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The best feature of this park, in my opinion, is the four-mile paved recreation trail that goes around the entire 171-acre lake. Good for walking, running, or biking. The lake is beautiful, and we also saw people boating, kayaking, and fishing. Although swimming is also allowed, the beach was not the best for this activity.
The campsites are a little too close together for our liking, however, many are shaded and have a direct view of the lake. Full hookup, electrical, and primitive sites are available. We were there on a Sunday in August and the dumpster was overflowing, likely due to a large weekend crowd; I would expect that it would be emptied on Monday.
Lake Anita is a very nice state park about an hour west of Des Moines. There are also several picnic shelters located throughout the park and a nice playground centrally located in the playground.
We often seek out city parks for eating lunch when on the road and this is how we found this park/campground. Albert, the world’s largest bull, was constructed in 1964 as a way to draw tourists to the area. Press the button to hear him bellow and learn his history.
Albert is part of a park and campground, which is located next to a pool and water park. The campground is ok but nothing special. On a Monday afternoon in August, only two sites were occupied, and no one seemed to be around but judging by the overflowing dumpster, I’m guessing it was full over the weekend. Sites were typical of what I have come to expect in many campgrounds in Iowa – close together and no physical separation between them. Full hookup sites are $20; all others are $15. There is only one toilet and shower each for women and men; it was in reasonable shape but not the best.
Since the park is adjacent, there is a nice playground and this, along with learning about Albert’s history, might be entertaining for children. I am not sure if non-residents can access the pool/water park; although it was open, no one was there when I was there- this may have been due to Covid.
Reserved electric unit 090 for the weekend, which had a scenic corn field for a backdrop - this is Iowa! Paved roads, level gravel sites, wide & mowed trails, clean pit toilets and a layout that isn’t too cramped. The pond has multiple shoreline fishing spots with picnic tables and a cleaning station. Basic playground in front of the beach which is a short drive or a ~1 mile trail walk away.
Our favorite place so far! What an absolutely beautiful state park. We were in a 30 ft motorhome and had a fantastic site right by the playground which was so fun for our little girls. Very clean campground with friendly folks all around. There was firewood for purchase and we had a great time. Beautiful walking trails along the lake. Breathtaking in the fall!
Pierce creek is just on the out side of the town Essex. There is nice quiet lake, with some fish jumping. On the Southside there is a day area with grills and picnic tables. There are also access to hiking, horse and bike trails. You go the west side and there is a equestrian campsite that is pretty basic. There is not much but electrical sites, corals, and a outhouse. Now on the north side there is a regular campground. There are pads and electrical hook ups. As well as the tents sites farther in. The bathrooms are full. There is sinks, toilets and even showers. This place maybe just that hidden gem for some of you in southwestern Iowa.
This is my second review, because second time is a charm. Even though the campsites are closer together than I am use to. We actually took 2 sites, one for us and one for my oldest sons site. This worked out and gave a little more space needed. This also gave us time to really explore those trails I was drooling over. We took one of the more scenic trails and took us over the top of some of those beautiful Loess Hills. I still believe it us a great hiking park, and is only a hour away from Omaha for us.
I was here during the week before labor day weekend but it was very quiet with decent restrooms and a great little lake. I didn't have the chance to walk over to the beach side of the lake but i did check out the boat launch side and took the time to enjoy the beauty! Overall a nice little place to sit back and enjoy life for a bit.. The sites are not very private but set up nice with parking for an RV, a fire ring, table and grassy area for a tent.
This is a nice city park, but can't really get pass it being in a city. There is a couple ponds you can fish. The restrooms did seem clean. There are a couple different playgrounds and a few history type building, that were closed when we were there. But I just can't get pass the city vibe camping there. It would be a good overnight stay between getting to your destination, and may get you out of a bind.
First off let me make it clear, I like this park. But for me this is not the greatest camping area. The sites just are to close for me as a tent camper. The could almost use some of the day use picnic area as primitive sites. The rest of this park is great. For one it is clean, and maintained. The hiking trails are not for bikes, and they have several different levels or skills levels. The look out was pretty cool as well. We will return, and do some more hiking. I am not sure the campsites were fall, but it could be because the applejacks festival going on across the river in Nebraska City.