Discover the Ultimate Outdoor Adventure in Iowa: Iowa State Parks (Includes Map & Printables!)
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Are you looking to venture into the great outdoors of Iowa? State parks are an excellent opportunity to explore the stunning natural landscapes that Iowa has to offer! From caves and bluffs to prairies, rivers, and lakes, there's something for everyone to enjoy.
Discover unique scenery and exciting activities like exploring the caves at Maquoketa Caves, taking in the breathtaking views at Pikes Peak, or even windsurfing at Clear Lake. The good news is that there are over 60 parks across the state, so regardless of where you are, there's likely one nearby. Whether you plan on taking a day trip, a weekend getaway, or an extended road trip, make sure to check out Iowa State Parks.
Most state parks are open year-round to visitors, with hours between 4:00 am to 10:30 pm. Additionally, most parks are free to enter, with the exception of Lake Manawa and Waubonsie which have fees for non-residents. Overnight stays at Iowa State Parks are a great way to fully experience everything that each park has to offer. Cabins and campsites are available to make your stay more enjoyable.
Over 4,000 campsites are available, catering to every camper's needs, from full hookups to primitive hike-in sites. Additionally, there are also equestrian, group, and youth campsites available. With close to 100 cabins available for rent, from yurts to modern structures, there's something for everyone. Some cabins are even open year-round.
For more information on Iowa State Parks, take a look at our helpful guide and map. If you're looking to visit every park in the state, be sure to download our free printable guide to help you along the way.
Planning to camp or stay in a cabin at a state park in Iowa? You can reserve a spot through Reserve America, with a window of three months to two days before your planned stay. Check out Lake Wapello State Park for a hidden gem of a campground, or Honey Creek State Park for a cozy cabin.
Hosting a party or gathering? Consider renting a day-use area at one of Iowa's 30+ state park lodges. Some of these lodges are CCC-era stone structures, adding a touch of history to your event. Over 60 open-air picnic shelters are also available for larger groups. Reserve either option through Reserve America.
In addition to camping and lodging, Iowa State Parks offer a wide variety of programming options, from kayaking to wildlife education to volunteer opportunities. Night hikes, sunset paddles, and other unique programs are available to visitors.
If hiking or biking is more your speed, Iowa State Park trails offer a range of options for all skill levels. Check out the park brochure and trail map for the park you plan to visit on the Iowa DNR website to find the best option for you.
Living near Des Moines? Explore nearby hiking and biking trails recommended by Des Moines Outdoors.
Want to take advantage of Iowa's lakes and rivers? Many state parks offer opportunities for fishing, swimming, boating, and paddling. Make sure to check out individual park information for details on swimming areas and other water activities.
Discover the great outdoors of Iowa with the Iowa State Parks! Download the printable map and share it with your friends. Don't forget to link back to our article for more information on Iowa State Parks and cabin rentals!
Join Travel Iowa's passport program and track your park visits by checking in at each park. As a passport holder, you can access exclusive park information and receive local discounts. Next on your list: check out Iowa State Parks with Cabins and Explore Iowa!
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The Time of Year for VisitorsThe primary season for visitors takes place from late-May until early-September, with the most popular month being July. While the park remains open throughout the rest of the year, visitor services are extremely limited during this time.Climate and AttireDuring the summer,
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