Iowa State Park Passport

Open Road, Endless Adventures

Visit State Parks. Check in. Earn Prizes.

With the 2021 Iowa State Park Passport, you’re a road trip away from an adventure. Discover Iowa’s state park system, check in to track your progress and earn prizes.


It’s free to sign up and the more parks you visit, the more chances for prizes you earn!


  • First 1,000 people to 10 check-ins earn a 2021 Iowa State Park Passport t-shirt.
  • Check in to 30 parks for a chance to win one of four Fitbit activity trackers.
  • Every check-in is an entry into monthly Endless Adventures Prize Packs:
    • June – Paddleboard and water sport accessories
    • July – Camping tent and accessories
    • August – Hammock and picnic accessories
    • September – Yeti Cooler set
    • October - $500 Bass Pro Shops gift card


Click here for official contest rules.

Prizes sponsored by AARP Iowa.

Click here to learn about the parks!

Iowa State Park Passport

  • Visit state parks and track your progress.
  • First 1,000 people to 10 check-ins earn a t-shirt.
  • Qualify for monthly Endless Adventures Prize Packs – every check-in counts.

Included Venues

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Ambrose A. Call State Park

Ambrose A. Call State Park is a 138 acre "oasis" of rugged hills, heavily wooded with virgin timber in an area of gently rolling farmland. The park is located in northern Iowa near the east fork of the Des Moines River. A centerpiece of this rustic park is a log-cabin style lodge built...


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Backbone State Park

First Day Hike 2021:


Bluebird Trail: Start at old park office on 120th street or east gate lot. Fairly easy walking 1.5 mile trail.



Dedicated in 1920 as Iowa’s first state park, Backbone State Park is one of the most geographically unique locations in Iowa....


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Badger Creek State Recreation Area

Badger Creek State Recreation Area is a popular outdoor destination for hunters and anglers just a few miles southwest of the Des Moines metro area. The 276-acre lake offers excellent fishing opportunities for bass, crappie, bluegill and catfish. More than 700 acres can be accessed for hunting,...


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Banner Lakes At Summerset State Park

Banner Lakes at Summerset State Park is nestled in the rolling landscape between Des Moines and Indianola. The area was once the site of a coal mine and transformed into a state park in 2004. Summerset is a quiet destination for outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy fishing, hiking and biking


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Beeds Lake State Park

A centerpiece of Franklin County, Beeds Lake State Park is a popular destination for anglers of all ages and contains one of the most photographed dams in the Midwest. The park’s 99-acre reservoir is the primary focus, with ample fishing and hiking opportunities at the spillway and along...


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Bellevue State Park

Eastern Iowa’s Bellevue State Park is rich in archaeological, historical and natural beauty. The park features beautiful overlooks of the Mississippi River. An enclosed nature center and butterfly sanctuary showcase diverse wildlife and plant life inhabiting the area. Bellevue State Park...


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Big Creek State Park

Located near Saylorville Lake just 20 miles from Des Moines, Big Creek State Park is a family-friendly setting for picnicking and outdoor recreation. The centerpiece is Big Creek Lake, home of the largest beach in the state park system. The lake is also a popular fishing destination with boat...


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Blackhawk State Park

Black Hawk State Park is home to the southernmost glacial lake in the United States and is a historical icon of Lake View. Many of the park’s structures were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s and serve as beautiful locations for picnics and outdoor events. The city of...


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Brushy Creek State Recreation Area

Brushy Creek State Recreation Area is one of the largest state parks in Iowa, showcasing native prairie, grassland, timber, river and lake habitats across its 6,500 acres. The lake at Brushy Creek is perfect for swimming, fishing and boating. With more than 45 miles of trails, Brushy Creek is a...


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Cedar Rock State Park

Home to the historic estate of Agnes and Lowell Walter, Cedar Rock State Park was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and is an iconic destination for reliving history. The Walter House is the focal point of Cedar Rock, surrounded by lovely gardens and trails as part of the park’s landscape....


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Clear Lake State Park

Clear Lake State Park offers diverse activities on one of Iowa’s most popular lakes. The 3,000-acre lake is a draw for boating, fishing and windsurfing. The park features open spaces and mature oak trees along with a highly popular campground. Several acres of picnic grounds with tables...


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Dolliver Memorial State Park

Dolliver Memorial State Park in Webster County is unique for its natural bluffs and geological formations. Dolliver overlooks the Des Moines River Valley and spreads across 594 acres of flatlands and rugged trails. Highlights of the park include Boneyard Hollow, the Copperas Beds and historic...


