Growing up in Iowa maybe 50 miles from the Ledges was one the the best things for me. Campground is clean and well kept with both electric and primitive with a few hike in spots. It is a beautiful park with some good trails and a creek running through the bottoms of the "canyon". Loved going all the time when I was a kid and now 30 years later I have taken my family there several times making the drive from Kentucky just for some relaxation time.
The campground is split into two parts. One part is mostly shaded and the other isn't. Thankfully, we camped in the part that was mostly shaded. The trees provided enough shade, and the evenings were cool enough to keep our camper comfortable at night. The campground hosts were welcoming, friendly and knowledgeable of the park and the area. I would give the park 5 stars, but feel the restroom/shower facilities were small for that many campsites. (I would probably go with a 4.5 if it was available). The park itself is pretty good sized and offers water activities (Middle River and the Pammel Loop) and hiking. We didn't hike this trip, but trails looked to be pretty nice. We did kayak the loop one day-it took about an hour for the 1.9-mile loop and water levels were pretty low. It's pretty easy/convenient as far as letting in and taking out. There is quite a bit to do in the area if you allow time and it's a really beautiful part of the state if you like to venture away from the campground. And it's quite the adventure to drive over the ford. :)
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.
Spots kind of level, lots of choices of pull thru or buddy sites. Decent playground, water pillow for bouncing, fishing pond, dog park, swimming pool. Well maintained, lots of planned activities. KOA, so not a lot of nature. But no traffic or train noise. Full hook ups, including TV.
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.
We couldn't find many spots for the busy holiday but this park had a few. Very helpful host. Fun splashing in the river catching minnows by hand. Pretty park. Easy turns with the trailer. The RV spots were a mixed bag. Some shady (higher numbers), some full sun. Playground was skimpy. If you are over 12 ft, make sure and take the detour around the tunnel.
There are water hook ups, I just had to use 75 feet of hose to get to it. And the electric I had to use a 30 ft extension cord. Funny, I didn't have either and had to drive 24 miles to Walmart on a holiday to get them. I do think site 30 was probably the worst from what I saw. Wish that when I called to ask about the sites the county office would have mentioned some sites the hook ups are super far away. The sites have a little concrete pad which makes it easier to level.
Clean and host was nice. Kids had a fun time and want to come back. Close to the interstate and easy to get to. Only downfall if I need one is the campsites are closer together and it’s close to an highway so you can hear cars driving by but it’s rural Iowa so there aren’t that many.
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!
Offers cabins, fishing pond, lots of weekend activities. Amenities include store, snack bar, indoor and outdoor pool, laundry, catch-and-release fishing pond, mini golf, and more.