The best DISPERSED camping near
Watkins , IOWA

37 Reviews11 Campgrounds

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Most Recent Watkins Camping Reviews
State park, make a reservation.

Good sized lake, nice beach, camp store operators real nice. Decent distance between sites for a state park on Iowa. Boat rentals. On my annual camp rotation.

Great campground with lots of activities.

If you're looking for a wooded campground that offers you both quiet sites to relax but also offers a variety of activities for all ages, this is the place for you to setup your tent, or RV. For little ones, there is a large sand playground area with slides and swings. There is a sand beach to swim, where they also rent kayaks & canoes. The campground is located along the Cedar river, for those who want to boat and fish on a river, as well as multiple lakes to fish and a lake to ski. There are numerous soft bike trails throughout the park. And a hard trail that is part of 150 miles of bike trails in the Waterloo & Cedar Falls area.

The campground's shower house is handicap accessible. All sites have 50 amp service and the water provided is from the city of Waterloo. There is an onsite dump station.

LOVE!

I grew up a few miles from this state park so stayed here when we went back to visit family. This park, like all state parks, has had it's ups and downs. Unfortunately, the amazing swimming beach with concession stand and changing rooms with showers is gone. Due to the large population of geese, ducks, and cranes, the water is not safe to swim in. 

On the upside, the camping, boating, and fishing are amazing! We dry camped right on the water's edge for $6 a night, 2 weeks for $88! Electric sites are only 12. Their sites are 20/30/50 amp. No water or sewer at the sites but there are water spigots dispersed through the campground and full dump station as you come in/leave. There is a nice camp store next to the campground st the marina for fishing gear, firewood, and a few essentials. You can also rent fishing boats, pontoons, kayaks, and canoes. 

We were able to kayak and bike here and it was amazing! We will definitely be back!!!

Stay Here

Driving cross country, this was my favorite campground. I had a large, private site that had a mowed path leading to the lake. The large lake is beautifully landscaped with walking bridges made from recycled iron and memorial trees of many varieties. There is about a two mile trail circumventing the entire lake. I was there in early October so the weather was too chilly to use the nice beach. Great shower house.

Very well maintained

Very nice COE campground north of Iowa City in the Lake Coralville area. Beautiful setting, lots of options for sites. A recent wind storm had the area shut down for two weeks but they did a great job cleaning up downed trees and broken limbs. It was very quiet, lots of wildlife and amenities like a boat ramp, beach, playground, walking trails, recycling (!) and an amphitheater (!). Daughter lives close by so we will definitely return.

Paradise

What a great campsite! The fire was already going when we arrived at an amazing fire pit. The farm was cute and a wonderful place to get outside and be in nature. The hosts were very accommodating and professional! We will definitely be returning, 10 stars!

Super cute!

This place is huge. We pulled in very late on a Weds night / Thursday morning. Self registration at the front. Looked like a decent amount of folks here but we didn’t drive very far into the park. If you take a look at the PDF maps on their website you can see how vast the places is with 122 spots! Bummed we needed to keep driving the next day- was very tempted to stay another night.

Shower house and bathrooms were really nice! Wasn’t expecting to want to take a shower but couldn’t pass up the opportunity when we saw them. Very hot water.

There are picnic benches everywhere and fire pits. 10/10 - would stay again!

Beautiful Iowa Farm Stay

Evenings at this farm are memorable.  Dark skies with billions of stars.  Enjoy a campfire, that's a must.  Primitive and private.  Pond for recreation, fishing, and swimming. Kids be sure to try the rope swing.  Close to Field of Dreams movie site, Backbone State Park, Frank Lloyd's Cedar Rock, and Hazleton Amish community.  Just North of Cedar Rapids, tucked into the heartland.

Good Base Camp to Explore Cedar Falls

It was kind of loud, but it was busy. The lake for swimming was a little gross but we did it anyway. The bike trails are excellent and same for hiking. Bathrooms were a little old but clean when we were there, but there were massive hornets all over the bathroom area. It's also pretty bright here at night because it's right in the city. But overall, a decent, cheap place to tent camp if you want to explore Cedar Falls.

Perfect

We stayed at site 48 and it's a perfect spot just off the lake with great views. Only drawback is it's kinda of a walk from a bathroom and the beach but that is more than ok to deal with…with a pop up. Highly recommend