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Elk Rock State Park

Elk Rock State Park is adjacent to 50,000 acres of public land available for a variety of recreational activities. The park is located on Lake Red Rock, Iowa’s largest body of water, and offers ample opportunity for boating and fishing. Elk Rock is named for its unusual rock formation...


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Fairport State Recreation Area

Fairport Recreation Area is located right on the Mississippi near Muscatine and offers majestic views of the river. Two boat ramps provide plenty of boating access, along with nearby docks. Campers will enjoy river views from their campsites, along with modern amenities such as electrical...


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Fort Atkinson State Preserve

Fort Atkinson State Preserve in Winneshiek County is the site of some of Iowa’s oldest historic structures. The fort was originally constructed between 1840-1842, and was briefly a federal army outpost for relations with Native American tribes. Several buildings still stand, providing a glimpse into Iowa history.


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Fort Defiance State Preserve

Fort Defiance State Park, outside of Estherville in northwest Iowa, features 190 acres of rugged woodlands surrounded by gently rolling farmlands. The centerpiece of the park is an army-post style lodge. Visitors to the park can enjoy hiking or picnicking in a quiet setting.


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Geode State Park

Named after Iowa’s state rock, Geode State Park is a traditional favorite for both local residents and out of state visitors. Lake Geode is the focal point of the park, with more than 150 acres available for fishing, boating and paddlesport activities. A geode display is available at the...


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George Wyth State Park

Abundant in woodlands and wildlife, George Wyth State Park is an “urban sanctuary” offering diverse outdoor activities for visitors. The park was named George Wyth State Park in 1956 after a well-known Cedar Falls businessman, and its secluded environment is the perfect get-away near...


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Green Valley State Park

Green Valley State Park in southwest Iowa is a popular destination for fishing and boating. Four lakes in the region -- Three Mile Lake, Twelve Mile Lake, Summit Lake and Green Valley Lake -- are located within 10 miles of each other and create a hub for lake recreation in southwest Iowa.


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Gull Point State Park

Gull Point is a focal point for Iowa state parks in the Iowa Great Lakes Region. Along with camping, Gull Point State Park has a popular beach on West Okoboji Lake, which is a vacation favorite for fishing, paddling, and boating. Several small state parks can be found in the Great Lakes region...


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Honey Creek Resort
Honey Creek Resort in south-central Iowa is a premier destination for outdoor recreation. The 850-acre park features a great lodge/hotel, conference center, cottages, restaurant, indoor water park, 18-hole golf course, RV campground, nature trails, boat ramp and docks, activity center, and more....
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Honey Creek State Park

Honey Creek State Park in southern Iowa offers 828 acres of rolling, timbered hills with the beautiful backdrop of Iowa’s second largest lake, Rathbun Lake. Many wooded areas along with two shelters offer visitors a secluded setting for a day-time picnic or outdoor event. Honey Creek State...


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Lacey Keosauqua State Park
Dedicated in 1921 as Iowa’s second state park, Lacey-Keosauqua State Park spans more than 1,500 acres and offers ample opportunity for fishing, hiking, camping and swimming. Oak-hickory bluffs and valleys characterize the park, including a three mile trail along the bluffs of the Des Moines...
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Lake Ahquabi State Park
Lake Ahquabi is a popular state park in south-central Iowa named after the Sauk and Fox word meaning “resting place.” Dedicated in 1936, several of the park’s structures, such as the stone lodge and picnic shelters, were constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) during the Great...
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Lake Anita State Park

Lake Anita State Park is one of Iowa’s newer parks, constructed in the 1960s as a popular outdoor recreation destination in southwest Iowa. The centerpiece of the 1,062-acre park is a beautiful 171-acre artificial lake offering expansive fishing and boating opportunities.


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Lake Darling State Park

Named after J.N. “Ding” Darling, a champion of conservation and nationally renowned editorial cartoonist, Lake Darling State Park in southeast Iowa provides ample opportunity for family picnics, lake recreation and woodland hikes. The park offers winter activities, including...


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Lake Keomah State Park

First Day Hike 2021:


Suggested Trail: Park at campground, enter trail near site 67 and walk down the hill and across the road. Follow the trail along the lakeshore. Go to beach and turn back for a 3/4 mile out-and-back hike.



Lake Keomah State Park near Oskaloosa...


