This is my favorite place to go hiking, kayaking, camping and fishing.
There is a half mile portage with a campsite on the river which you must call to reserve. The other campsites are $10.00 registration. They have porta potties around. Two places to launch kayaks. Most campsites have fire rings, picnic tables and trash bins. Some have grills. They also have firewood for sale or you can find enough wood around still. I didn’t see any water hookups so bring a filter or water. There is a Kum & Go up the road to get missing supplies.
The only downside of camping is you hear the interstate traffic but it’s minimal. The quiet hours are at 10:30pm and they have a gate which is closed at sunset when the park closes for non campers.
Lots of hiking trails and wildlife. The fishing is the best place for largemouth bass, bluegill, catfish. No swimming is allowed and only electric motors, no gas.
Check out their Facebook page for more updates and if you see me out there say hi!
Caveat: you cannot see the lake from the camping spots
Camped site 26
Wooded county campground. Many of the spots at the West campground are paved. They all have electric. A few have other amenities. Water and dump site in the park (dump at east campground), but not at most spots. Spots vary in length and width. Decent playground. They had some bags and horseshoe courts near the entrance.
Very friendly help at the office. Clean sites. Pretty tight quarters. When making reservations we were told it had a pool. They did not tell us it closed for the year the day we started or weeks stay. Might have made a difference if we knew. Plenty to do here. Right next to the casino and horse race track and also next to adventure land amusement park.
I would suggest getting reservations. We stopped on a Friday with out one, they were booked. We only wanted one night in a tent. They don’t have designated tent sites but they have one overflow sight and they let us use it for the night. Price is great, $20 per night. Easy to get rvs into the spots and a lot to do for the kids.
This place has a lot to offer and the hosts are great. Our favorite time is in the Fall.
Very friendly people working there! A group of us had a loop and had a great weekend! The only down side of this was the grass was really long so it was bad when taking the dog out in the evenings or mornings. You would come back in with a soaked dog and wet feet. It really needed to be mowed.
The facilities were clean. A huge playground area for the kids! It’s huge and well maintained.
We have used this camp many times and the long grass is my only complaint!
Very RV friendly, I was the only tent camper I saw the weekend I went. Stayed with friends. The pond isn’t a far walk and had plenty of small fish for the kids to catch. Dock is pretty sketchy, if even usable. Campsite was clean and quite. Pool was nice, kids loved that.
Really nice campground, most of it is reservable and fills up. The little know part is that, while reservable the group camping is on first come basis if group sites are not reserved. The group sites are set up in a circle with a shelter in the middle. The campground has no water connections at sites but in group camping there is a one water connection to fill tanks. On large loops you will need a lot of hose to reach. I think I needed about 80’ some campers will need 100’. There is potable water at dump site. This campground is connected to regional bike trails that will take all the way to Des Moines and suburbs.
The campground has some very nice spots and wasn’t busy at all. The bathroom at the campground doesn’t have plumbing and no water available so make sure to bring plenty of water. There is a small park to play at for kids.
There are a couple of hiking trails in the park that are maintained. One goes to a creek and a bird watching station. There is also a orienteering course but you have to walk in the woods to finish it.
The observatory that’s open on Saturday’s (except the 1st Saturday) was awesome and the astronomers were great people and very knowledgeable. They showed how their telescopes worked and took us a tour of the building and classroom. The bathrooms at the observatory had plumbing and were very clean.
All in all it was a great campsite, not really anyone there and we had a lot of fun on the trails and the observatory.
It is a COE campground. We stayed in site A25. Not all loops are paved. A is not. But the site was pretty level, wasn't too much trouble to get our trailer backed in and leveled. No water hook ups, so fill up after you get in the campground before you park. Lots of prairie area around, spacious sites. Varying levels of shade. A25, had a good amount of shade and was near the nice playground and nice bathrooms. No view of the lake from loop A. Nearby bike paths. A few minutes to restaurants.
Pros: Loved being right on the water and so close to the playground and restrooms. Nice area to bike around, and had a ton of kids. Showed a movie near the playground in the evenings.
Cons: Beach was covered in poop, too nasty to swim. Rented a paddle boat, and had to come back after 5 mins because they were infested with hundreds of spiders. The horse shoe pit was overgrown with grass.
