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Wilson Island State Recreation Area

Named after former Gov. George Wilson, Wilson Island State Recreation Area in western Iowa covers 544 acres of cottonwood stands along the Missouri River. The secluded park provides a quiet retreat with campsites, hiking trails and picnicking areas. The open spaces welcome wildlife, and visitors may see deer grazing in the fields, flocks of geese flying overhead, or even Bald eagles perched on the cottonwoods. Early American history shows that Lewis and Clark camped on this area of the river in 1804.


Camp at one of Wilson Island’s many large, well-shaded campsites. The modern style camp area offers visitors showers, flush toilets, electric campsites and two large youth group camping areas.

Hike on the approximately five miles of trails throughout Wilson Island. These trails also can be used for snowmobiling, cross-country skiing and mountain biking.

Hunt in the hundreds of acres of public hunting areas. The entire recreation area, except where there are campgrounds and other developed sites, is open for hunting.

Fish in the Missouri River for walleye, paddlefish, catfish and more. Right on the river, Wilson Island offers a boat ramp and is the perfect place to cast a line.

Bird watch in the rolling Loess Hills. The wave-like hills look over the Missouri River and make a great place to see migratory birds, especially in the spring and fall.

Wilson Island State Recreation Area
32801 Campground Lane
Missouri Valley, IA, 51555

Campground reopening in late spring of 2021: The campground will only be open from April 15 - October 15, which is a change from previous years. We have also reduced the number of campsites to 42. New campsite pictures will be added in late spring of 2021. However, there is a closure in place on the campground to prevent reservations from being made until the remaining repairs are completed. Once the campground is ready, the closure will be removed and reservations can be made. You can continue to check this bulletin for updates. (Posted December 29, 2020)
  • Trails
  • Boat launch ramp
  • Camping – electric
  • Camping – youth group
  • Dock
  • Dump station
  • Firewood sales
  • Modern campground
  • Picnic area and shelter
  • Playground
  • Restrooms
  • Showers