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Lake Macbride State Park

First Day Hike 2021:


Beach to Dam Trail: Start at beach parking lot. Hike down the steps of the boat rental building, then north along the dock to the trailhead for a 2.5 mile out and back to the Macbride spillway/dam. Enjoy a scenic view from the Rock (be careful...



Named after Thomas Macbride, the “father” of Iowa conservation, Lake Macbride State Park is a popular lakeside destination with family friendly outdoor activities. Several multi-use trails wind around the lake, featuring the sights and sounds of Iowa’s native birds. In the summer, soak up the sun by kayaking, paddling or swimming in the lake. Whether you’re visiting for an afternoon or a weekend, Lake Macbride features numerous amenities to enjoy year round.


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Lake Manawa State Park

First Day Hike 2021:


Suggested Trail: Start at the parking lot on the north side of the intersection of Catfish Rd and South Shore Dr. Hike south toward the river boat ramps . At the levee, turn left and hike along the levee, around the sand pile, to the bike trail that...



Lake Manawa is one of western Iowa’s premier spots for boating, hiking or just relaxing outdoors. More than 1,500 acres surround the lake, originally constructed in 1881 after a Missouri River flood. It continues to be a major outdoor recreation center for thousands of visitors. A popular feature is the Dream Playground, one of the largest ADA accessible playgrounds at a park in Midwest. “Manawa” is a Native American term meaning peace and comfort, making it the perfect spot to read a book, have a picnic or enjoy the outdoors during your visit.


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Lake Of Three Fires State Park

First Day Hike 2021:


Suggested Trail: Start at the beach lodge, head south towards the dam, hike across the dam and cross the spillway bridge, take a right and hike the lake edge until you meet a trail intersection, take a left to circle back on the main trail. Hike the...



A hotspot for equestrian trail riding and camping, Lake of Three Fires State Park in southwest Iowa provides diverse outdoor recreation opportunities. The park’s 85-acre lake is a local destination for boaters and anglers, and several open picnic areas are available near the lake. Lake of Three Fires was dedicated in 1935 and is named after a group of Native Americans from the Potawatomi tribe who once inhabited the area known as the “Fire Nation.”


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Lake Wapello State Park

First Day Hike 2021:


Suggested Trail: Park at the campground main parking lot. Hike north through the non-electric camping area, then follow trail to the bridge. Turn left and follow trail back to campground. Trail is 1.25 miles.



Named after the famous Native...


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Ledges State Park

First Day Hike 2021:


Park in the Oak Woods picnic area, hike around the Canyon Drive entrance gates, and down the roadway into the Canyon. Typically during the winter months, you'll be met on the Canyon floor by walls of ice, frozen overtop the sandstone outcroppings. In...



Ledges State Park is one of Iowa’s most historic and unique nature destinations, especially for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. A four-mile trail system winds through steep slopes and scenic overviews, with sandstone ledges towering 100 feet above the Des Moines River. Numerous 1930s CCC structures can be viewed throughout the park including an iconic stone bridge spanning Pea's Creek. An ideal destination for the seasoned hiker, daytime picnickers and campers, Ledges State Park takes visitors on a breathtaking excursion amongst Iowa’s natural beauty.


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Lewis And Clark State Park

First Day Hike 2021:


Park loop hike: park near the entrance in the beach parking area and hike the loop along Park Loop Road to get the best LCSP has to offer, including views of the woods and lake. ADA friendly, flat and paved.



Lewis and Clark State Park in...


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Loess Hills State Forest Visitor Center

First Day Hike 2021:


Loess Hills has many hiking trails throughout the forest. Check out the forest web page for trail maps.



Loess Hills State Forest (LHSF) is located in western Iowa in Harrison and Monona Counties. It is comprised of 4 units totaling 11,600...


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Maquoketa Caves State Park

First Day Hike 2021:


Park at the Stone Shelter. Across street the trail on the far right side behind Info Kiosk is the woodland trail. This trail will loop you around to upper valley going under the Natural Bridge. Take staircase back up to parking lot.



With...


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Marble Beach State Recreation Area

Marble Beach State Park features the largest campground in the Iowa Great Lakes region. The park provides easy access to lake recreation on Spirit Lake, Iowa’s biggest natural lake and a hotspot for fishing, including walleye, northern pike, muskellunge and panfish. Marble Beach is one of...


