Prairie Rose State Park
Guide

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Introduction

Prairie Rose State Park is a scenic 422-acre state park in the hills of western Iowa. Named after a small town once located in the area, the park is a popular spot for outdoor recreation like picnicking, fishing, boating and more.

Set on the edge of a 218-acre lake, most of the activities at the park are water-based. Campers and day visitors alike can make use of the boat ramp to launch their own watercraft, fish for bass and crappie in the lake, or simply relax and suntan on the beach.

A network of seven multi-purpose trails weaves through Prairie Rose State Park, and is used for hiking, biking, snowmobiling and cross-country skiing. Pack your binoculars and bird watch along the park’s interpretive trail, or make use of the well groomed snow trails in the off season. While the park is open all year round, there are limited large sites so if you’re travelling with a large RV, it's recommended to book in advance.

RV Rentals in Prairie Rose State Park

Transportation in Prairie Rose State Park

Driving

Prairie Rose State Park is easy to get to, located off Interstate 80, six miles east and three miles south of Harlan, Iowa. Drive down the M46 and you’ll find the park entrance well sign posted. Once inside the park, there are paved roads and gravel pads that are fairly level. Take care to watch out for deer and oncoming traffic within the park.

Once you’ve set up camp, you can get around by hiking or biking with various trails meandering through the park. There is also a boat ramp for those who wish to explore the park from the lake, as well as parking spots available in the campground.

Parking

Public Transport

Campgrounds and parking in Prairie Rose State Park

Campsites in Prairie Rose State Park

Reservations camping

Cabins

For those who prefer not to camp at Prairie Rose State Park, there are two camping cabins available. Each cabin comes with heating and air-conditioning, a fridge, table and chairs, and two twin over full bunk beds. There are water hydrants and a pit latrine next to the cabins. Each cabin accommodates five to seven people.

First-come first-served

Alternate camping

East Campground

The East Campground is the larger campground at Prairie Rose State Park and offers a variety of full hookup and electric only sites for tents, RVs and large rigs. This campground is popular among RV campers with campsites catering for large rigs up to 60 feet in length. There is also a modern restroom with showers and toilets, a basketball court, horseshoe pits, and a playground. Campers have access to a dump station.

Other facilities in the park include a boat ramp, fishing pier, picnic areas, picnic shelters, and a beach.

West Campground

The West Campground at Prairie Rose State Park is a popular spot for tent camping with electric only and non-hookup sites. Campers have access to a modern restroom with showers and toilets. Campers have access to a dump station.

Other facilities in the park include a playground, basketball court, boat ramp, and fishing pier. There are also picnic areas, picnic shelters, and a beach.

Seasonal activities in Prairie Rose State Park

In-Season

Hiking

There are seven miles of trails weaving their way throughout Prairie Rose State Park. These trails can be used for hiking, biking, snowmobiling, and cross-country skiing. There is also an interpretive trail in the north-western corner of the park where campers and day visitors alike can stroll along the lakeshore and admire the plants, animals and birds that call the park home.

Water Recreation

Prairie Rose State Park is a favorite spot for water enthusiasts. The 218-acre lake is a popular area for boating, swimming, and fishing. Pack your swimsuit and hang out at the beach, or bring your own watercraft to launch at the boat ramp.

Fishing

Prairie Rose State Park is a popular spot for anglers fishing for a variety of fish, including bass, channel catfish, bluegill, and crappie. Both day visitors and campers alike can enjoy fishing from the shoreline, from the water or from the six fishing piers at the lake. Two boat ramps make it easy to launch your own fishing boat, and there is also a fish cleaning dock available.

Off-Season

Ice Boating

The 218-acre lake at Prairie Rose State Park has two boat ramps that offer easy access to the lake. Campers can enjoy all types of boating here in the summertime as well as ice boating in the winter. Any size motors are permitted as long as you adhere to the no-wake rules.

Picnics

Prairie Rose State Park is a beautiful spot for picnics all year round. A variety of picnic areas are available with stunning views of the lake. Pack your picnic and enjoy use of two open picnic shelters that can be reserved at a fee. Both shelters are equipped with electrical outlets.

Snow Activities

The hiking trails in the eastern corner of Prairie Rose State Park are popular in the winter months. Campers and day visitors can enjoy all sorts of snow sports, such as snowmobiling and cross-country skiing. There is a special two-mile snowmobile trail that’s great for all levels.

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