If you're a fishing fanatic road-tripping around Iowa in a motorhome, add Black Hawk State Park to your must-visit list. Don't be fooled by Black Hawk State Park's small size -- visitors will find endless opportunities for adventure packed within the park's 86 acres.
The eponymous Black Hawk Lake covers more than 950 acres for anglers, boaters, and swimmers to explore the day away. Back on land, an extensive hiking trail network allows wanderers to get an up-close view of the park's flora and fauna, and the picnic areas come complete with serene vistas of the lake. Kiddie campers with plenty of energy to burn will enjoy some friendly competition at the park's playground, disc golf, and volleyball courses.
This park was practically built with RV campers in mind, with more than 100 gravel campsites spread throughout the majority of the park's acreage. A cozy cabin is a well-equipped alternative for campers who can't go without their creature comforts.
A word of caution for RV travelers planning a fun adventure at this well-known state park: water pollution, particularly phosphorus and nitrogen pollution, is a persistent problem at Black Hawk Lake due to its proximity to local corn and soybean farms. While the local community has worked hard to improve the water quality, visitors are advised to check water conditions before arrival.
This family-friendly park keeps visitors coming back year after year -- so park the rig for a night or three to discover all Black Hawk State Park has to offer your camping crew!
Standard vehicles and big rigs should have no trouble motoring along the paved roads throughout Black Hawk State Park. Though the park is located in a rural area near other wildlife refuges, the small town of Lake View is just a stone's throw away. Here, RV travelers can refuel at the town's gas stations or grab a bite to eat before continuing their road trip on Highway 175.
Campsites at Black Hawk State Park are gravel and level. Limited parking is available for day-use visitors -- one small lot is available by the restroom facilities and picnic shelters just outside the campground.
Crank up the rig and set a course for Black Hawk State Park Campground, home to more than 120 campsites complete with all the amenities you need. Fifty-amp electric hookups are available at 87 sites, while the remaining 39 sites are non-electric. Vehicles between 36 and 90 feet long can pull-through or back-in to a spacious site located a stone's throw away from the lake. Amenities include a dump station, and restroom and shower facilities. The playground and sports courts are adjacent to the campground. Campers are welcome all year long, but the shower facilities are closed in the winter months.
Reservations are required for most of the campsites at Black Hawk State Park. Be sure to double-check site length and amenities when booking. The campground map on the Iowa Department of Natural Resources website includes a full list of sites which require reservations. Pets are invited to wag along for the camping trip, as long as dog owners follow standard leash and waste clean-up rules.
Select sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis via self-registration.
Two small swimming beaches at Black Hawk State Park make the perfect places to take a dip on a hot summer day. One beach is located just outside the campground, while a larger swimming area can be found on the northern shore of the lake. Swim at your own risk here -- both beaches are unsupervised.
With three boat launch ramps and no restrictions for motorized boats, Black Hawk State Park is a prime place for water enthusiasts to spend a sunny day. Float along the calm surface on an inner tube or canoe, or tear across the lake on a jet ski or power boat -- just don't forget to pack life jackets in the campervan! Don't have your own boat? No problem! Rental and retail services are available a short drive away in Lake View.
Black Hawk Lake is a haven for avid anglers itching to wet a line. Channel catfish, crappie, and bass are among the species that call these dark waters home. Clean your catch at the fish cleaning station located by the Ice House Point boat ramp, then head back to your campsite to fry up some fish for dinner and swap stories of the day's adventures with your camping party.
Looking for a sedate stroll through the woods? Hop out of the RV and hit the Stubb Severson Nature Trail. Tread carefully and you just might spot a deer! If you're a seasoned hiker looking for a challenge, pack your best hiking shoes in the RV and plan to walk a stretch of the Sauk Rail Trail. This 33-mile route spans from Black Hawk State Park to Swan Lake State Park. Hiking in the winter? Bring your snow gear! Cross-country skiers, ice skaters, and snowmobilers are welcome to wander this path in the winter.
Host your next family reunion or large group gathering at one of Black Hawk State Park's five picnic shelters! Two of three ADA-accessible shelters can accommodate up to 75 guests. The Arrowhead shelter is perfect for an intimate family picnic. Shelters are available on a first-come, first-served basis, although reservations are accepted.
When you're packing your motorhome for your camping trip to Black Hawk State Park, don't forget the binoculars! Keep your eyes peeled for regal swans, swooping pelicans, and majestic bald eagles soaring through a clear blue sky. Keep this park clean and safe for resident wildlife and pack out all waste.