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I love Platte River State Park; there are accommodations for every type of camper - cabins, RV, privative - hell they even have teepees!
On top of the excellent camping offered, they have a wealth of amazing hiking / biking trails that traverse through some amazing scenery. Just like the camping, you can pick between the less intensive paved walkways or you can walk along the hilly bluffs that contour the Platte River.
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.
Arrived out of Denver. We crashed here for the Night. Key was in the night drop. It was quiet and the amenities looked nice but we really were only here for about 6 hours. Would recommend as a great place to crash just off the interstate so easy access in/out.
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.
As with all KOAS they’re always near a main road or freeway so there was noise from cars passing - but becomes white-noise so was okay. There were 2 trains in the night - but we were able to fall asleep again. Other than that - clean tent sites, restrooms with showers and nice staff, oh and a huge bump in the ground that was a bouncy trampoline that all kids were having a marvelous time on. We’d go again.
Please note: the entrance from the road needs extra lighting - please be extra careful when entering!
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!
I stayed here on a long road trip across the country. Had no idea such a scenic place could be found in Iowa! I chose the closest walk-in spot, less than a mile in. It was great! Near a little creek if you need water, and really nicely secluded. Picnic table and fire ring included. Also, there’s a trail up a hill right near by that had great views of the area and a lovely sunset! I would definitely recommend. Just a head’s up: I saw some pics of people car camping here on this site. Not sure how that would work since it’s supposed to be walk-in only and pretty clearly roped off from access with a car.
This is a recreational area by the town Essex Ia. It has a quiet lake, with fish a jumpin. It also has multipurpose trails. There are a few different accesses around the lake. There is the south access that is day use area. It has grilles, picnic tables, and trail accesses. You go to the west and there is the equestrian camp grounds. This one is pretty Basic, honestly. It has electrical hook ups, horse corals, and out house. The north side access is where the normal campgrounds are located. They have rv sites and farther in is the tent sites. All sites have a picnic table and fire rings. This whole area is well shaded and quiet. There is also full bathrooms with a shower, toilet, and sink.