Iowa’s natural resources provide an abundance of recreational facilities. The state park system is well maintained and each park offers unique amenities. The following three state parks are awesome choices for family camping vacations.
- Beed's Lake State Park: Located in beautiful Hampton, Iowa, Beed's Lake State Park maintains 99 sites with electrical hookups. Guests are pampered with modern showers and restroom facilities. Beed’s Lake State Park is a desired location for bird watching. A two mile hiking trail follows the shoreline around the lake. Bicyclists enjoy riding along the trail up to the dam. The scenic lake is popular with swimmers. The creek fed lake is a favorite among anglers due to the bass and catfish that inhabit the lake. Fish cleaning stations are conveniently located. The park contains a boat ramp for backing in boat trailers with ease. Canoe, boat and kayak rentals are available at the park.
- Black Hawk State Park: The large campground facility at Black Hawk State Park accommodates 128 campsites, most with electrical connections. Park amenities include a volleyball court, Frisbee golf course, a children’s playground, restrooms, showers, picnic shelters, boat launch and nature trails. The 957 acre lake is stocked with bass, bluegill, channel catfish, crappie, sunfish and walleye. Songbirds, deer and waterfowl are often seen along the Stubb Severson Nature Trail.
- Emerson Bay State Recreational Facility: Emerson Bay State Recreational Facility is located in West Okoboji, Iowa. The campground offers 23 sites with water, sewage and electrical connections with an additional 50 primitive sites for tent camping. The tree shaded sites are located along paved roads for ease when towing an RV or boat trailer. The crystal clear waters of the lake are a swimmer’s delight. West Okoboji is a preferred fishing lake with many anglers fishing for bass, bluegill, bullhead, catfish, crappie, perch, pike and walleye. The tranquil Barney Peterson Nature Trail, located one mile away at Gull Point State Park, is a nature lover’s paradise and located on the Iowa Great Lakes Trail System.
*Photo courtesy of Camping by Moonlight by Arup Malakar at Flickr’s Creative Commons.