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McIntosh Woods State Park

First Day Hike 2021:


Suggest Trail: Start near Smokey the Bear statue at campground. Follow the marked trail west of the kiosk, proceed to the southeast, catch the lakeshore trail past fenced parking area, follow the lakeshore for a wonderful view of Clear Lake, then to...



McIntosh Woods State Park is a 60-acre natural enclave on the northwest shore of Clear Lake in northern Iowa. A variety of recreational activities include fishing, boating, kayaking and more. Visitors can enjoy a unique camping experience in one of two yurts, which are the only yurts in the Iowa state park system. Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and ice fishing are popular winter activities at the park.


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Mines Of Spain State Recreation Area
Mines of Spain State Recreation Area in Dubuque was once a trading post and village site for the Mesquakie tribe, as well as a productive lead mine during the 1800s. The Julien Dubuque Monument, a National Historic Landmark, sits high above the Mississippi River and is the burial site for Iowa's...
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Nine Eagles State Park

Abundant in wooded hills and scenic valleys, Nine Eagles State Park is one of southern Iowa’s most picturesque state parks. Native plant species are scattered throughout the park and provide excellent cover for birds and wildlife. Visitors can enjoy six miles of bridle trails and nine...


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Palisades-Kepler State Park

This park is currently closed due to storm damage.


Palisades-Kepler State Park is a beautiful outdoor destination on the banks of the Cedar River outside Cedar Rapids. Dramatic river bluffs, deep ravines, majestic hardwood trees and an abundance of wildlife characterize...


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Pikes Peak State Park

First Day Hike 2021:


Bridal Veil Falls Icicles Hike: Park at the main parking lot, hike to overlook, take the Bridal Veil Trail by following the sidewalk to the left (north). The sidewalk turns into a half-mile wooden boardwalk. At the Myotis Trail fork, stay to the...



Famed for its majestic views of the Mississippi River, Pikes Peak State Park is one of Iowa's premier nature destinations. Located on a national scenic byway, the park features 11 miles of trails brimming with scenic bluffs and valleys. Walk the half-mile trail to see Bridal Veil Falls, hike to Point Ann overlooking the nearby town of McGregor or see where the Mississippi and Wisconsin Rivers meet atop a 500-foot bluff. A hiker's delight and one of the most picturesque regions in the state, Pikes Peak is a must for anyone wanting to see the breathtaking views of Iowa.


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Pilot Knob State Park

First Day Hike 2021:


Trail to Observation Tower: Park at the Pilot Knob Lake parking area. Start hike on the Forked Trail just past the warming house. Take trail and turn left onto Deadman's Lake Trail. Turn left again onto Lake View Trail at green park bench. Take Lake...



Dedicated in 1923, Pilot Knob in northern Iowa is one of the oldest in the state park system. Shelters, bridges, an amphitheater and an observation tower are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and built by the CCC in the 1930s. Visitors can stand atop the tower on “Pilot Knob” and enjoy scenic vistas of the park. Visitors can also discover unique wildlife and some of the state’s most unique ecological areas.


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Pine Lake State Park

First Day Hike 2021:


South Trail: Park at the Lower Pine Lake boat ramp. Begin at trailhead just east of the boat ramp. Follow the South Trail to the bike trail, turn left to return to the Lower Pine Lake boat ramp. This 3-mile hike circles Lower Pine Lake and may be...



Pine Lake State Park is a hidden gem with wooded trails, deep ravines, and scenic lake views in the midst of Iowa’s rolling farmland. Historic structures built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and Works Progress Administration (WPA) can be found throughout the park, including the Pine Lodge, beach house and stone cabins, which have been carefully restored. Pine Lake is filled with beautiful picnic areas to enjoy a quiet setting by the river or an overlook of the park’s lake. The park originally was home to Iowa’s southernmost stand of native pine trees which were wiped out by a severe hailstorm in August 2009; today hundreds of caged tree seedlings are scattered throughout the park as part of a reforestation effort.


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Pleasant Creek State Recreation Area

First Day Hike 2021:


Suggested Trail: Park at playground area, trail access is on backside. Take a right on the trail and continue to the equestrian parking lot. Follow the trail below the dam, it will end up back at the entrance of the park. Then either walk the trail...



Pleasant Creek State Recreation Area in Linn County is a premier outdoor destination for fishing and boating. The state recreation area was developed in the 1960s to create accessible lake recreation for eastern Iowa communities. Several miles of trails, a large lake and nearby hunting help make Pleasant Creek State Recreation Area a popular spot for several year-round recreational activities.


