This map requires WebGL
Please update your web browser or enable WebGL to view the map.Troubleshooting Info
The #1 Camping App
Camp with confidence with the highest-ranked camping app for both iOS and Android. Search more than 1 million listings, reviews, and tips for campsites across the U.S.
Enter your phone number to get the app.
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.
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.
I will first off stay I have not been to a lot of Iowa parks. But I will say the ones I have been to, that this is the nicest or one of them. They have concessions, boat rentals, boating of all types, fishing, and trails. There are very nice picnic areas, and the bathrooms or restroom facilities are clean. This place is fantastic and offers a lot to anyone. So give it a try.
We been to Viking Lake a few times over the years. And it has been cool to see this place evolve over time. They did drain this lake a few years back. But this little place has a lot to offer for campers. There trails, fishing, and kayaking. There is also a swimming area and beach and clean barhrooms. I have no problem with staying at place anytime.