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This campground has a beautiful little lake (glad to see it back) The museum is fun afternoon trip to hike to and visit. There are a few times when the Boy Scouts take this park over for council events. A great time for the family to get out and enjoy the outdoors.
We stayed here for the easy access to the water for the Scouts to get out in canoes and fishing. I have been camping here off and on for the last 25 years. I have not had any issues at all. I have stayed in a regular tent campgounds and the youth group campsites. I often head here for a few days in the Spring and Summer for a day of fishing as well. My son and I like to get the canoes and Kayaks out and paddle around the lake. The fish cleaning stations are well maintained and the location is not too far away from town.
We stayed on the primative group side of the lake. There is a small pond that we were able to let some of our scouts get started in kayaks and canoes before getting into the main lake. Great fishing and walking paths. Iowa has done a great job fixing up this area. The cabins are small but clean.
Little Bear Campground is located right off I-80 at the West Liberty exit. It is right next to a trailer park. There are a few tent sites ($22/ night)and Rv sites($33/night). We pulled in late to stay the night. It had full hook ups with a fire ring and picnic table. The spot was good sized and clean. There is an office/ gift shop and a convent store within walking distance. There is 2 cute little cabins which run $49 a night. There is a pool(closed for season), and a playground for kids. I was surprised that the interstate noise was much quieter than I thought it would be. All and all it was a pleasant place to stop over.
This is a very small campground. Parts were closed because of flooding so maybe your experience will be better. There were half a dozen sites available this weekend. Each site has direct water access for an easy fishing experience. A boat launch and day use parking area were seeing activity too. Vault toilets are at the end on the camp host side.
Other than fishing or watching the water flow by, there wasn’t much else here. The drive in is through active farmland. You could walk along the gravel roads. Another option is to visit Loud Thunder forest for hiking. They also have boat rentals.
A local church held a communal breakfast on Labor Day so check out the small local towns while you’re here.
Registering for any site means stopping at the main ranger office. We waited while a line of people rented pontoon boats, canoes and kayaks. We found site 6 in Silva Campground to be nicely set apart.
Silva is wooded and has more seclusion than the other camps. River campground has campers right in a line with no shade around them. Silva was good for us.
Some sites are close together- perfect for a small group. Others are open and along the road. 6 was carved out of the woods- we felt immersed in the forest. One set of 4 vault toilets serves this campground. Water can be found in a couple locations. Our site had full sun during the day so our screen tent saved the day.
A variety of hiking trails are here. Some are used by bikes and horses too. Rock Island is a short drive away and we hiked on Sylvan Island there. Many people are here for fishing.
We didn’t like the large family gathering at the site across from us. They disappeared as soon as the rain came but there was a lot of activity going on. Some of the picnic areas would be perfect for these moments but they didn't move to them. We still enjoyed our stay.