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Experience Iowa's natural beauty and all the fun our state parks offer. Make your online reservation for state park cabins, camping sites, shelters and lodges.
Support conservation in Iowa by buying a natural resource plate for your vehicle.
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Contact Information by County
811 146th Avenue
Knoxville, IA 50138
Special 2020 Antleress Deer Hunt Application
Elk Rock State Park has a picnic area located approximately 1 mile north of the main park entrance on Highway 14. This area has one open shelter, it can be reserved online through the park reservation system.
Elk Rock provides a fine setting for camping. A modern shower building and trailer dumping station are available. The camping area has 2 loops with electric sites included. There is also an additional circle with non-electric sites. There is a self-dispensing firewood machine located next to the shower building. Advance campsite reservations for half the campsites can be made online through the park reservation system. One fourth of the campsites are still available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Elk Rock has a concessionaire with firewood sales. Open from Memorial Day weekend thru Labor Day weekend; Fridays and Saturdays, 5:30 - 8:30 PM, and additional days when busy.
The equestrian campground features several sites, including electrical hookups. A modern shower building, horse stalls, hitching rails, equestrian wash station and a 100' x 200' riding arena are available. Advance campsite reservations for half the campsites can be made online through the park reservation system. Half of the campsites are still available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
An excellent system of multiple use trails radiates outward from the equestrian campground areas. There are 13 miles of multi-use trails at Elk Rock. Mountain bikes are allowed on the trails. Trails are occasionally closed due to wet conditions. Contact the park office for current trail status.
Lake Activities (swimming, boating, fishing)
Lake Red Rock and the Des Moines River provide great fishing opportunities. Elk Rock has two boat ramps, one located near the main park entrance and other is located by the park office. Bass, catfish, walleye and crappie are the most common fish caught in this area.
Roberts Creek and Cordova Park, just north of Elk Rock, are popular fishing, boating and picnic spots. They are administered by the Marion County Conservation Board.
Elk Rock State Park is located on Lake Red Rock, one of Iowa's large impoundments. The area had been inhabited by Native Americans dating back more than five thousand years to the Archaic Culture. In 1842, the Sac and Fox Indians granted white settlers right to this land. The name "Elk Rock" has been attributed to the unusual rock formation which is located on the south side of the river in the park. Many towns accommodated the white settlers and traders including: Cordova, Dunreath, Fifield, Percy, Red Rock and Rouseau. Although these settlements no longer exist they were within the area now known as Lake Red Rock.
In 1960, the United States Army Corps of Engineers began construction on Red Rock dam which was completed in 1969. The Corps of Engineers leased land along the Red Rock reservoir to the Iowa Conservation Commission in 1969 for construction of North Elk Rock. In 1978, the state obtained a lease for property on the south shore of the reservoir. This land became known as South Elk Rock. Today Elk Rock State Park comprises the main Elk Rock Park area, which has both day and night facilities, and the bridge area that is a day use picnic area.
Lake Red Rock is a major stopping-off area for waterfowl and other migratory species in both spring and fall, including white pelicans and bald eagles. The reservoir area also serves as a habitat for other plants and animals species, including more than 200 species of birds, 54 species of trees, 62 species of wildflowers, 43 species of fish and 35 species of mammals.
Knoxville is seven miles south on Highway 14. Pella is ten miles east on G-28