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Prairie Rose State Park

First Day Hike 2020:


Short Looped Trail: Park at the north shelter/boat ramp and take the trail just north of the shelter parking lot, looping back to starting point (.5 miles). Long hike: For a 5.5 mile hike, park in the west campground near site 87. Walk from the trail...



Prairie Rose State Park is a 422-acre park along scenic hills in southwest Iowa. The park is named after the small town, Village of Prairie Rose, which was once located near the park’s current location. The lake is the focal point of the park, and visitors enjoy a variety of recreational opportunities from hiking to sail boating, along with cross country skiing in the winter.


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Preparation Canyon State Park

Preparation Canyon State Park, in the heart of Loess Hills in western Iowa, is a historic site on the Mormon Trail. The town of Preparation was originally founded by Mormons, but faded away by 1900. Today, the rustic park is situated in Loess Hills State Forest, offering some of Iowa most...


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Red Haw State Park

First Day Hike 2021:


Lake Loop Trail: This 4-mile trail starts at the Fish and Wildlife Research Station parking lot east of the office. The Lower Lake Loop is about 1.1 miles and starts at the same location, but after crossing the dam, take the lower trail to the far...



Red Haw State Park is a beautiful year-round destination offering several recreational activities in the 649-acre park. Red Haw is well known for springtime red buds blooming abundantly around the lake, drawing visitors and photographers to see the beautiful pink blossoms. Visitors also can enjoy swimming and boating in the summer, or cross-country skiing and snowmobiling in the winter.


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Rock Creek State Park

First Day Hike 2021:


Suggested Trail: Park at the 3rd picnic area. Enter the trail and walk to the first bridge. This is an out-and-back trail, 1/2 mile to pond and 2 miles to bridge.



Rock Creek State Park is a premier camping destination in central Iowa, offering...


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Shimek State Forest

First Day Hike 2021:


Suggested Trail: Start at the Black Oak parking lot area for a short .25 mile loop is around the lake. For a longer 3-mile hike, start at marker 6 then to marker 5. At marker 4 go up the long steady hill to marker 3 then out to the road and back down...



Shimek State Forest includes the site of the northernmost battlefield of the Civil War. It’s also one of Iowa’s largest contiguous forests, named after early conservationist Dr. Bohumil Shimek. Thousands of forest acres were planted here by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1930s and 1940s to correct overgrazed land. Today Shimek is loved for its expansive areas great for any outdoor activity, including hunting and fishing, camping and picnicking, or simply getting outside and enjoying nature.

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Springbrook State Park

First Day Hike 2021:


Lake Trail: Park in the beach parking lot to access the Lake Trail, an easy hike with moderate terrain. It's a great spot for birding and wildlife viewing. Watch for animal tracks along the trail.Offshoots of the trail lead to the upper picnic area or...



Springbrook State Park encompasses 930 acres of rolling hills and mature timber. Many of the park’s structures were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1930s, creating a nostalgic setting for park visitors. A multifamily cabin called the Sherburne House is perfect for large families or groups. The park is located near numerous small communities in west-central Iowa, offering nearby dining and shopping opportunities.


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Stephens State Forest

First Day Hike 2021:


Suggested Trail: Visit the backpacking trail system in the Woodburn Unit! Park at the trailhead at 2351 330th Ave; Woodburn, IA (40.964021,-93.576853). Explore two three-mile loops totaling six miles; one loop on the west side of the road, and one...



Stephens State Forest, showcasing CCC forestry work from the 1930s, is Iowa’s largest forest. Stephens is home to many experimental and research-related plantings of diverse and unique species like tulip poplar, bald cypress, ponderosa pine and many more. This forest is a great choice for a hike with 31 miles of trails, especially in the spring when the ephemerals bloom. Other amenities include four ponds, public hunting and pack-in campsites.

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Stone State Park

First Day Hike 2021:


Suggested Hike: Start at the parking lot across from the main office. Go south on Deer Run Trail to Turtle Lake Trail.Take Turtle Lake Trail west to Elk Point Trail. Follow north up the big hill to Buffalo Ridge Road. Take west to the Dakota Point...



Stone State Park is considered an “urban wildlife sanctuary” on the edge of Sioux City and in the heart of the Loess Hills. The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) built many of the park’s structures including entrance portals, the Calumet shelter, and the rustic stone lodge. Visitors can explore the natural history of the park by walking its miles of trails, looking for wildlife and birds, or at the nearby Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center.


