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I've hiked in Pammel before, and LOVE the area. We drive by the campground on our way down to the family farm on the regular, but staying in the grounds overnight was a whole different experience! We stayed with friends on sites 8 and 9 this past weekend. The concrete pads were awesome for leveling our popups, the sites were VERY clean, the bathrooms were immaculate and the firewood was a gem at $10 for a wagon full! Great hosts, great neighbors. Would absolutely stay again!
Not overly impressed with this park. Sites were crammed together, not well maintained, and a lot of partying until 3am every night from young campers. Definitely seemed like a teenage hangout spot, without any redeeming qualities to make it worth the noise issues. The drive in was almost worth the trip, as the countryside is beautiful!
Sites are close together, but it wasn't crowded while we were here. Due to Coronavirus the restrooms and showers were closed, so I can not report on them. Would have liked to do the Winnebago factory tour but that was closed down as well.
The campground is split into two parts. One part is mostly shaded and the other isn't. Thankfully, we camped in the part that was mostly shaded. The trees provided enough shade, and the evenings were cool enough to keep our camper comfortable at night. The campground hosts were welcoming, friendly and knowledgeable of the park and the area. I would give the park 5 stars, but feel the restroom/shower facilities were small for that many campsites. (I would probably go with a 4.5 if it was available). The park itself is pretty good sized and offers water activities (Middle River and the Pammel Loop) and hiking. We didn't hike this trip, but trails looked to be pretty nice. We did kayak the loop one day-it took about an hour for the 1.9-mile loop and water levels were pretty low. It's pretty easy/convenient as far as letting in and taking out. There is quite a bit to do in the area if you allow time and it's a really beautiful part of the state if you like to venture away from the campground. And it's quite the adventure to drive over the ford. :)
We couldn't find many spots for the busy holiday but this park had a few. Very helpful host. Fun splashing in the river catching minnows by hand. Pretty park. Easy turns with the trailer. The RV spots were a mixed bag. Some shady (higher numbers), some full sun. Playground was skimpy. If you are over 12 ft, make sure and take the detour around the tunnel.
There are water hook ups, I just had to use 75 feet of hose to get to it. And the electric I had to use a 30 ft extension cord. Funny, I didn't have either and had to drive 24 miles to Walmart on a holiday to get them. I do think site 30 was probably the worst from what I saw. Wish that when I called to ask about the sites the county office would have mentioned some sites the hook ups are super far away. The sites have a little concrete pad which makes it easier to level.
The entire area of Madison County is very tranquil, historic and beautiful! the campgrounds are easily accessible to get in and out of town. the hookups are not as available. so I suggest getting there early. great place to get out of town and fish and explore.
Pammel Park is awesome. It is actually a State Park that is managed by the local County Conservation Board. Pammel Park has amazing trails with varied terrain and nice forests.
The campgrounds are clean with options for tenters and RVs. There are even Yurt Cabins that can be rented. Pammel Park has a great water trail for Kayakers with several launch points.
The only caution I would have is pay attention while you are hiking, there are rattlesnakes in the park. Overall I highly recommend Pammel Park. It is about a 30 minute drive from Des Moines and about 5 minutes from Winterset.
I would consider Pammel Park a secret gem even for native Iowans. Checkout Pammel Park and spend some time in the historical town of Winterset.