The campground itself is very nice. There is a lot of space between campsites, which is awesome! Our site had a great view of the lake, as well. The campgrounds are a drive away from the beach and most boat ramps. The lake was great for kayaking, but the visit to Whitebreast beach knocked the campground scored down, as I typically look for the overall experience and not just sites/facilities in my rating. Whitebreast beach had sand at the top, leading me to believe it would be a typical sandy beach-not at all! As you made your way further down and into the water, there was muddy, wet clay and the beach floor was slimy and muddy. I even saw a young boy lose his shoes in the wet clay! I would return to the campground and kayak the lake, but I wouldn't recommend the beach! I'm fairly certain my grandson and I both ended up with some kind of bug bites after being there-we're both still itching!! Yuck! There is another beach at Lake Red Rock and perhaps it is nicer/cleaner, but I would stay away from Whitebreast if you don't like your feet sliming in clay and mud!
Great place to go tent camping, very clean and quiet. They sell firewood bundles for $5. Easy trails for the kids to go hiking and playing in the creek to cool off in the heat. There is even a pond for fishing that you can take a trail from the campsite to. 100% going to go back and camp again.
Some full hook ups, sites not very level, playground ok. Can hear shots from gun range next door. Dog park, pool, arcade. We have camped here a couple times, and stored our rig here for a while. Didn't find there was that much going on here to keep us busy. Not a lot of nature, no trails or biking accessible from campground.
Like most Iowa state parks, no sewer or water hook ups at site. Not super level. Near red rock, but cannot see the lake from the campground, cannot access the bike trail directly from campground. Wooded area, no trails or anything special in the park. Showers flooded the bathroom and had to push the button every 30 seconds to keep the water going.
Around this area there are many Marion county campgrounds that have better sites and amenities.
Honey Creek resort run by the state of Iowa (not to be confused with Honey Creek State Park nearby) is not your typical camping spot. There is a resort hotel with an indoor waterpark, cabins for rent, and an RV Park. The hotel and the RV park are right on the lake. Rathbun is maybe the nicest lake in Iowa (I would say Okoboji, however that has become an overcrowded mess).
The RV sites: There are not many of them, 20 I think. But they are all paved, level, full hook ups, spacious, with a view of the lake. I don't even think we exchanged harsh words setting up it was so easy. ;) There are even a couple sites on the side that have equipment for fall hunters. Trees around the RV area, but not in. Fire ring and picnic table. The boat ramp is at one end of the RV area, so people may drive through with boats. Playground a short walk away on a path, but not right in the RV area.
Indoor waterpark: Probably geared to the 4-10 crowd. Only one bigger slide, lazy river, hot tub, pool with some balance platforms and a rope and a basketball hoop. Then a small kiddie pool with a pirate ship structure with some small slides and some fountains. Not a ton to do, however when we were there it rained for an entire day so that was very handy. Snackbar that serves booze.
Lake: one of the biggest in the state, not too busy as it is 2 hours from Des Moines so not a lot of day traffic (unlike Saylorville and Red Rock). Boat rentals available.
Resort hotel: I haven't been in the guest rooms. There is a lobby, restaurant/bar. I have not eaten at the restaurant. There is a little shop with necessities and firewood. There is a nature program where you can check out backpacks for kids to explore nature. Grounds are nice and lush, paths for walking and biking. There's a golf course.
We go camping at Breezy Bay and it’s our favorite. We tent camp, so the modern bathrooms (with showers!!) is a huge plus. The spots are some of the biggest we’ve seen at any campground, so there aren’t many and it’s almost always quiet. Lots of trees for shade but the lake has trails and a swimming beach with watercraft rentals. Truly a hidden gem in central Iowa!
Spacious campground with clean facilities. Some campsites are close to the lake. Several hiking paths-Lakeshore Trail goes around the whole lake, so be sure to reserve 2-3 hours to conquer this path-more if you like to take in the scenery. Quite a bit of wildlife seen during kayaking and hiking-muskrat, beaver, swans, geese could be found on the water. Also seen: deer, bald eagles, frogs, toads, turtles. There were many that enjoyed fishing on the lake, as well. We spent our time hiking and kayaking, but fishing seemed pretty good for those partaking. Also has a nice beach!
This camp ground is smack dab in the middle of town. But once you're inside the campground surrounded by others it's hard to tell. You do hear quite a bit of traffic but depending on where your site is, you may not see it. I was disappointed when after years and years we were told we can no longer have a tent on your site with your camper. We would have to have our family members camp in a different part of the park.