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Waubonsie State Park

As a site on the Lewis and Clark Historic Trail, Waubonsie State Park in southwest Iowa is known for its exceptional vistas of Iowa’s unique Loess Hills and the Nebraska plains. Its extensive trail system offers something for the avid mountain biker, equestrians looking for a relaxing ride, or anyone eager to hike amongst the tranquil surroundings of the park’s ridgetop prairies and shaded woodland valleys. With nearly 2,000 acres of recreational opportunity and quiet beauty, Waubonsie State Park is an Iowa gem waiting to be explored.


Hike the Sunset Ridge Nature Trail that traverses the heart of the park, offering sweeping views of the Missouri River Valley. The Ridge and Valley trails also provide ample hiking opportunities, taking visitors through quiet and shaded woodland areas. Eight miles of trails are accessible only to hikers. Another eight miles of multi-use trails wind through the northern regions of Waubonsie and are perfect for anyone in search of challenging hikes, mountain biking, horseback riding or snowmobiling opportunities. The trail to the main overlook is accessible for all ages and abilities.

Fish for largemouth bass, bluegill and channel catfish in Lake Virginia. The 7-acre lake is also a popular spot for paddlesport enthusiasts to kayak or canoe. The lake is limited to electric motor boats only.

Stay overnight in one of eight cabins at Waubonsie, some featuring fireplaces and year-round accommodations. The park also contains a modern campground with non-electric and electric campsites, modern showers, restrooms and a sanitary dump station. The more primitive equestrian campground contains non-electric sites with hitching rails, pens and pit vault toilets. Cabin and campsite reservations can be made through the online reservation system for Waubonsie State Park.

Reserve the Wa-Shawtee Lodge, a year-round, full-service reception hall that can accommodate up to 160 guests. Or reserve the Overlook Shelter, an open pavilion in a beautiful overlook setting. Both can be reserved online for large gatherings up to 12 months in advance. Check out the online reservation system for Waubonsie State Park.

Explore the nearby Blackburn State Park Unit, which covers 72 acres of Loess hills prairie and woodland ridge tops and valleys. Located about 16 miles north of Waubonsie and adjacent to nearly 500 acres of public wildlife area, this property makes a great place for bird and wildlife viewing. Amenities at Blackburn include a two-mile hiking trail, shelter, picnic tables, fire ring and pit latrine. Blackburn State Park Unit was donated in 2019 by William and Sara Blackburn.

Hunt on more than 450 acres of public hunting land adjacent to Waubonsie and accessible from the park. The park itself is closed to hunting, but whitetail deer, wild turkey, and upland game are abundant in the area.

Waubonsie State Park
2585 Waubonsie Park Road
Hamburg, IA 51640
Ph. 712-382-2786

Blackburn State Park Unit
1291 Cemetery Road
Thurman, IA 51654
Ph. 712-382-2786

Rental Facility Closure: All of the cabins, the lodge, and the Overlook shelter will not be accepting reservations from April 1 - July 10, 2025 due to a waterline project.  (Posted May 8, 2024)


  • Horseback riding
  • Hiking trails on the Loess Hills Scenic Byway
  • Playground
  • Day-use lodge
  • Shelters
  • Modern restrooms
  • Camping cabins
  • Modern family cabins
  • Studio family cabins
  • Electric campsites
  • Non electric campsites
  • Equestrian, non-electric campsites
  • Horse stalls and hitch rails
  • Dump station