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Pine Lake State Park
Renovations Underway: The Campground, Cabins, and Circle Point Picnic Area are currently closed for renovations & improvements. The closure is expected to last until spring of 2021. Reservations for the shelter will not be available for 2021 until the project is complete. Other day use areas throughout the park including trails and boat ramps will remain open throughout the project with a few exceptions: The bike trail near the cabins will be closed for the duration of the project, a detour around the closure is available and posted at the closure. The bike trail through the campground will experience temporary closures during the project when heavy equipment is being operated near the trail, or when buried utility installation requires removal of sections of the trail. Questions regarding these closures can be directed to the park office at 641-858-5832 or pine_lake@dnr.iowa.gov. (Updated 8/3/2020)

Pine Lake State Park

22620 County Highway S56
Eldora, IA 50627-8010
ph. 641-858-5832
fax  641-858-5641

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Facilities and Activities

Description                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Located along the Iowa River, 668-acre Pine Lake State Park offers a pleasing mix of woodland, river, and lakes in the midst of rolling Iowa farmland. The park was dedicated in 1929, placing it amongst the earliest state parks in Iowa. Local residents were first drawn to the area by the rumble of Pine Creek as it wound its way between towering white pines, rare ferns, and sandstone outcroppings on its way to the Iowa River. Much of the park was shaped by the work of the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930's. Visitors can still enjoy many of the historic structures built during this time. Pine Lake was named for being the southernmost stand of native pine trees in Iowa, but unfortunately most of the nearly 250-year old giants were lost to a severe hail storm in August of 2009. Visitors today will notice hundreds of caged tree seedlings throughout the park which are part of a massive reforestation effort.

Pine Lake Cabin Picnicking/Shelters/Lodge
Pine Lake offers 4 beautiful picnic areas. One is a quiet river setting near Pine Creek on the eastern side of the Iowa River. The "Hogsback Bluffs Picnic Area" overlooks the lower lake. Others are located at the Upper Lake Boat Ramp and Circle Point. . Open picnic shelters located at Circle Point, Upper Lake Boat Ramp and at the beach may be reserved online through the park reservation system.

A beautiful stone and timber lodge is located high on a ridge overlooking Lower Pine Lake. Built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, it is popular for reunions and other groups. The lodge may reserved online through the park reservation system.

The campground at Pine Lake offers campsites, several electrical hook-up sites, modern showers, restrooms and a trailer dump station are available during the recreation season. Advance campsite reservations can be made through the park reservation system. 25% of the campsites are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Unfortunately, there are no ADA accessible facilities in the camp area at this time.

Four stone and timber cabins are nestled along the Iowa River. Built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and the Works Progress administration in the 1930s, these cabins have fireplaces to take the chill off a cool fall day. "Pine Creek" and "Bittersweet" cabins accommodate up to 6 people, "Goldfinch" and "Sandstone" up to four. "Pine Creek" is accessible to the mobility-impaired. Each cabin features a shower, restroom, stove, and refrigerator. Cabin users must provide their own dishes, eating utensils, bedding, towels and other camping items. The cabins can be reserved online through the park reservation system.

There are several miles of well developed trails which spur off of the 2.6 mile paved bike trail. The bike trail connects the Cabins and Campground to the beach on Lower Pine Lake, and fishing access on both Upper and Lower Pine Lakes. Other trails circle Lower Pine Lake, or wind through bottomland forest along the Iowa River.

Lake and River Activities (swimming,fishing, boating)
A swimming beach is located along the bike trail on Lower Pine Lake. Both the 50-acre Lower Pine Lake and 69-acre Upper Pine Lake offer anglers the change to catch bass, crappie, bluegill, northerns and catfish. The Iowa river borders a portion of the park and is noted for its fine angling for channel catfish and smallmouth bass.

Boat ramps are on both lakes and only electric motors may be used.

Beach Monitoring Results

Nearby Towns
The city of Eldora lies 1 mile west of the park and Steamboat Rock lies 2 miles to the north. Iowa Falls is 20 miles to the northwest and Marshalltown about 40 miles southeast.

Nearby Lakes

Upper Pine Lake
Lower Pine Lake
Steamboat Rock
Pine Ridge R.A. Lake
Stoehr Lake (Wellsburg)


Within park
Beach, Bicycling, Bird Watching, Boat Launch Ramp, Boating, Cabins, Camping - Electric, Camping - Nonelectric, Camping - Youth Group, Canoeing, Cross Country Skiing, Day-use Lodge, Dock, Boat, Dock, Fishing, Dump Station, Fish Cleaning Station, Fishing, Hiking, Jogging/Running, Kayaking, Modern Cabins, Modern Campground, Park Lake, Picnic Area, Picnic Shelter, Playground, Restrooms, River, Showers, Swimming - Beach, Trails, Bicycle, Trails, Cross Country Skiing, Trails, Hiking, Water Hydrants , Wildflower Viewing, Wildlife Viewing

Less than a mile
Archery, ATM/Cash Machine, Firewood Sales

More than a mile
Boat Rental, Church, Fuel, Vehicles, Grocery Store, Historic Sites, Hunting, Laundry, Medical Clinic, Museum, Rentals, Bicycle, Retail, Bait & Tackle, Retail, Drinks, Retail, Firewood, Retail, Ice, Retail, Snacks, Shopping