Lake Ahquabi State Park
Guide

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Introduction

Located in central Iowa, Lake Ahquabi State Park is set on the shores of a scenic 112-acre lake. The park is a popular destination for fishers, boaters, and swimmers. There are two boat ramps and a sandy beach, as well as a number of fishing jetties. The park also offers paddleboat, kayak, and canoe rentals during the peak season in the summer.

RV campers will also find plenty to keep them busy on dry land. There are over seven miles of hiking trails in the park that lead around the lake. The park is home to a range of bird species, making it a great year-round destination for birdwatchers. The park’s trails are also open during the winter for cross-country skiing and snowmobiling.

The large campground in the park has over 100 sites to choose from, most of which have electrical hookups for your rig. The sites are all located on or near the water, so you’ll have scenic lakeside views during your stay.

RV Rentals in Lake Ahquabi State Park

Transportation in Lake Ahquabi State Park

Driving

Located in central Iowa, Lake Ahquabi State Park is within driving distance of major cities in Iowa and Nebraska. The campground is easy to access from the park’s entrance, and has wide and well maintained roads that should accommodate large RVs.

If you are driving from Des Moines, take US-69 south from the city and you will get to the park in a little under 45 minutes. If you are coming from Iowa City, take I-80 west to arrive at the park in just over two hours. From Omaha, take I-80 east and you will reach the park in around two and a half hours.

To reach the campground, all you have to do is follow a straight road from the park’s entrance. You should have few issues with a large rig, although you may want to try to book a site that is closer to the entrance of the campground, as there are some tight turns if you are trying to reach the back of the campground.

Parking

Public Transport

Campgrounds and parking in Lake Ahquabi State Park

Campsites in Lake Ahquabi State Park

Reservations camping

Lake Ahquabi State Park Campground

There are 109 sites in the park’s campground, all of which can be reserved online. Most of these sites have electrical hookups, although you can choose from a number of sites that have no hookups, if you want a more primitive camping experience. All of the sites also have a fire pit and a picnic table. The campground is pet friendly, but you’ll need to keep your dog on a leash at all times.

You’ll be within walking distance of the park’s hiking trails, as well as the park’s beach and boat launch. There are also modern bathrooms near the campground, as well as two dump stations. There is also a youth campground located within the main campground.

You can book your site up to three months before you plan on arriving, and will need to reserve a spot at least two days in advance. The park tends to get busy during peak season in the summer, and the campground will often be fully booked. Try to book as early as possible when visiting during the summer.

First-come first-served

Alternate camping

Seasonal activities in Lake Ahquabi State Park

In-Season

Fishing

Don't forget your fishing gear in your camper or trailer. Lake Ahquabi State Park is a popular choice for anglers. You’ll find the waters of the lake stocked with a wide variety of fish species, including largemouth bass, panfish, and channel catfish. The fishing is excellent year round, but anglers generally have the best luck in spring.

The park has two boat launches, making it easy to get your boat out onto the water. There are fishing jetties, in case you want to fish from the shore.

Swimming

Lake Ahquabi State Park also has a well-maintained sandy beach that is perfect for summertime swimming. Even on crowded summer days, there’s plenty of room to stretch out and enjoy the sun. The swimming area is unsupervised.

There are concession stands available near the beach, as well as picnic areas and a playground. The park’s hiking trails are also near the beach, in case you want to take a swim after a hike on a hot day.

Boating

The 115-acre Lake Ahquabi is a great place for boating. Take a kayak or canoe out onto the water and coast along the scenic shores of the lake. There are paddle boats, kayaks, and canoes available for rent, in case you don’t bring your own along with your campervan. The lake is “no wake,” so you won’t be able to water or jet ski. There is a boat launch, so you shouldn’t have any issues getting your vessel into the water from your rig.

Off-Season

Snowmobiling

The park’s trails can be used for snowmobiling as well. Speed around the icy waters of the lake after a big snowstorm and explore the icy forests of the park. If you want a longer ride, you can also connect to a number of trails that lead out of the park.

The park doesn’t rent any gear, so make sure that you bring everything you need along with your rig. The trails are also shared with cross-country skiers in the winter, so always take extra caution, especially when coming around corners.

Cross-country Skiing

The miles of trails at Lake Ahquabi State Park can also be used as a cross-country skiing course. Explore the frozen waters of the lake and the snowy forests during the colder months of the year. There’s still a lot of wildlife in the park during the winter, from birds to deer.

The trails are not groomed, so beginner skiers should take extra caution after a heavy snow storm. The trails do offer a nice mix of terrain, so skiers of all experience levels should be able to enjoy the park.

Hiking

There are over seven miles of trails at Lake Ahquabi State Park for you to explore. The trails weave around the lake and through the park’s wild flowers. The four-mile loop trail is accessible for hikers of all experience levels.

The loop trail is great for birdwatching too. You’ll find dozens of different bird species in the park, including many species native to Iowa. The trails are open for hiking year round, although they tend to be most popular in spring, when the park’s wild flowers are in full bloom.

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