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Fort Defiance State Park

Physical location:
3642 174th Street
Estherville, IA 51334

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

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Facilities and Activities

A lodge constructed in the style of an old army outpost is an excellent place for group gatherings such as reunions and wedding receptions. The lodge may be reserved online through the park reservation system.

 The lodge at Fort Defiance State Park

An open shelter is available on a first-come, first-served basis at no fee.

Fort Defiance State Park has a camping area that is non-modern. No flush toilets or showers are present. However, electrical hookups are available at eight sites. All camping permits are obtained through self-registration at the campground. Camping Fees can be paid at the site.

Several trails take you around the park and through the hills and woodlands that make up Fort Defiance. Equestrian use is allowed on three of the trails. During winter months the park is a popular place for cross country skiing.

Fort Defiance State Park's 191 acres of rugged woodland provide a beautiful contrast to the gently rolling surrounding farmlands. The park's trails, picnic areas and scenic overlooks provide a great place to relax. Its lush cover of vegetation includes hawthorn, plum, locust and many species of the state tree - the oak. In the spring, the slopes are speckled with trillium, bloodroot, hepatica and violets. A small prairie with native grasses and flowers, including the endangered prairie bush clover, thrives on a secluded knoll.

Nearby Towns
Estherville is one mile northeast on Highway 9. The Iowa Great Lakes Region is 12 miles west.

Nearby Lakes

Four Mile
Swan Lake
Christopherson Slough
Twelve-Mile Lake
Lily Lake
Pleasant Lake
Burr Oak Lake
West Slough
West Swan Lake S.W.M.A.
Ingham Lake
Prairie Lake
High Lake


Within park
Bird Watching, Boating, Camping - Electric, Camping - Nonelectric, Day-use Lodge, Hiking, Horseback Riding, Jogging/Running, Picnic Area, Picnic Shelter, Pit Toilets, Playground, Restrooms, River, Scenic Driving Routes, Stream/Creek, Trails, Equestrian, Trails, Hiking, Walking, Wildflower Viewing, Wildlife Viewing

Less than a mile
More than a mile
Antiquing, ATM/Cash Machine, Boat Launch Ramp, Church, Dock, Boat, Dock, Fishing, Fish Cleaning Station, Fuel, Vehicles, Hospital, Hunting, Retail, Bait & Tackle, Retail, Drinks, Retail, Firewood, Retail, Ice, Retail, Snacks