George Wyth State Park, also known as George Wyth Memorial State Park, is a National Urban Wildlife Sanctuary located between Waterloo and Cedar Falls in Black Hawk County, Iowa. Encircled by lakes, rivers, and woodland areas filled with all sorts of woodland creatures, getting away to this state park is the ultimate nature escape.
Surrounded by four lakes and rivers, the majority of recreation here is water-based. Bring your powerboat along and enjoy water-skiing and tubing on Brinkler Lake, go fishing for crappie, bluegill, walleye, and catfish on George Wyth Lake or Alice Wyth Lake, or simply hire a lake float or river tube for a leisurely day on the water at Fisher Lake.
Take your time exploring the various hiking and multi-use trails that meander through the park - they may reveal glimpses of white-tailed deer all year round. The trails are popular among hikers, bikers and joggers in the summer months, and cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, and snowshoeing in the winter. Bird watching enthusiasts will enjoy spotting over 200 species of birds that have been recorded in the park, so pack those cameras and binoculars!
George Wyth State Park can be found off Highway 218 near Waterloo and Cedar Falls in Iowa. There are no driving restrictions for getting around the park but keep an eye out for low-hanging branches when you park your RV or other big rig in the campsite.
A parking area is available near George Wyth Lake and the picnic shelter, and an overflow parking area is available in the campground.
George Wyth State Park has 47 standard electric sites and13 non-electric sites for tents and RVs up to 60 feet in length, as well as six tent-only sites, three walk-to sites, and one youth group only site. Each campsite has a picnic table and a fire pit as well as access to a central restroom, dump station, and water hydrants.
Other facilities in the camping park include a beach area, boat ramp, picnic area, and children’s playground. There is also a picnic shelter, hiking and multi-purpose trails, as well as canoe, kayak, pedal boat, river tube, and paddle boat rentals. The park concession sells snacks, ice cream, firewood, ice and fishing bait.
George Wyth State Park is open daily from Memorial Day, through to Labor Day weekend. Advance reservations can be made online for some campsites, while others are available on a first come, first served basis.
Anglers at George Wyth State Park will have their pick of fishing in any of the four lakes, including the 75-acre George Wyth Lake, 120-acre Brinker Lake, 40-acre Fisher Lake and 60-acre Alice Wyth Lake. The fish you can catch here includes crappie, bluegill, walleye, northern, bass, channel catfish, and more. There is also a variety of handy fishing equipment and facilities for you to make use of, including a fishing dock, fishing shelter, fish cleaning station, a fish attracter area, as well as fishing bait for purchase.
George Wyth State Park is home to three and a half miles of paved multi-purpose trails that can be used for hiking, biking, skating, and jogging. There are also six miles of grassy hiking trails within the park. These same trails are used for cross-country skiing, snowmobiling and snowshoeing in the winter season, and are linked to an 80-mile trail network that spans the cities of Waterloo and Cedar Falls.
There are four lakes at George Wyth State Park, each with their own appeal. Brinker Lake, previously known as East Lake, is great for power boating (boat ramps are available), George Wyth Lake is a no-wake zone used mostly for fishing and wind surfing, Fisher Lake is a natural lake bordering the park, while Alice Wyth Lake is also popular for fishingt and electric watersports. Paddle the 10-mile Cedar Valley Paddlers Trail, the first looped water trail in the region, that runs from Fisher Lake through George Wyth, Cedar River, and two lakes at Hartman Reserve nature Center. Kayaks, canoes, paddleboards, pedal boats, and lake floats and tubes are available for rent.
George Wyth State Park’s many miles of trails can be used for hiking, biking, skating, and jogging in the summer months, as well as cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, and snow shoeing in the winter months. These trails are linked to an 80-mile trail network throughout the cities of Waterloo and Cedar Falls that links parks, playing fields, lakes, schools, and more in the metro areas.
There are more than 200 species of birds recorded in George Wyth State Park. Birding enthusiasts can enjoy spotting all sorts of birds all year round, including rare and endangered species. During the off season months, birders can seek out winter birds such as the northern saw-whet owl, red-shouldered hawk, pileated woodpecker, common redpoll, and barred owl. There is a bird blind and bird feeding station located in the park.
Fishermen can enjoy angling for fish in George Wyth State Park’s four lakes all year round. Ice fishing is popular in the winter months where you can cast your line in the ice in search of crappie, bluegill, walleye, northern, bass, channel catfish, and more. Take your pick of the 75-acre Wyth Lake, 20-acre Brinker Lake, 40-acre Fisher Lake and 60-acre Alice Wyth Lake. There is a fishing dock, fishing shelter, fish cleaning station, fishing bait, and a fish attracter area in the park.