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Brushy Creek State Recreation Area
Restroom and shower facilities in the park will be closed for the season on October 15, 2020. Water hydrants and electricity remain on throughout the year for off-season camping. Fourteen day maximum stays are still in place. Pit vault toilets are available in all 3 campgrounds. During the winter season please call ahead (515) 543 8298 to ensure access to a campsite. Weather permitting, facilities will reopen April 15,2021.
LOW LAKE LEVEL: The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) lowered Brushy Creek Lake by 4 feet mid-July to install a physical fish barrier on the Brushy Creek Lake spillway to reduce walleye and muskellunge loss during flood events. Due to lack of rainfall, the lake remains 4-5 feet below normal pool level. Currently the only usable docks are located at the West Boat Ramp. The fish cleaning station is also not functional due to the low water.

Brushy Creek State Recreation Area

2802 Brushy Creek Road
Lehigh, IA 50557
ph. 515-543-8298
fax: 515-843-8395

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Facilities and Activities

Brushy Creek is a great place for picnics and large gatherings. Picnic areas are located around the park. They offer tables and fire grills. Three open shelters and 4 beaech cabanas can be reserved online through the park reservation system.

Equestrian Camping
Equestrian users enjoy one of the most modern camp facilities in the Midwest. The North Equine campground has a modern shower and restroom, campsites (including electrical), horse wash area, ample shade, a substantial hitch rail at every site (users are required to tie animals to rails) and a 100' by 200' arena. Water hydrants with potable water are available, as are picnic tables, grills, and a playground. 75% of these campsites can be reserved online through the park reservation system.  The rest are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

The South Equine campground has a modern shower and restroom with sites including electric, non-electric sites, and full water and sewer hookup sites with the same amenities as the north campground. Advance campsite reservations can be reserved online through the park reservation system. One fourth of the campsites are still available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Horses are not to be hitched or tied to trees, shrubs or park facilities in a manner that will cause injury or damage to the plant or facility. Animals may be hitched to trailers for short periods of time for grooming and saddling. Animals must be stabled inside a trailer, at a hitch rail or in stalls or corrals if provided. Portable stall/pens or electric fences are not allowed.

Non-Equestrian Camping
A non-equestrian campground has sites, including some with electric sites, and some with full water and sewer hookups. This location makes the campground very inviting to those using the nearby boat ramp and beach. Non equestrian campers are also welcome to use any of the equestrian campgrounds, but are required to pay the equestrian campsite fee. 75% of these campsites can be reserved online through the park reservation system. The rest of the campsites are available on a first come/first serve basis.

Equestrian Day Use Staging Area
Currently there are two day-use staging areas, one adjacent to North Equine campground and one in the southern portion, near the South Equine campground. Day users are encouraged to use these areas at no charge for the day. Facilities include pit latrine restrooms.

Lake Activities (swimming, boating, fishing)
Fishing is also a popular activity at Brushy Creek. The creek and Des Moines River have always provided not only scenic beauty but also a challenge to the angler with smallmouth bass and panfish as favorite catches. Several boat ramps and fishing jetties are located around the 690 acre lake. A fishing pier is located on the west side of the lake, north of the beach area. There are fishing tournaments occurring almost every weekend out on the lake.

Brushy Creek is a no wake lake, meaning that the maximum speed allowed on the lake is well below the speed needed for skiing, tubing or wakeboarding.

Swimming is allowed in the designated beach area only. A large sandy beach is located on the west side of the lake.

Beach Monitoring Results

With approximately 45 miles of multi-use trails, there are trail activities for everyone including horseback riding, hiking, snowmobiling, cross country skiing, and mountain biking. Mountain biking is allowed on all multiple use trails. A map of these trails is on display at the information kiosks located in all the campgrounds, the south day-use area, and the park office. When using the multi-use trail system:

  1. Always call ahead (515)543-8298 for current trail conditions
  2. Stay on designated trails only
  3. Respect others' trail rights,
  4. Report any trail problems to park staff, and
  5. Enjoy!

For more information on the maintenance and development of trails at Brushy Creek State Recreation visit the Brushy Creek Trails Advisory Board website.

Hunting is one of the most popular activities at Brushy Creek. Every year, hunters pursue a variety of game species ranging from pheasants, quail, rabbits and squirrels to white-tailed deer and wild turkeys. A number of designated parking areas are located throughout Brushy Creek to provide convenient access for the hunter.

Shooting Range
Two ranges are located at Brushy Creek SRA. A target range is south of the park office approximately 1/2 mile north of County Rd. D-46. The other is a shotgun range for throwing clay targets range located in the northern section of the park. It can be reached by taking 250th from Co. Rd. P-73, then turn right on Taylor Ave.

At over 6,000 acres, Brushy Creek is one of Iowa's largest tracts of public outdoor recreation land. Visitors can get a real sense of being "away from it all" while, at the same time, enjoying a variety of outdoor recreation opportunities such as camping, hunting, horseback riding, and winter sports. The 690-acre lake and associated facilities provide opportunities for boating, swimming, fishing and picnicking. 

Nearby Towns
Lehigh is located five miles southwest of county road D46. Duncombe is located five miles north on county road P73. Stratford is located 9 miles south on Stagecoach Rd of Hwy 20. Ft. Dodge is located approximately 15 miles northwest of Brushy Creek on Hwy 20. Webster City is located approximately 15 miles northeast on Hwy 20.

Nearby Lakes

Brushy Creek Lake
Prairie Pond W.A.
Boone River
Des Moines River (Humboldt to Stratford)
Lake Ole


Within park
Beach, Bird Watching, Boat Launch Ramp, Boating, Camping - Electric, Camping - Equestrian, Camping - Full Hook-up, Camping - Nonelectric, Camping - Youth Group, Canoeing, Cross Country Skiing, Dock, Boat, Dock, Fishing, Dump Station, Fish Cleaning Station, Hiking, Horseback Riding, Hunting, Jogging/Running, Kayaking, Modern Campground, Mountain Biking, Park Lake, Picnic Area, Picnic Shelter, Pier, Fishing, Playground, Restrooms, Showers, Snowmobiling, Swimming - Beach, Telephone, Trails, Cross Country Skiing, Trails, Equestrian, Trails, Hiking, Trails, Mountain Bike, Trails, Snowmobile, Walking, Water Hydrants , Wildflower Viewing, Wildlife Viewing

Less than a mile
More than a mile
ATM/Cash Machine, Fuel, Vehicles, Hospital, Laundry, Medical Clinic, Motel, Retail, Bait & Tackle, Retail, Drinks, Retail, Firewood, Retail, Ice, Town