The best HIKE IN camping near
Clearfield , IOWA

8 Reviews4 Campgrounds

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Most Recent Clearfield Camping Reviews
Decent campsite

There are no amenities at all. No restrooms. No shower facilities. Storm shelter is locked up, no access. But it's lakeside living and send registration. Not so bad expect for having to leave all the time for restroom or shower.

First to Review
Beautiful spot!

A great spot for camping and RVing. Super friendly staff and great amenities. Only downside was there were no bathrooms.

Solitude, with plenty of company

This park may deserve a different rating at a different time of the year. This is Iowa's largest State Forest, and the Woodburn Unit plays host to several Backcountry campsites and 6 miles of trail. There is a picnic table and fire ring at every campsite. The trails are wide and well graded and not too much up and down except for periodic creek crossings which necessitate a steep descent-ascent. The trails are lightly trafficked.

You will find absolute solitude at this park, we didn't see anyone else out there with us. Perhaps for good reason. The defining characteristic of this park is it's insect life. Repellant and an active bat population kept the mosquitoes away, but the ticks were everywhere! My wife and I had more issues than other members of our party, but we were near constantly plucking them off of us. A frightening proposition for any backpacker.

In general the insects were diverse and abundant: ants, spiders, beatles, butterflies, moths, flys, ticks, wasps, you name it. Cobwebs would form overnight across the trail you just traversed and broke them the day before. At Buck Stop, a careless previous occupant made numerous gashes into a living tree with a blade, but we found a small swarm of Tawny Emperor butterflies making use of the opportunity. Amazing! Again, most insects were not an issue with heavy use of repellant, but the constant threat of ticks put a damper on our excursion.

Additionally, when we went in early July the creeks were dry. Making the only water source the spigot at the parking lot. The trail from Black Oak Camp to the Parking Lot is the shortest and easiest for this purpose if you find yourself running low.

We heard plenty of wildlife in early evening and at night: owls, raccoons, deer, coyotes.

We started out Friday evening with our packs and hiked and camped the park until Sunday morning.

We hiked all 6+ miles of trails here. Our first night in we camped at Buck Stop Camp. This site is on top of a ridge and is wonderful, you feel absolutely surrounded by wilderness; however, the site was a bit overgrown and thus undersized in terms of usable tent space. Our second night we stayed at the exact opposite corner at Longbeard. This is a great, bare, mostly flat site that is quite large, could host a large camping party.

Summary: This park may be better during the fall when the ticks have gone dormant, but at that time I believe it starts to get its use as a public hunting grounds. The lack of overland water in the summer and thriving tick population makes it a challenge to be at ease. The trails are easy to moderate, well graded apart from a few steep down-ups to dry creek beds. Good training ground for backpackers, tuck your pants into your boots, and happy trails!

Nice place with a lake

Beautiful grounds, nice paved sites. A great place to stay for awhile.

Great quiet atmosphere. Great staff.

Nice lake with views from every site.

Great Place

This is a great kid friendly place. We always have a blast when we go. Kids absolutely love it, easy access to the water, quiet, and very nice!!

Still developing

If you are a boating enthusiast, Mozingo Lake and campground. However, without a boat, camping here may not be as enjoyable. We walked to the lakeshore to fish but had limited success. Fishing was a bit better from the dock to which we drove. There is a playground for children and a pretty nice shower house, but as the lake and campground are still developing--though established 30 or so years ago, shaded camping spots are limited.