The best WALK IN camping near
Hawkeye , IOWA

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Most Recent Hawkeye 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.

Fall Colors

One of the best state parks we've stayed at. We were on the bluff across the street which is no biggie. Site 124 the highest point there for camping. Restrooms were very clean and no bugs in the first of October.

Always had a good time

Wen I lived in Minnesota and my boyfriend was living in iowa, this was our go-to meeting place for our weekend getaways.  We only had a few issues over the 6 times we stayed there relating to reservations….but overall, it was a positive experience.

So beautiful with different levels of hiking.

The campground was quiet And clean- bathrooms extremely clean with facilities being closed for 2 hours each day for cleaning. 2 different camping areas one more woods, one closer to your neighbors but AMAZING bluff top views.

The hiking is awesome- prairie trails, woods trails, waterfalls, caves- take your pick. Concessions have what you may want for a treat, woods is reasonably priced at $4/ bundle. Though there is a stand right outside of the park where bundles are $3.

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.

Gorgeous park, small campground

There are about 30 electric site big enough for RVs, and about 35 non electric site. All are very nice sites with fairly level gravel pads. There are lots of trees for shade making the sites really beautiful if not spacious. We had a tight fit with our travel trailer on site 33e, but once we squeezed in it was excellent. Two bathrooms one with showers, and well kept. The best thing about this park are the wonderful hiking trails. Some are ADA accessible near the camp store, but most are a good climb with lots of ups and downs. Town of McGregor has a few cute restaurants and bars, but enjoy the park and the amazing views of the Mississippi and the Wisconsin rivers. Several big rig RVs were there, but call ahead if you’ve got a big RV to make sure you’ll fit.

There are some fantastic cycling routes near the river, with stops in all the little towns along the way. A wonderful place to spend a weekend, with apple orchards nearby.

Two great rivers, two great campgrounds

I camped and hiked at Wyalusing State Park as a kid (like 35 years ago) and returned just this summer. It was a last-minute trip and literally got to pick from three remaining sites so wasn't sure what the experience would be like. Four days/three nights later and I can easily say this park is a good as my childhood memories.

Hiking - there are miles of great hiking trails and two trails for mountain biking. While the trails to Big and Little Sand caves are lovely, they are also heavily trafficked. We found that the Mississippi Ridge Trail to be a lovely walk in the woods - without any people (and that was on Labor Day weekend!)

Campsites

I am a car camper with no interest in (E) electric sites, so I did not pay attention nor note good ones. I prefer the silence and relative darkness that non-E sites provide.

We stayed at the Homestead Campground, which consists of four loops named after cardinal directions. Three of the loops are really just a long road with a cul-de-sac at the end, while the fourth is just a big loop with a large green space inside the circle and the loop's water source. This campground's sites are *mostly* among trees, and have a fair amount of privacy (forest understory growth) between sites. Some are further from the road, and very few are right on the road with no screening.

Not surprisingly, the campsites on the three cul-de-sacs seemed the most private and experience the lowest drive-by traffic, but no sites looked awful. In fact, our last minute pick of the remaining three sites was just fine. The entire campground is protected from wind and is very wooded.

If I were to return to this campground, I'd pick 235 and 236 on the west loop, 223, 224 and 225 on the north loop, 209, 210 and 211 on the east loop and 248, 239 and 250 on the south loop. However, you really can't go wrong in this campground.

BATHROOMS: let me wax poetic about the new bathroom/shower block. While I didn't take photos (should have) this is one of the nicest public bathrooms I've ever been in. Not just in a state park, ever. It was built in 2019 and has been treated well by visitors and well maintained by the park and campground hosts. Each gendered bathroom has ample stalls and sinks. There are four single-person showers. All were clean, large and well-lit.

Wisconsin Ridge is the second campground in this state park. This is the quintessential Wyalusing experience with sites overlooking both the Wisconsin and Mississippi River valleys. In my opinion, there is a price to pay for the views. Sites are very close to one another, and most are very close to the road. In some cases, the best (read dry and level)  the best spot to pitch a tent are also close close to the road. Just one side of one road in the loop has the great views, the rest see the view across the road, or in the case of the "inside loop" road, sites are just in the woods. This campground is also noted for its rip-roaring winds, one camper told us that during the rainy and wind night before, their shelter took off and tumbled down the valley - and when they say down, they're talking down, down, down.

That said, if you're looking for a majestic view of both rivers and the quaint river town of Prairie du Chien, the sites you'll want to check out are 119, 127, 129, 122, 144, 146, 148 and 152.

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.

Awesome place

The pool is refreshing, campground is clean and inviting. Staff are friendly and helpful.