Honey Creek State Park
Guide

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Introduction

Honey Creek State Park is an 828-acre state park in Appanoose County, just 12 miles south-east of Moravia City in Iowa. Located on a scenic peninsula with Rathbun Lake on three sides, the park is surrounded by rolling hills and tree-lined campsites with the lake’s shoreline just a short stroll away.

The campground is a popular spot for outdoor camping all year round with all sorts of activities to keep campers busy, from swimming in the summer to cross-country skiing in the winter. Once you’ve set up camp in the northern or southern part of the campsite, head off to explore the park’s many multi-use trails for hiking and biking. A boat ramp makes water recreation a major draw card for the park in the warmer months – tubing, water-skiing and jet-skiing are all fantastic ways to enjoy a warm day here.

Honey Creek’s picturesque park is perfect for picnics, whether you plan to visit for the day or to spend the night in your RV. Take your pick of the park’s picnic areas – including two reservable shelters – and enjoy use of the playground and swimming pool free of charge. Nature enthusiasts can enjoy bird watching and wildlife spotting along the park’s many nature trails.

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Transportation in Honey Creek State Park

Driving

Honey Creek State Park is located on the northern side of Rathbun Lake, 12 miles south-east of Moravia City in southern Iowa. All interior roads and RV pads are paved in the park so you should have no trouble getting around in your RV or car. Make sure you keep to the five mile per hour speed limit though - small creatures like fox and rabbits often cross the roads in the park. Once you’ve set up camp, you can get around by bicycle or hiking along the many trails, or launch your boat at the boat ramp.

Parking

Public Transport

Campgrounds and parking in Honey Creek State Park

Campsites in Honey Creek State Park

Reservations camping

Main Campground

There is a variety of accommodation available at Honey Creek State Park, including 75 electrical sites, 28 full hookup sites, 42 non-electric sites, three walk-to sites, and one youth group only site. There are also four camping cabins. While some of the sites come with full hook ups – electricity, water and sewerage hookups for RVs – there are also four restrooms with showers, water hydrants, and trailer dump stations for those without.

Other facilities within the park include several picnic areas, a playground, and swimming pool. Nearby you will find Honey Creek Resort State Park which offers a restaurant, indoor water park, and an 18-hole championship golf course.

The electric campsites are available all year round but the full hookup sites are closed during winter. Some of the campsites can be reserved in advance whereas some are available on a first come, first served basis.

First-come first-served

Alternate camping

Seasonal activities in Honey Creek State Park

In-Season

Boating

Water enthusiasts will be in their element at Honey Creek State Park. There are two boat launch areas in the park where you can launch your own watercraft to enjoy power boating, sailing, water-skiing, tubing, jet-skiing, and fishing. Rathbun Lake is also a popular place for canoeing and kayaking if you'd prefer a more leisurely lakeside exploration.

Hiking

There are plenty of multi-use trails meandering through the park for hikers of all fitness levels. You will also find the Woodland Interpretive Trail where you can learn about the 11 ancient Indian mounds left behind from the first inhabitants of the park. Want to learn a bit more? You can discover more facts about the history of Honey Creek in the shelter at the start of the interpretive trail.

Picnicking

Honey Creek State Park is a favorite spot for picnics for both campers and day visitors alike. Take your pick of the various scenic picnic areas available throughout the park, such as at the edge of Rathbun Lake and Honey Creek Bay. There are also two picnic shelters available at two scenic points overlooking the lake that can be reserved online in advance.

Off-Season

Winter Sports

The multi-use trails throughout the park are used for hiking and biking in the summer months. But in the off season, these trails are groomed for a range of exciting snow sports, such as cross-country skiing and snowmobiling. If you’re using a snowmobile, please make sure that it is fully registered and you are wearing the appropriate safety gear.

Fishing

There is a 375-acre fishing hatchery at Honey Creek State Park built in 1979. Anglers will enjoy fishing for crappie, walleye, and channel catfish. To fish the lake, you need a boat and there are two boating ramps available with parking for your trailer. There is also a courtesy boat dock for loading and unloading, a fish cleaning facility, and 24 hour fishing access available at the North Boat Ramp.

Nature Walks

The nature trails leading through Honey Creek State Park are beautiful in the winter season. Take a stroll through the campground and along the lake’s shoreline and keep your eyes peeled for wildlife and a variety of winter birdlife. Grab your binoculars and watch out for a variety of interesting birds in the winter and fall seasons, such as waterfowl and wild turkey.

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