Break out of routine for a different type of outdoor experience and see Iowa beyond the interstate highways and farm fields. The reward will be more intimate natural settings, with smaller crowds.
Many county parks offer fun and relaxing camping to a local customer base. But advancements in technology are making these hidden treats easier to find and, after a quick tour of the state, these five merit further investigation.
, in Chickasaw County, offers 20 acres of hiking, river fishing and primitive camping, just two miles northwest of Nashua.
Pine Ridge Park
, on the northwest edge of Steamboat Rock in Hardin County, has an 8-acre lake, an enclosed shelter house, and boat ramp for access to the Iowa River. The campground offers large camping areas with electrical service to more than 40 sites.
Flaming Prairie Park
, in Louisa County, borders the Mississippi River and its levee. It offers a 24-site campground with electricity, swing sets, picnic shelter, water and a Mississippi River boat ramp.
Big Sioux Park
, in Sioux County, provides fishing, primitive camping, canoeing, and boating access opportunities on the Big Sioux River. Located one mile north of Akron, this 33-acre park has undergone a recent habitat transformation due to several major floods. Once primarily a river’s edge grassland, natural succession is transforming Big Sioux Park into a riparian forest complete with maples, cottonwoods, and willows.
, in Greene County, is a 57-acre mostly forested park along the North Raccoon River. The park has 28 electrical sites and an unlimited number of non-electric, primitive sites. A concrete boat ramp and fishing riffle provide easy access and improved fishing opportunity on the river.
Find more out of the way places online at the DNR’s Healthy & Happy Outdoors (H2O) page. Go to www.iowadnr.gov/h2o
and search an interactive map loaded with more than 1,600 locations and outdoor activities.
Participants who register for H2O and log activities will automatically be entered for prize drawings. The more activities logged, the more entries submitted.