Tiffany K.
Drums, PA
Joined May 2017
Great coastal camping experience

Visited in late October on a last minute weekend trip. Had no issues finding a campsite upon arrival, luckily. The staff was super friendly and helpful in picking a site for us. We decided to stay ocean side and was just over the summer dune from the water. Lot had fire ring and table. Set up our tent in the flattest spot we could find. Neighbors next to us had five tents and seven people. There also were quite a few RVs that ran their generators long into the evening. We brought our dogs, and rangers said they were allowed at any campsites but told us where they were restricted. It was really awesome to be able to camp that close to the ocean. The quiet hours were pretty well followed, which allowed us to hear the Sika dear bugle late in the night. The showers and bathroom had much to be desired, but for being on the coast it was nice to have them. No sink near them but there was two faucets (one was locked off, not sure if the other). It got super windy over night, which caused issues to some of the campers at other sites. The check out time was pretty strictly checked up on. Overall we would love to go back and take our bikes to ride the trail. Neat experience and would completely recommend to others.

Great Walk In Camp Sites

Was lucky enough to find an open camp site when we went up on a Thursday night. The camp ground tends to fill up on the weekends, so if you are planning a trip probably worthwhile to reserve a spot. We found a walk in site that was about 20 yards back from the parking, spot 35. There was ample room for our tent and two hammocks.

There are a lot of camp sites and a lot of people in tents which is refreshing. There are plenty of comfort stations throughout the camp. There are lots of bears in the area so the rangers go around to remind people to keep food secure in car or in designated storage boxes. Showers cost $1.75 for 5.25 minutes, as of August 2018.

The rangers have lots of programs and there are plenty of hiking trails with varying distances and difficulties. Dogs were allowed in camp sites but some of the more popular hiking trails don't allow dogs. Overall, we really enjoyed camping here and would return in a heartbeat.

Great grounds, not super well monitored

Loved the camp ground. Visited in May. Not as quiet between sites since there were no leaves on the trees yet. Each site had plenty of space and each site was very different. Our camping area was set back from the parking area which was nice. The bathrooms were clean and there was a sink for cleaning dishes on the outside of the bathroom building. Bummer that you can't reserve ahead of time but was also kind of nice because you could really see the site before reserving it. The reason for 4 stars was the lack of personnel available. The registration is thru an ATM like system. Didn't see a single ranger or anyone doing rounds during our visit, but the headquarters are near so someone probably could be called. Overall this wouldn't be an issue but there was two bus loads of college kids that came up and went to walk in sites. Needless to say, they thru quite the party. One of the other campers went around 2 am to tell them to quiet down. Not sure how often this is likely to happen but with no personnel to monitor, I could see this happening a lot. There are camp hosts, but none were there either. If given the chance, I would absolutely return to this camp ground.

Lots to see around the lake

Camped here for a night in April. It is a nice park with good campsites, clean bathrooms, good hiking trails and a nice lake view. The park has lots of activities for the day, including a beach, fishing, hiking, group picnic areas, and if the season is right they allow some hunting in areas. We stayed here on a brisk night and the fog had rolled in overnight. We were planning a breakfast on the lake but the fog hid the lake view. Campgrounds are ok. Each site has plenty of space for tent or camper but the sites are close together.

Great park in farm country

We stayed here just one night in April. The park office was closed but we had reserved online. Was very pleased with our pick while driving thru the state. The camp sites are large. We only had a backpacking tent, but the people across the way fit two campers in the lot. Needless to say, the sites are large. While we were there, the trees didn't have many leaves but with how the sites are set up, there is a bit of privacy due to trees. The bathroom facilities were clean. Running water near the front and an outhouse in the back of the first loop. The hiking trails seemed to be well kept with large walk ways. Didn't have much time to hike but they also weren't just straight paths, which was nice since the land is kinda flat overall. The park was dog friendly. The fire pits are nice. Rectangular for easy clean out, and included a grill grate. Would definitely stay here again.

Park for recreation

This park has no tent camping. They offer cabins and yurts, but have no sites for people to set up tents. The main attraction for this park is their lake, which you can swim in, fish, kayak or drop in a boat. There is a playground for kids to play in that is well maintained. There are hiking trails in the back side of the park, from the main entrance. The visitor center is only open during the week. The cabins and yurts have electricity and running water. They are great if you want the outdoor experience while getting the option of a bed. If you want tent camping, check out locust lake state park which isn't far away.

Great to escape the city

This camp ground is great if you want an outdoor experience, without losing all the amenities. The camp sites are close but not as close as some of the camping in the East. The park does have nice bathroom and shower facilities. The great thing about this campground is the proximity of the small mountain town, the beach, the programs put on by the rangers and all the trails to explore. My family goes here annually and have for years. It is really cool to drive up to osprey cliff overlook or hike up there and go through some cool marsh areas on the trail. The overlook is a great spot to see a good portion of the lake and get family pictures. This park is great to explore outdoors, not just hang around the camp.

RV focused camping

Went camping in late October, when a lot of the other parks are closed. Only one section of their camping was still open but the bathrooms and showers had been winterized. Stayed in a beechwood area camp site. Was told it was a tent only spot but the layout was not great for tents. We used a three person tent and it was tight to fit in the site. Each site comes with a fire ring and picnic table. Only select sites allow dogs. Park staff were super friendly and helpful. The park and surrounding forest have lots of hiking and multiple lakes.

Tucked Away Gem

Found this location while going to Elk State Forest for the elk bugling. Was very happy to find this location. Had clean bathrooms with running water and showers. Campground was tucked away between two mountains and sat next to a creek. Staff was friendly. Plenty of camp sites. Have yearly campsites which is apparent since some of the campers have more permanent structures around or attached to them. Pets allowed. Not the best place for hammock camping but have a few sites with good trees. Out of the main path but nice place to stay.

Great park so close to the cities

Went for a weekend in June. The modern camp sites have nice amount of space and lots of trees. The bathrooms were modern and kept clean. Staff was very friendly. They also have rustic camp sites. Some good hiking trails and the falls were fun for the kids. Would totally camp here again.

Great State Park for Iowa

Went for a weekend camping trip with friends. Camp areas are nice. Had a two tent rule they didn't enforce. There are some great hiking trails but not well marked. There is also a series of caves that aren't marked. Bathrooms were dirty from guests and no trash cans in general area so litter on the trails. It was a great park and would totally return. The trails got busy late afternoon.