are well shaded. Two trails can be accessed from the tent campground - Six Pines trail and West Lake trail. There are two shower houses that you can use at the RV campground but it takes about 15-20 minutes to drive across the park to that campground. The park is very large with about 20 miles of trails. There is a spring fed creek and, if you stay away from the trout fishing area, you can play and wade in the creek. It has a sandy/rocky bottom and sandy banks. It felt wonderful on a hot day. There is a swim beach on the lake but it was closed due to E. coli in the water. There’s a small camp store too. At night in this campground there are no lights except in the registration kiosk so it’s perfect for star gazing. The Field of Dreams movie site is just 45 minutes away and makes for a fun side trip. There is a town about 10 minutes away with a couple restaurants and coffee shops. The Six Pines trail can be taken from the campground to the Backbone trail. The Backbone trail is along a rocky ridge. There are side trails down to the base of the cliffs and lots of rock climbing to do. Very fun to explore the side paths and climb up the rock walls.