Pine Lake State Park
Guide

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Introduction

Just one mile west of the city of Eldora, you will find Pine Lake State Park a facility that offers diverse exposure to nature. The park covers 668 acres and is 974 feet in elevation. Visitors can enjoy a self-guided nature trail to explore the natural beauty of this Iowa state park. With over 10 miles of lakeside trails, visitors can enjoy the cooling breeze as they marvel at the beauty of sandstone outcroppings. Nature enthusiasts will love the many trails traversing the wooded area.

Dominated by two lovely water bodies this northeast Iowa park is home to the 50-acre Lower Pine Lake and 69-acre Upper Pine Lake. Though the native giant white pine trees which the park was named after were destroyed by a storm in 2009, the park is beautifully carpeted by ferns, lush green vegetation, and deciduous trees. RVers love the outdoor recreational activities offered here including hiking, boating, and picnicking. With the Iowa River flowing along the park’s boundary, guests can take part in fishing as well.

Visiting this park is a great way to spend your RV camping vacation with your family. Established in 1926, the park is home to over 120 campsites situated in the woods. Pine Lake State Park is open all year round with the peak season being from May to September. There are also many species of birds living within the park including bald eagles, hawks, and warblers. Woodpeckers are often spotted along the park’s hardwood forests. If you are lucky enough you can spot pelicans on the lake's shorelines.

RV Rentals in Pine Lake State Park

Transportation in Pine Lake State Park

Driving

Just two miles north of the town of Steamboat Rock, both RV and cars can get to the park easily. The road leading to the park meanders through the farmland giving guests the most expansive views of lush green vegetation. Driving directions depend on the town you are coming from. Navigating the interior roads is easy and perfect for all types of vehicles including big rigs. There are plenty of parking lots within the park. Depending on your liking hiking and biking trails are a great way to get to all the park’s facilities.

Parking

Public Transport

Campgrounds and parking in Pine Lake State Park

Campsites in Pine Lake State Park

Reservations camping

Pine Lake State Park Campground

Pine Lake State Park features a pet-friendly campground with 124 campsites suitable for tents and RVs. Most sites are equipped with electrical hookups, while other sites are primitive. Amenities offered within the campground include modern showers, water, toilets, picnic tables, and fire rings. There are no sewer hookups in Pine Lake State Park but there is RV dump station available.

Sites can accommodate a trailer or RV of up to 105 feet in length. About three-quarters of the park’s campsites can be reserved online from two days prior up to three months in advance.

First-come first-served

Pine Lake State Park Campground

Approximately one-quarter of the campsites are available on first-come, first-served basis. In addition, all unreserved sites become available on first-come, first-served basis.

Alternate camping

Seasonal activities in Pine Lake State Park

In-Season

Beach Activities

With clear water and a sandy shore on Lower Pine Lake, this beach is perfect for swimming during the summer. You can enjoy sunbathing as well as taking nature walks along the shorelines. The beach area is equipped with modern restrooms. The beach is not patrolled by a lifeguard; therefore, visitors swim at their own risk.

Hiking

Hikers are drawn to the gorgeous scenery and diverse habitats of the park. Depending on your point of interest the trails will take you to the lakes, the river, and the woodlands. If hiking through the park you will appreciate spotting an array of wildlife and birds. Rocky outcroppings add fun to the landscape making nature walks a popular activity with photographers. Once inside the park, visitors can take a hike to the point where Pine Creek merges with Iowa River. Here visitors can relax and listen to the rumbling of the creek.

Fishing

The two lakes and Iowa River provide outstanding angling opportunities for people of all ages. In the Lower Pine Lake, anglers can catch bass, crappie, and pike. Popular fish species in the Upper Pine Lake include channel catfish, bluegill, and white crappie. In the Iowa River, anglers can expect to catch anything from channel catfish to smallmouth bass. The many fishing jetties in both lakes that make it convenient for anglers to enjoy bank fishing. Ice fishing is permitted during winter.

Off-Season

Boating

Camping at Pine Lake State Park gives visitors the chance to enjoy and explore the outdoor recreation that it offers. Guests can park their campervans close to the lakes or Iowa River docks. Both the Upper and Lower Pine Lakes are boater-friendly and are fitted with boat ramps for convenience. You will need to bring a boat or a canoe in your travel trailer to enjoy the calm waters of the lake. Only electric motor watercrafts are permitted on the lakes.

Picnicking

Day users can enjoy their picnic lunch in any of the picnic sites scattered in the Upper Lake Boat Ramp, near the beach, and at Circle Point. Horseshoe picnic area and Hogsback Bluffs picnic area are the most popular. Most of the sites are heavily forested providing adequate shade from the sun. For those interested in the three open picnic shelters they can reserve them online in advance. All day use areas are equipped with fireplaces, tables, and restrooms. There is a large lodge where guests can enjoy lunch indoors during family reunions. The lodge is available on a reservations basis. From the picnic areas, guests can easily access the entire park’s facility.

Biking

If you brought your mountain bike in your rig, you will love riding along the two-and-a-half-mile biking trail that links the campground to the lakes. This gorgeous trail has some excellent views and is a perfect way to keep fit while enjoying Iowa outdoors. In case you want a challenging and longer route, there is a 50-mile biking trail linking Pine Lake and George Wyth Memorial State Parks.

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