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Lake Macbride State Park
UPDATE 10/5/2020: The north and south campgrounds, and day-use lodge will remain closed the remainder of the recreation season due to the August 10 severe weather event. Visitors are discouraged from using trails at this time due to hazard trees, with exception of the North Shore Trail, Beach to Dam Trail, Osprey Trail, Brock's Bridge Trail and the North Snowmobile Trail. The remainder of the park is open. Courtesy docks have been removed at the boat ramps for the season. All-season boat slips were constructed in 2020 and are available at the Main Ramp and North Shore (Opie Ave) Ramp.
Alcohol is prohibited inside the fenced in designated beach area. Alcohol may not be possessed or consumed within the fenced designated beach area. (Updated July 2, 2018)

Lake Macbride Forest Stewardship Plan

Coralville Lake and Lake Macbride Recreation Guide

Facilities and Activities

Lake Macbride State Park is a great place for a family picnic or get-together. Four open picnic shelters are available and may be reserved online through the park reservation system. One day-use lodge is also available and great for family reunions. The main lodge may also be reserved online through the park reservation system

Lake Macbride State Park has two campgrounds. The modern campground in the northern unit of the park includes electrical hookups and full hook ups, a shower and restroom, and a trailer dump station.

The non-modern campground in the southern park unit also has several campsites and a non-flush restroom. This campground is located in a beautiful shaded setting near the lake. Both campgrounds have a playground nearby. Advance campsite reservations can be booked through the park reservation system. One fourth of the campsites are still available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Multi-use trails wind for miles around the lake. All park trails offer opportunities for the sights and sounds of Iowa at its best. Bird watchers will thrill to the sight of nearly every songbird native to the region. During the spring and fall, shorebirds, waterfowl and ospreys are frequent visitors. During winter months, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling are popular.

Lake Macbride offers a five-mile scenic multi-use trail located along the lake from Solon to near the entrance to the park. This trail is very popular with bicyclists.

Volkssport Trails & Events. Six permanent Volkssport trails have been established for seasonal use within state parks and recreation areas.

Lake Activities (Swimming, boating, fishing)
Lake Macbride offers swimming as well as refreshments at the beautiful beach area. The Macbride beach is a great place for young and old to cool off on a hot summer day. Swimming is restricted to the designated beach area only.

Lake Macbride Boat Rentals, Inc. is open Memorial Day weekend thru Labor Day weekend; 7 days a week, 9:00 AM - 8:00 PM Monday - Friday and 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM Saturdays and Sundays. Services include boat rentals (pontoons, pedal boats, kayaks, canoes, paddle boards), food concessions, bait and firewood. For more information please call 319-624-2315.

Lake Macbride is an angler's delight! Good catches of walleyes, channel catfish, crappies and muskie await the angler in the 812-acre artificial lake. Walleyes, channel catfish and muskies are stocked annually. Lake Macbride may be the only lake in Iowa in which the prized Kentucky spotted bass can be caught. Good lake access is available for both shoreline and boat fishing.

There are seven boat ramps on the lake and one on Coralville Lake. Pontoons, motorboats, canoes, paddle boats, and kayaks are available for rent near the beach. The boat rental number is 319/624-2315.  Motorboats must not exceed 5 mph on Lake Macbride.  A 10 hp motor limit is in effect on Lake Macbride from the Friday before Memorial Day through Labor Day.  At other times there is an unrestricted hp motor limit operated at no greater than 5 mph. Any size motor may be used on Coralville Lake. Pontoon docking spaces are available for rental, as are dry-storage spots for boats.

Beach Monitoring Results

Lake Macbride State Park's 2,180 acres offer much to the outdoor enthusiast: fishing, picnicking, swimming, hiking, camping, boating and lots more. The park is located in two units. The northern unit lies at the end of County Road F-16, 4 miles west of Solon. Here you will find a modern campground, boat ramps, beach and boat rental, picnic areas and the park office. The southern unit is located off County Road F-28 (Fifth Street in Solon), 3 miles west of Solon. The southern unit offers a non-modern campground, boat ramps, picnic areas, and a prairie.

An effort to establish the wooded valleys of Mill and Jordan Creeks as a state park was initiated by the Iowa City Chamber of Commerce and J.N. "Ding" Darling, a noted Iowa Conservationist. To raise funds to purchase additional land for the park, lots were sold in the area.

In June, 1937 the park opened to the public. The name for the park was selected from several hundred contest entries. Thomas Macbride had a distinguished 40-year career as professor of botany and president of the University of Iowa. He has been called the "father" of conservation in Iowa. In 1895 he addressed the members of the Iowa Academy of Science on the need to establish a statewide system of "country" or "rural" parks.

The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) constructed a number of facilities at Lake Macbride in the 1930's including the beautiful stone shelter and beach building.

In 1955, the lake was enlarged. A portion of the park borders Coralville Lake, one of Iowa's largest artificial lakes, constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Nearby Towns
Solon, located 4 miles east of the park, has restaurants, groceries and churches. Iowa City, home of the University of Iowa, is 14 miles south on Highway 1. Cedar Rapids, Iowa's second largest city, is just 12 miles north of the park via County Road W6E.

Nearby Lakes

Lake Macbride
Coralville Reservoir
Iowa River (Marshalltown to Coralville Lake)
Swan Lake
North Ridge Park Pond
Town Dam
South Cedar Pond
Burlington Street Dam


Within park
Bait, Bait, Beach, Beach, Bicycling, Bicycling, Bird Watching, Boat Launch Ramp, Boat Launch Ramp, Boat Rental, Boating, Boating, Camping - Electric, Camping - Electric, Camping - Nonelectric, Camping - Nonelectric, Camping - Youth Group, Camping - Youth Group, Canoe Rental, Canoeing, Canoeing, Concession, Concession, Cross Country Skiing, Day-use Lodge, Dock Slips, Dock, Boat, Dock, Fishing, Dock, Fishing, Dump Station, Dump Station, Firewood Sales, Firewood Sales, Fish Cleaning Station, Fish Cleaning Station, Fishing, Fishing, Hiking, Hiking, Horseshoe Pits, Jet Skiing, Jogging/Running, Kayak Rental, Kayaking, Kayaking, Lake, Modern Campground, Modern Campground, Mountain Biking, Non-modern Campground, Paddle Boat Rental, Paddle Boating, Paddle Boating, Park Lake, Picnic Area, Picnic Area, Picnic Shelter, Picnic Shelter, Playground, Playground, Rentals, Bicycle, Restrooms, Restrooms, River, Sail Boating, Seasonal Festivals, Showers, Showers, Snowmobiling, Swimming - Beach, Trails, Bicycle, Trails, Bicycle, Trails, Cross Country Skiing, Trails, Hiking, Trails, Hiking, Trails, Mountain Bike, Trails, Snowmobile, Water Hydrants , Water Hydrants , Water Skiing, Wildflower Viewing, Wildlife Viewing

Less than a mile

More than a mile
Antiquing, Antiquing, Archery, Art & Museum, ATM/Cash Machine, ATM/Cash Machine, Church, Golf, Grocery Store, Historic Sites, Hospital, Interpretive Center, Interpretive Display, Jet Skiing, Maintenance, Boat, Maintenance, RV/Camper, Medical Clinic, Reservoir, Retail, Bait & Tackle, River, Town