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Northeast Iowa is shaped by the Mississippi River Valley, which gives it a landscape that's slightly different than that of the rest of Iowa, but equally gorgeous. George Wyth State Park is located midway between Cedar Falls and Waterloo, just west of Dubuque. It's part of the National Urban Wildlife Sanctuary and is a relaxing escape from city life.
In 1940, nearly a decade after President Roosevelt’s New Deal was set into motion, the Josh Higgins Parkway was established. Josh Higgins was a popular radio personality in the 1920s and '30s. Sixteen years later in 1956, the park was renamed George Wyth State Park after J. George Wyth of Cedar Falls. George was a conservationist who helped shape the Cedar Falls Park system.
If it’s water activities you’re into, George Wyth has it. If you want to hike some trails or view some wildlife, George Wyth is the place. If the Midwest is calling your name for an RV camping vacation, book an RV in Black Hawk County and get to planning your trip.
Hikers at George Wyth State Park are sure to enjoy the trails here. An extensive trail system connects this park to surrounding state parks. George Wyth itself has three and a half miles of paved, accessible trails that are good for hiking or biking. The park also offers ten miles of unpaved hiking trails. There's a 50-mile lake-to-lake route that connects the park with Pine Lake, and another 80 miles of trails within the Waterloo/Cedar Falls metropolitan area. There will be no shortage of trails for even the most athletic adventurers.
Water enthusiasts have four lakes and one river to explore here. Anglers at George Wyth State Park can enjoy the accessible fishing jetty on the 75-acre George Wyth Lake. Combined with Brinker Lake, Alice Wyth Lake, Fisher Lake, and Cedar River, there are over 300 acres of water on which to fish, swim, or drive a boat. Motorboats are allowed on the lake as well as human-powered boats.
Wildlife viewing at George Wyth is worth bringing the binoculars. Birders have documented over 200 species of birds in the Waterloo/Cedar Falls area. Under the right circumstances, you're sure to see a white-tailed deer roaming the grounds as well. With the scenic landscape that surrounds you, the novice and professional photographers among you will be able to capture some brilliant images for your collection.
If you’re looking to park your camper rental at George Wyth State Park, you’ll have over 60 campsites at which to stay. Over 35 sites have electrical hookups with 30 and 50-amp service. The maximum length for motorhomes is 66 feet. All sites are back-in only.
There are dump stations where you can dispose of waste. George Wyth also provides public toilets and showers for its visitors. In terms of amenities, there are four picnic shelters and one enclosed picnic shelter that must be reserved for use. Camping at George Wyth State Park is good for kids and dogs (as long as they're leashed and well-behaved). Select sites are ADA-accessible. The park is also surrounded by lakes, so no matter where you camp at George Wyth State Park, you’ll have easy water access.
Want to experience a little Hollywood nostalgia? Dyersville is just over an hour east of George Wyth and is the site of the famous 1990 blockbuster smash Field of Dreams. The cornfield that was turned into a spirited baseball field for the movie is still used to this day by teams across Iowa and beyond. Baseball and cinema enthusiasts will love this place. There's also a gift shop, and you can take guided tours of the house and the farm.
A ten-minute drive east of the park, you’ll find Cedar Falls. This town is alive with culture! Check out the downtown area for live music, specialty shops, restaurants, bars, and other entertainment. This place has it all. There's always an event taking place in Cedar Falls throughout the year, whether it’s a concert, fair, festival, or race for charity. Make sure to check out the calendar of events to see what’s happening while you’re in town.
You won’t need to go far outside the park to have fun. Waterloo is full of shops, museums, restaurants, and sports teams. Take the family bowling or paintballing, or have a nice romantic dinner at a grill house or a Chinese food spot. Maybe see the Bluedorn Science Imaginarium or the John Deere Tractor and Engine Museum. The nightlife is also thriving in Waterloo with casinos and late-night bars.
In Waterloo, you'll find plenty of gas stations at which to top up your tank. The greater Waterloo area has enough restaurants to satisfy anyone in your family. Then, once your George Wyth State Park camping trip has reached its end and you're road-ready, you can take Highway 20 east towards the next major city of Dubuque.