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Union Grove State Park

First Day Hike 2021:


South Trail: This out-and-back hike is about 1.5 miles. Start at parking lot near spillway/waterfall area at 220th St and C Ave. The South Trail starts across the bridge. Hike ato the dam, going across and up the hill near the dam parking lot. Turn...



Union Grove State Park, established in 1938, is a popular outdoor recreation area in east-central Iowa. The 110-acre Union Grove Lake is the focal point of the park, and several shaded picnic areas are available near the water. Anglers enjoy fishing for crappie, bluegill and northern pike, and visitors can experience several outdoor activities such as hiking, birdwatching or camping.


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Viking Lake State Park

First Day Hike 2021:


Short Trail: Hike the 1.5 mile Bur Oak Trail, starting at the campground visitor parking area. Long Trail: For a six-mile adventure, start at the pontoon area and walk the looped WhiteTailed Trail. Walk the entire loop or turn back at...



Viking Lake State Park is a popular lake and camping destination with numerous recreational opportunities. A large portion of the 1,000-acre park has been left in its natural state and is abundant in wild flowers and plants. Beavers, turkeys, ducks and white-tailed deer are often spotted at the park. Native American tribes once camped and lived in the area, based on artifacts found when the lake was built


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Volga River State Recreation Area

First Day Hike 2021:


Suggested Trail: Park at the sledding hill parking area above the Albany campground. Follow the road down the hill through the campground back to the old Albany bridge. This out-and-back trail is about 1.5 miles.



Volga River State Recreation...

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Walnut Woods State Park

First Day Hike 2021:


Suggested Trail: Hike the main trail along the river. Start at trailhead near the playground and exit near the east entrance. 2 miles.



Walnut Woods State Park is a tranquil destination for anyone seeking the outdoors not far from the...

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Wapsipinicon State Park

First Day Hike 2021:


Pine Trail: Park at the playground, walk to closed portion of the road to the Pine Trail. Head south, cross the road and follow the Pine trail east until it intersects with the Prairie Trail, hike north to the parking area, walk along the edge of the...



Wapsipinicon State Park sits on the edge of the charming town of Anamosa, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Many of the park’s structures, including the stone arch bridge, lodge and shelters were handcrafted by prisoners from the nearby Anamosa State Penitentiary and remain historic icons to visit. Wapsipinicon is abundant in unique formations and geology, so make sure to take your time exploring the natural wonders of this state park.

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Waubonsie State Park

First Day Hike 2021:


Suggested Trail: Park in the Overlook Parking lot and hike to the Overlook via the gravel trail. Turn left and hike south past the picnic shelter, paralleling the road. When you reach an abrupt right turn, this is the beginning of Sunset Ridge Trail....



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.

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Wildcat Den State Park

First Day Hike 2021:


Suggested Trail: Park in the Upper Picnic Area and follow the Punch Bowl Trail downhill to the Devil's Punchbowl. Continue on the Punch Bowl Trail to an intersection for the Lower Picnic Area Trail. Follow the Lower Picnic Area Trail, which winds...



One of the most photographed Iowa state parks, at Wildcat Den State Park, visitors will find both historical and natural treasures to explore. Trails wind through a variety of terrain, leading to geological formations along the trail’s sandstone bluffs. Visit the Pine Creek Grist Mill, the oldest working grist mill between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains, for a glimpse into Iowa’s past. Whether you’re looking to explore history or enjoy the peace and quiet of the outdoors, Wildcat Den State Park is the ideal destination.

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Wilson Island State Recreation Area

First Day Hike 2021:


The Chute Trail: Start at the office. As the name implies this 2.2 mile trail follows the backwater chute. When arriving at the chute boat ramp, follow the road west, then take Riparian Lane back to the office.



Wilson Island State Recreation...

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Yellow River State Forest

First Day Hike 2021:


Suggested Trail: Starting point is the Luster Heights Unit located off of HWY 364 on Luster Heights Rd. Follow the signs to the parking lot and look for trail maps. This 2.1 mile hike has corresponding numbers to follow (and on maps). From the the...



“Outside” magazine named the Backpack Trail at Yellow River State Forest the best hike in Iowa as part of their “America’s Top 50 Hikes – The Finest in Every State” article. Along with the Backpack Trail, all of the trails in Yellow River are open year-round and range from relatively easy hikes to moderate. You can also see Iowa’s only fire tower in this forest. Yellow River State Forest is perfect for anyone looking for a true backpacking experience or taking a great hike!

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