Camping in Iowa can be a seriously wondrous experience.
As grandparents with a passel full of grandchildren, we're always looking for family-friendly, quiet campgrounds. They must have someplace for the children to play, peaceful atmosphere, and above all-- trails to explore. Fishing is always an added bonus. Oh, and there must be the opportunity to see wildlife.
Wherever we go, we use it as a teaching experience. The best part? Our grandchildren don’t even realize they're learning. Teaching them how valuable our land and wildlife truly are in the larger scheme of things, gives us a sense of continuity. If they see garbage, they're taught to pick it up and dispose of it properly. If they see wildlife, they are taught to respect boundaries. For example-- don’t frighten the animals and give them their space-- is a big lesson.
In the first of my "Camping Iowa" series, I intend to write about several of the great Iowa camping locations we've visited on our trips. Let's start with Mill Creek Park in O'Brien County.
Mill Creek Park in Northwest Iowa's O’Brien County:
Mill Creek Park offers onsite electric and water with a dump station. There are two buildings with pay showers. The showers and restrooms are modern and clean. The sites themselves are well-kept and there are a few really large ones. There are smaller sites as well. Mill Creek offers cabins, but you better reserve yours well in advance. From what I saw of the cabin interiors, they are also well kept and very neat.
Mill Creek features a lake as well. Fishing is a good past time there, as are hiking and swimming. Our grandchildren love this park. There is a nice play area and the swim area is well maintained. The staff is friendly and hard-working. One drawback, especially in midsummer, is the small airport right on the edge of the campground. Planes take off often during the day. Of course, our grandchildren think this is wonderful.
Come early to secure a camping place, as there are no camping reservations available. If it's possible, arriving on Thursday isn't a bad idea. It's a busy place. Each time we have stayed, sites are usually filled by Saturday morning. Give them a call, at 712.295.7200 or visit them online.
Image credit: Author Photo