Lake Macbride State Park
Guide

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Introduction

Sprawling across 2,180 acres in Johnson County, this Iowa state park is a popular RV camping destination offering an excess of outdoor recreation that will fill you with a sense of pleasure and joy. Thousands bring all kinds of RVs to amuse themselves with recreational offerings like hiking, biking, fishing, boating, and golfing. Winter visitors enjoy themselves with activities like skiing and snowmobiling.

The park is divided into two units: north and south. In the north unit, you will find the park office, a boat rental, a few boat ramps, a beach, and the park’s modern campground. The modern campground comprises both electric and full hookup sites. The south unit features the enchanting prairie landscape, a frisbee golf course, a few boat ramps, picnic spots, and a non-modern campground. The primitive campground features a few non-electric RV and tent campsites.

The park opened its doors to visitors and campers in June of 1937. The park boasts many masterful works of Civilian Conservation Corps craftsmanship. The park’s name was chosen via a contest featuring hundreds of entries. The park is named after one of Iowa’s leading names in the field of Botany, Thomas MacBride. April to October is both the busiest and best camping season at Lake MacBride State Park.

RV Rentals in Lake Macbride State Park

Transportation in Lake Macbride State Park

Driving

Lake MacBride State Park is situated in the forested valleys of Mill and Jordan creeks, a few miles from Solon in Johnson County. Iowa City and its suburb, Coralville, are also located nearby. RV campers can easily access the park from any of the three cities in less than thirty minutes if weather permits. During winters, storms, and rainfalls, it usually takes a little longer to reach the park.

The park is divided into two units; the north unit is located nearly four miles to the west of Solon at the end of County Road F-16. You will find the park office here. The other unit, known as the south unit, lies to the west of Solon approximately three miles away off County Road F-28. The park entrance lies at the north unit.

There are no strict driving instructions for RVs. You can easily drive RVs and cars, or ride your bikes on the park roads. The roads are in good condition, but some of them may be too narrow or winding for large rigs. Parking is adequate both at the entrance and inside the park.

Parking

Public Transport

Campgrounds and parking in Lake Macbride State Park

Campsites in Lake Macbride State Park

Reservations camping

Modern Campground

The modern campground, located in the north unit, is the pick for campers looking for a modern camping experience. The campground features a wide range of facilities including but not limited to a shower, dump station, and a children’s playground a small ride away. 38 electric and 10 full hookup sites make up the total campsites in this campground.

RVs up to 80 feet in length fit into most of the campsites. A few back-in sites are also available. Most of the sites are available for reservations. The rest are available on a first-come, first-served basis. The peak camping season lasts April to October. Showers and hydrants are mostly unavailable during the off-season.

Primitive Campground

The primitive campground is enjoyed by those who like remote, non-modern camping. There are 60 non-electric campsites in the area. Usually, tent campers book these campsites to enjoy a primitive camping experience. RV campers with vehicles up to 30 feet long can also claim a campsite in the campground located in the south unit of the park.

Except for a few sites, all campsites can be reserved online. There are two restroom facilities in the campground: one features a restroom with flush toilets while the other features showers and vault toilets. A playground lies towards the south entrance.

A reservable, back-in group campsite called the Youth Group Campsite for a maximum of 30 people also lies within this south campground.

First-come first-served

First-Come, First-Served

At both campgrounds a certain number of spots are available on a first-come, first-served basis only.

Alternate camping

Seasonal activities in Lake Macbride State Park

In-Season

Swimming and Sunbathing

Want to break free from the intensity of heat? Want to have a relaxing time dipping in the cold and calm water? If yes, drive your trailer to Lake MacBride State Park during the summer and have fun swimming and splashing in the lake water. A sandy beach offers swimmers a chance to unwind and relieve stress. Sunbathing is also quite pleasurable at the beach. So, pack some good sunscreen in your campervan if you are looking to soak some sunshine while camping at this Iowa state park.

Fishing and Boating

Lake MacBride State Park is the definition of happiness for anglers. If you are looking for the best fishing option in Iowa, Lake MacBride is undoubtedly on the top of the list. This lake may be the only fishery in Iowa where you can try your luck for the exceptional Kentucky spotted bass. Other alluring species include walleyes, catfish, muskies, and crappies.

Boating opportunities are no less either. Park your motorhome or trailer in a lot near any one of the seven boat ramps and get into the crystal waters. During the peak season, a speed limit of 10 hp is in effect. During the off-season, this speed limit is reduced to five hp.

Picnicking

Make your reunions memorable while RV camping at Lake MacBride State Park. The park offers four open picnic shelters that are also a part of its reservation system. These picnic shelters guarantee an unforgettable picnic experience with the provision of excellent amenities in fantastic locations with refreshing sights in the background. Three of the shelters accommodate 50 people while another one is spacious enough for up to 75 picnickers.

Off-Season

Hiking

Lake MacBride State Park possesses some of the most spectacular natural features that will make your heart flutter. Witness all these incredible spectacles in their full glory at Lake MacBride’s hiking trails. Miles of hiking trails are a part of the park’s acres of spell-binding scenery. Hiking does wonders to both mind and body. Revel in the luxuries of hiking, shed a few pounds, explore the park’s beautiful locales, and marvel on the beauty of nature during your next RV trip to Lake MacBride State Park.

Skiing and Snowmobiling

When a blanket of snow engulfs everything, it’s hard to confine yourself indoors and not get out and feel the fluffiness of snow by yourself. Do you also like winter outdoors? Book a campsite for yourself and your RV for the next winter season and enjoy a fascinating array of winter recreation like snowmobiling and cross-country skiing on the park’s hiking trails laden with puffy snow. Glide over snow or race in your snowmobile with friends and family, whatever way you choose to celebrate winter, you are going to have an exciting winter vacation here at Lake MacBride.

Sightseeing and Wildlife Viewing

This Iowa state park is home to some of the most spectacular prairie landscapes in the entire state. Prairie, when covered in snow, looks soul-stirringly beautiful. Other captivating landscapes include woodlands, grasslands, and woodlands. Also, the wildlife of this park is not something to be missed. You will discover a fantastic range of wildlife creatures including mammals, reptiles, birds, amphibians, and insects to name a few. Bring those binoculars and explore every nook and cranny of the park in the pursuit of majestic wildlife and splendid habitats.

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