The best GROUP camping near
Riverdale , IOWA

112 Reviews28 Campgrounds

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Most Recent Riverdale Camping Reviews
bring your hammock

 If you like your hammock, or anything you can string between trees, this is the place. The campground is in a stand of tall lodgepole pines with no lower branches. This means there's little privacy, but lots of shade and trees everywhere.
 There is a nice man-made lake for canoeing/kayaking or fishing. No power boats.
 There is a row of hike-in tent site along the trail connecting the campground to the lake. At the lake, there is a General store and above that, a nice restaurant serving farm to table food and snacks.
 There is also a historic Round barn museum on the grounds. Nice trails that are pretty easy to hike.
 There is one cabin available to rent, which is quite secluded with a view of the lake. Nearby attractions are the Woodland Palace home and park, Historic Bishop Hill town and the Corner Coop Cupcakes & Ice Cream.

Right on the Mississippi!

This is a really nice campground right on the Mississippi! The campground is quiet with level gravel pads with a picnic table and firepit. The sites have electric, water to fill your tanks with dispersed throughout the campground, and a dump station. The sites are well spaced and the campground itself is feels more like a park that happens to have RV parking. There was a playground, showers, pit toilets, and even a small amphitheater next to the river. And the views are incredible!!! There are a few non-electric tent only sites as well. We were disappointed that we could stay one night due to our schedule. We will definitely stay again!

Stroll through the bat village

Maquoketa Cave State Park , Maquoketo, Iowa

We stopped here for two days on our “Westward Ho” road trip in mid August 2020. Temperatures 80’s in the day to 60’s overnight.

I am not highly familiar with Iowa, I will admit however I AM extremely amazed at this little unique Park in the middle of farmland Iowa. Most of the trip here was driving between fields of corn as far as the eye could see (we came through Illinois).

The town of the same first name is small but the necessities can be had. Found a small shop with local meat, honey and yummies. The drive to the park was pretty straight forward with signage along the way.

This is a very basic park, no lake, no added attractions just trails , picnicking and a small , quiet (well…. I had a family directly across with very talkative, argumentative, sometimes loud children, …luck of the draw ;) and well shaded, electric sites. I like the spacing, privacy and shade. There are several water hydrants throughout the campground to use. A shower house that I will be visiting soon. Firewood on site, with donation box.

You probably don’t want sites 1 or 2, they are directly across from the dump site. The plus is they are directly across from the playground , picnic area and trail access.

Trail access is a short walk across the shelter/ picnic area. As of right now Officially the caves are closed. I saw several hikers not being official though.

The trails have sign posts and the map in a VERY general way gives you some idea as to where you are at BUT there are trails criss crossing everywhere so make sure you have your map tracker on. The trails/scenery are AMAZING! LOVED IT! Needs some maintenance (ie, downed trees) but they may have limited staffing right now. I would suggest a visit even if you only have a few hours. Once they reopen the caves I will absolutely be back.

Love the "pencil tree forest".

My family stayed on site 21 in our popup and had a great time. We LOVED the pencil tree forest. There are only a handful of campsites w electric in this circle of trees. Although these types of trees don't offer a lot of privacy I still enjoyed it. Our site was a short walk down to the lake which we used for fishing. There is a water pump and latrine in the circle. We did not go in the shower house so can't attest to the cleanliness.

Stunning!

Met in the middle to go camping with a friend from Indiana. The views were just stunning. Absolutely breathtaking. We had site 51, and could see and hear the river from our campsite. Sunset on the river, the amphitheater, the park, the sites themselves, all solid 5 stars from us! The only downfall, the bathrooms were clean…ish. They were usable, but definitely could have used a more rigorous and more often clean, especially with covid precautions in place and posted throughout the campground. 100% would stay here again!

Good place in the middle of nowhere

Stropes is nice (formerly Shaws) and so is the new management. It's a peaceful place to unwind. Seems best for RVs/Campers.

Pretty Location

Really enjoyed our stay, sites are large and staggered so you aren’t staring at your neighbors and can enjoy the views. The road leading in was very rutted so take it slow , also due to COVID reservations are required , you can drive up but a sign asks you to make one online or call . Cell service was poor for T Mobile and the wait time for a call was 45 min, we tracked down a camp host who was able to get us registered and was very friendly. As stated water is shared by 4 sites and was 30 ft away . $10 with senior pass otherwise $20 Train only went by once!

Decent walkin campsite, caves awesome!

The campground here was quiet during the week and small in general which we like! There are a few walk-in sites that are accessible by walking down a path about 150-200 ft. Wish it had been a little farther back away from the parking lot and other sites but i think we always wish that. Decent privacy with only a few other campsites back in that same area of wood so that was nice.

The caves were unexpectedly super cool! Neither my husband nor I had ever gone. We weren’t expecting much but wow! Lots to see in a small area. The hike didn’t take too long around and many of the caves were closed (probably due to COVID) but we kindve stuck our heads halfway in and WOw. We want to come back when they’re are more opened. I bet it’s super busy on weekends. Probably would avoid that. There was other hiking to do away from the caves but we didn’t venture too far as it was quite hot and we were running low on water. There’s a little stream that runs kindve out into the prairie lands on one side and we stopped to stick our feet in. Highly recommend that.

Over all, lovely few days out in the woods. We would visit again!

Low frills camping right on the canal

The first time I came through this area was on my bicycle as I rode from Chicago to the Mississippi and beyond. This time we drove here for a weekend getaway. We found ourselves alone - well except for the early morning fishermen. This canal corridor experience is a wonderful gift of history that you can explore under your own power.

There is a large open area for tent camping but no real space for rv's. We set up in the parking lot and nobody asked us to move. There is a camping area next to the parking and a smaller area across the canal. A pit toilet and water pump can be found. There were just a few picnic tables and campfire rings. It seems more suitable to a group or communal camping. However we found nobody else there. Having the entire space to ourselves was relaxing. The farm across the canal did get some visitors through the day and evening. Some walked away with bags of goods. The highway can be heard in the distance but the sound of water through the lock washes it away.

We hiked both directions along the canal. Imagine a flat trail with the canal on one side and farmland on the other. It would be hot in the middle of summer with a big sun but it was perfect on this cool day. We encountered nobody on the trail except for that farm dog we heard warning us to continue on our way.

I would highly recommend this if you are traveling through on your bike or need a quick, inexpensive stay for the night. There are some other campgrounds in the area that are more inviting if you are looking for a camping experience with more options.

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