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Located in central Iowa on the southern shore of Lake Red Rock is Elk Rock State Park. With 50,000 acres of forested hills right next to Iowa’s largest lake, Elk Rock State Park offers the best opportunities to fish and boat in the state. The park’s namesake "elk rock" is located in the southern region of the park. The name of the lake derives from the red rock found in the area.
Some nearby parks open for exploring include Stephen’s State Forest, Lake Ahquabi State Park, and Whitebreast Park. There's also Cordova Park, which is located directly across Red Rock Lake. Nearby are several towns, and Des Moines, the capital city of Iowa, is just under an hour's drive away. Renting an RV near Elk Rock State Park is easy. Camping with an RV in a state like Iowa is plain memorable. Read on to discover how to plan the perfect Elk Rock State Park camping adventure.
While Elk Rock State Park is a quiet and calm place to visit, you'll find several activities that are sure to get you out of your RV rental and exploring the thousands of acres waiting for you. Considering Red Rock Lake is Iowa’s largest body of water, it’s no surprise this spot is a magnet for anyone and everyone who wants to boat, swim, or fish. There are two boat ramps available for public use. Pack your fishing gear in the motorhome rental and cast your line for bass and catfish.
While Red Rock Lake is a great location to fish and generally be out on the water, it's also an important stop for migratory birds. About 200 species of birds use Red Rock Lake and the surrounding area for food and rest. With so many species of birds abundant in the area, Elk Rock State Park is an excellent location to birdwatch for amateurs and experts alike. If you're lucky, you just might spot a majestic bald eagle soaring through the skies.
Besides being well known for its access to the lake and its excellent birdwatching opportunities, Elk Rock State Park is also known for its horseback riding trails. All of the trails begin in the vicinity of the equestrian campsites. All 13 miles of trails at the state park can be used for horseback riding, hiking, and biking. Be sure to check ahead before visiting with the intention to take to the trails. Elk Rock State Park will close the trails if conditions are too wet for use.
Elk Rock State Park RV campground is well-equipped for guests. The campground features dozens of reservable sites with standard amenities like modern restrooms, showers, and a dump station. While many of the sites have electrical hookups (some with 30-amp, others with 50-amp service), it’s important to note that not all of them do. Because many people visiting the park bring their horses, all of the campsites are spacious with plenty of room for a big rig. The maximum site length for motorhome rentals is 80 feet.
If you require more amenities and you're looking for an RV campground near Elk Rock State Park, check out Kellogg RV Park, located in Kellogg. Only 40 minutes north of Elk Rock State Park, this RV park has plenty of trees for shade and is located near a gas station and restaurant. Regardless of the size of your vehicle, this campground has a site to accommodate you. All sites are gravel with electrical service, sewer, water hookups, and Wi-Fi.
The area surrounding Elk Rock State Park boasts an abundance of museums, many of which specialize in local history. A special piece of history can be seen at the Pella Historical Village. Overseen by the Pella Historical Society and Museums, this historical village is home to antiques, a collection of buildings and shops that date back to the 1800s, and even the childhood home of Wyatt Earp. The Pella Historical Village is only 30 minutes from Elk Rock State Park. When you're finished touring the museum, the surrounding areas of modern Pella offer eateries and coffee shops, not to mention more opportunities for RV camping.
If you're visiting Pella in the spring, stop by the colorful Pella tulip gardens. Another botanical garden worth seeing is the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden. This botanical garden covers seven acres of exhibits and beautiful scenery. There are different areas, each with their own personality, such as a rose garden and a gravel garden, among others.
Less than two hours directly north is the Barn Stahl Petting Zoo in Grundy County. This petting zoo started out small but quickly grew to house about 100 animals. It began with cows and pigs, but now, there are also zebras, sheep, capybaras, bison, and more. Also at this petting zoo is a corn maze and pumpkin patch. No pets are permitted, though service animals are allowed.
When it comes to refueling and restocking, there are several towns only a few minutes away, such as Knoxville, Pershing, and Pleasantville. Only an hour away is Des Moines where you’re sure to find everything you need from restaurants to gas and sightseeing. What are you waiting for? Book an RV in Marion County and start planning your RV camping trip today!