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Emerson Bay State Recreation Area

Physical location:
3100 Emerson St
West Okoboji, IA 51351

Contact Information:
Gull Point State Park
1500 Harpen Street
Milford, IA 51351
ph. 712-337-3211

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Facilities and Activities

 Emerson Bay shelter Picnicking/Shelters
Emerson Bay is a great place for a family picnic. Emerson Bay Lighthouse Point has a shelter that is available and may be reserved online through the park reservation system.This shelter is also conveniently located near a sand beach, an open grass recreation area, and a playground. The lighthouse tower also provides the user with a spectacular view of West Lake Okoboji.

The Emerson Bay campgrounds is one of the most popular in the state. The campground is well shaded and features paved roads, playground equipment, boat ramps, modern restroom and shower facilities, as well as sanitary dump station. All campsites are equipped with 50 amp electric and several with full hook-up. Advance campsite reservations can be booked through the park reservation system. One fourth of the campsites are available for self-registration on a first-come/first-serve basis.

Emerson Bay is located near many area recreational trails.

 Picnic and beach areaLake Activities (boating, fishing)
Emerson Bay's beach provides a fine place for young and old to sunbathe and splash in the crystal clear water of West Okoboji. Emerson Bay also hosts one of the most popular areas to launch a boat onto the Iowa Great Lakes chain.

West Okoboji and the many other lakes in the area are some of the prime fishing spots in Iowa. Anglers will find challenging sport pursuing a variety of game fish, including walleye, northern pike, smallmouth bass, white bass, perch, bluegills, crappies, catfish, and bullheads. Boating is also very popular on the lakes using everything from canoes to sailboats and ski rigs.

Beach Monitoring Results

The "lakes area" of northwest Iowa offers a tremendous array of outdoor recreation opportunities, year-round. The unique setting of beautiful and clear Lakes East and West Okoboji, Big Spirit Lake and other water bodies truly provides wonderful opportunities for outdoor recreation. The focal point for state parks and recreation areas in this region is beautiful Gull Point State Park, established in 1933. Gull Point provides a pleasing, shaded setting on West Okoboji Lake and offers a well-rounded variety of outdoor recreation facilities.

Nearby Towns
Emerson Bay State Park is located off Highway 86 near the towns of Milford, Arnolds Park, Okoboji and Spirit Lake.

Nearby Lakes

Garlock Slough
West Okoboji Lake
Minnewashta Lake
Upper Gar Lake
Lower Gar Lake
East Okoboji Lake
Center Lake
Jemmerson Slough
Prairie Lake
Welch Lake
Spirit Lake
Pleasant Lake
Lily Lake
Marble Lake
West Hottes
Diamond Lake
Sunken Lake
East Hottes
Schmerse W.A. Pond
Westport Park Pond
Grover's Marsh
Hale Slough


Within park
Beach, Bird Watching, Boat Launch Ramp, Camping - Electric, Camping - Full Hook-up, Dump Station, Fishing, Interpretive Display, Interpretive Programs, Lake, Modern Campground, Picnic Area, Picnic Shelter, Restrooms, Showers, Swimming - Beach, Water Hydrants , Wildflower Viewing, Wildlife Viewing

Less than a mile
More than a mile
Antiquing, ATM/Cash Machine, Boat Rental, Church, Dock, Boat, Dock, Fishing, Fish Cleaning Station, Fish Hatchery, Fuel, Boats, Fuel, Vehicles, Grocery Store, Hospital, Maintenance, Boat, Marina, Medical Clinic, Motel, Rentals, Bicycle, Rentals, Fishing Equipment, Retail, Bait & Tackle, Retail, Drinks, Retail, Firewood, Retail, Ice, Retail, Snacks