The best HIKE IN camping near
Castalia , IOWA

39 Reviews10 Campgrounds

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Most Recent Castalia Camping Reviews
Great hidden gem

Out in the middle of bluff country. This nice campground plays to the active bodied person well. From golf to tubing to an indoor swimming pool and restaurant. This place has a lot to offer.

Nice, quiet campground

Our site was very large, which was nice as it gave us more than enough room to set up our tent, leaving space between us and the neighboring sites.

For the families - there’s a couple small playgrounds on site, which is a good opportunity for the littles to burn some energy. There’s also a nice covered pool, but we didn’t use it because the most shallow point was 4’6”, which is great for bigger kids, but with little ones, it’s a bit more difficult. There’s a river that offers tubing. Again, our kids are a bit too little for that, but we went down to the water to check it out, and it was beautiful, quiet, and not real deep. Perfect for a relaxing float.

Beware, the office and bar/restaurant are located inside the barn. I say beware because there are barn swallows that nest on the outside of the barn. TONS of barn swallows. They’re mostly harmless, but they do swoop down and get pretty close, so you need to watch out a little bit.

All in all, it’s a pretty great place to camp. Beautiful, quiet (people seem to mostly respect the idea of “quiet time”), spacious, and relaxing. Also, it doesn’t hurt that you’re away from the bright lights of the city, so star gazing is amazing!

Best Hike In sites around

The hike up the hill to the overlook is a daunting one. We used a collapsible wagon to haul all the supplies up the hill. There are two hike in sites here at overlooks that give spectacular views. The site has a shelter for the tent as well as other places outside for it. A fire spot and picnic table. Worth the hike.

Out there

A lot of electric sites. Tent sites further back in the campground through multiple water crossings (ok for cars). Campsites beautiful wooded sites in the bluffs. Definitely a campground to see!

Best camping trip EVER!!!!

So say my two 8 year old boys, I happen to agree.

This campsite is HUGE, we were there on a busy 4th July and the campsite was full.   But you never felt crowded.   Of course with Covid19 not everything was open.  

But the highlight is the location on the Root River.    Tubing the river is the highlight here.  You drop in one side of the campsite and an hour later pull out on the other side,   So much fun.

They have a great restaurant and outside bar,   pool, baseball and a playground.   

We had a blast and would highly recommend.

Backpacker's Training Ground

My friend and I were eager to test out some new backpacking gear for the first time in advance of a larger trip this summer.

We have stayed several times at the Big Paint Campground which is a wonderful drive-up campground that seems to have mostly tent campers. Only two sites at that campground have direct creek access, 55 and 53.

For our most recent trip, we hiked from Paint Creek area headquarters along Brown's Hollow Trail to Brown's Hollow Campground. It's a low spot in the area, and became a bit soft as we were met with a brief downpour just as we arrived. But what can you expect being down in a 'hollar'?

This park is LUSH. Tons of wildlife and we thoroughly enjoyed hunting for wild oyster mushrooms which we gave a quick sautee before including in our rehydrated meals.

This was a quick trip, only one night. However we took it slow the next morning and we're greeted by HUNDREDS of butterflies! They were everywhere! Using the Koffman's Field Guide to the Midwest I identified them as Hackberry Emperors. Magical morning indeed.

The park has several backcountry camping spots and I will likely use them all as I continue to train for a larger trip later this summer. The park has a great feeling of isolation and wilderness that can be absent from other places.

Backpacking the paint creek loop

Been coming to yellow river for years but have always wanted to go backpacking. Finally, convinced one of my friends to come with, we ended up getting scared around midnight from the noises. Took our hammocks down and ran all the way back 😂 still a fun time beautiful hike and nice area to set up camp, also had service!

Unique and pristine camping

Bathrooms and site is pristine, perfect layout w nearby root river and full of things to do…What a wonderful and unique spot. Took my son and his buddy, but would be great for a group to pair campsites too!!

TROUT HEAVEN

Came to this spot with plans to drive up to yellow river for fishing but ended up with the sweetest spot along bloody run creak. Caught plenty of German brown trout and cooked over the fire pits at the site (grate included).

Each sight also has a table and ample space to park car and pitch tents. We had three tents and 2 SUVs and lots of space.

Primitive camping spot, surprisingly nice bathrooms. Only weird thing is it’s along the Canadian pacific railroad so a train comes through at 10pm and 3am every night almost.

Great gem

Well spaced out camp sites ,very primitive. Great spot to view the stars. Awesome for kids.