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Top Iowa Cabin Fall Getaways

  • 11/6/2015 9:53:00 AM
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Enjoy an overnight stay and the beautiful changing seasons in Iowa’s state parks.

Ten parks have beautiful, comfortable year-round cabins, allowing visitors to enjoy state parks through the fall and winter months. There is a quiet solitude in Iowa’s state parks during the "off season" that can be very appealing, offering a completely different experience.

Iowa state parks have 45 year-round cabins available to rent, with two-day minimum stays, starting as low as $35 per day. Visitors will need to bring bedding, towels and some cooking utensils. Some cabins are handicapped-accessible and pet friendly. Cabins can sleep between 2 and 12 people, depending on the type of cabin, and are located in the following parks:

In August 2016, six brand new, fully furnished, modern family cabins opened at Lake Darling State Park in Washington County.  Each cabin sleeps six, with two bedrooms, a full kitchen and bathroom, deck with Adirondack chairs, heating and air conditioning.

A cabin at Backbone State Park is a perfect fall getaway | Iowa DNRWith its extensive trail system, including groomed snowmobile trails, and beautiful trout stream, Backbone State Park, in Delaware County, is a great fall and winter destination. The park has 16 year-round cabins, including 4 deluxe cabins that sleep nine, 4 two-bedroom family cabins that sleep six, and 8 one-bedroom cabins that sleep up to four. Cabins book quickly for the weekends and holidays, but for those who have the flexibility of taking off during the week, choices can be good.

Black Hawk State Park, in west-central Iowa’s Sac County, has one deluxe four-bedroom family cabin that can sleep 12 people comfortably. Likewise, Springbrook State Park in Guthrie County has the secluded, spacious Sherburne Cabin that can accommodate up to 10. 

Make a fall getaway in a cabin at Black Hawk State Park | Iowa DNRFor those willing to rough-it a bit, Honey Creek State Park, in Appanoose County, has four camping cabins available year-round. They are each heated and sleep four. Camping cabins are not equipped with running water, modern restrooms or showers inside, however Honey Creek’s camping cabins are located next to the campground’s heated shower/restroom building, and a water hydrant with potable water is located outside each cabin. Kitchen facilities are limited to a small refrigerator and microwave.

Not included in the total of year-round state park cabins are the cottages at Honey Creek Resort State Park. Bedding and TVs are included in these 28 one-, two- and three-bedroom luxury cottages and may be reserved throughout the year with no minimum-day restrictions. Details are available and reservations can be made at or by calling 877-677-3344.

Cottages at Honey Creek State Park Resort are awesome fall escapes | Iowa DNRLake Of Three Fires, with its lake and oak/hickory timber, creates a relaxing southern Iowa atmosphere. And its six year-round studio cabins, each accommodating four, are just waiting for the off-season visitor. A cabin stay at Three Fires might be the perfect remedy for a stressful holiday season.

The two-bedroom, cedar-sided cabin #13 is a designated year-round cabin at Lake Wapello State Park in southern Iowa’s Davis County. The cabin sleeps six and the park has plenty of trails to wander during your stay, including seven miles of lake shore trail. With snow on the ground, this park becomes a popular winter spot for cross-country skiing and snowmobiling.

The four cabins at Pine Lake State Park, in Hardin County, are located along the banks of the Iowa River and are perfect for cozy, cold-weather getaways. Built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and Work Progress Administration (WPA), these classic stone and timber structures, with their wood-burning fireplaces, have a charm that is unmatched. The two studio-sized cabins sleep two to four people, and the two one-bedroom cabins can sleep four comfortably.

Fall is the perfect time to book a cabin at Lake of Three Fires State Park | Iowa DNR

Union Grove State Park offers two one-bedroom cabins that are waiting for visitors. The park offers 3 miles of trails perfect for winter hikes, cross-country skiing or snowshoeing.

Waubonsie State Park, about as far southwest as you can get in Iowa, has two cabins that sleep up to 10 and six. Both have stone, wood-burning fireplaces to warm up beside after of day exploring this nearly 2,000-acre park. Waubonsie has one of the most rare and beautiful vistas of the unique Loess Hills landform, and is part of the National Lewis and Clark Historic Trail.

Two camping cabins are also available year-round at Waubonsie. While similar to the camping cabins at Honey Creek State Park, there are a few differences worth mentioning when it comes to amenities. Make a fall getaway to a cabin at Lake Wapello State Park | Iowa DNRBoth have stone, wood-burning fireplaces and one is a two-bedroom cabin that can accommodate up to 10 people. The most notable difference, however, is the lack of a nearby heated shower/restroom. With only an outside pit latrine, Waubonsie’s camping cabins may only appeal the very hardy individuals.

For more details about each park, cabin amenities and availability, visit the Iowa state park reservation system at or call 1-877-427-2757.