Iowa may not be at the top of your list for a vacation getaway; however, the state park system offers fantastic opportunities for families to reconnect. Gull Point State Park, near Milford, is one such park that offers activities on the lake and throughout the park. This park is part of the Iowa Great Lakes region and is on West Okoboji Lake. Plan to spend the weekend RV camping at Gull Point State Park. You don't need to own an RV to enjoy a vacation here. Book an RV in Dickinson County and get ready for an adventure in the great outdoors.
Be sure to stock up on camping supplies in Spirit Lake, which is less than 15 minutes northeast of the park. If you're looking for a bigger city to do a little shopping and find great restaurants, Sioux City is just under two hours southwest of Gull Point State Park. But once you park your rig at the scenic campgrounds of Gull Point State Park, you probably won't be inclined to go anywhere else.
Make sure to pack your hiking shoes for your Gull Point State Park camping trip. The western side of the park is perfect for avid hikers with trails that range from easy to difficult. The self-guided interpretive trail is just over a mile long and allows hikers to learn more about the region’s fauna and flora. Pick up a trail guide at the park office before heading out. The trails also permit cross-country skiing in the winter.
The park is situated on the shore of West Okoboji Lake, and the beach is an excellent place to relax and gaze out over the water. Bring your bathing suit and a beach towel for some sunbathing, or splash along the shore. Swimming is allowed; however, there's no lifeguard on duty at the park. Boating is also allowed, and a boat launch ramp is located in the park. Canoeing, kayaking, and paddleboarding are fun activities on a hot day. Sailboats are a common sight on West Okoboji Lake.
Bring along your fishing gear in your rental RV and try your luck at catching your dinner while camping at Gull Point State Park. West Okoboji Lake is one of the prime fishing spots in all of Iowa. The lake is filled with a variety of fish, including bass, perch, bluegill, catfish, walleye, bullhead, and more. Check with the park office for fishing license requirements and any catch-and-release restrictions.
Camping at Gull Point State Park
State park RV camping is a great way to meet new people and enjoy the quietness of nature. Although there are more than 100 reservable sites here, the campground at Gull Point State Park is very popular and tends to fill up fast during the busy season. Make sure you make your reservations early. The entire campground is well-shaded and has modern flush toilets and hot showers. A dump station is available for campers. Over half of the campsites have electric hookups, and potable water is within walking distance.
CenLa RV Park in Spirit Lake is under 15 minutes from Gull Point State Park and is a great alternative to RV camping at the state park. This RV park has campsites with only electric hookups or campsites with electric and water hookups. All sites have Wi-Fi and cable TV. Modern restrooms are centrally located within the park and have hot shower facilities.
Fieldstone RV Park, located in Arnolds Park, is only about a ten-minute drive to Gull Point State Park. This RV park boasts several deluxe RV campsites with full hookups. Showers, restrooms, and a laundry room are centrally located within the park for guests to use.
Exploring the Area
After you're finished exploring Gull Point State Park, head over to Spirit Lake and take a day or more to explore Elinor Bedell State Park. This 80-acre state park is on the east shore of East Okoboji Lake. This parcel of land was a gift from former United States Congressman Berkley Bedell and his wife Elinor. Visitors to the park can enjoy swimming, boating, fishing, or hiking.
Make plans to visit the Dickinson County Nature Center in Okoboji, only about 15 minutes from Gull Point State Park. This nature center is open year-round and has an indoor beehive where you can learn about the importance of bees and see these interesting insects working together to create and maintain their hive. There are also live animals, a bat cave, and painted turtles. Visitors can see a replica osprey nest and can even watch a live osprey nest located in Kenue Park via webcam.
After visiting the Dickinson County Nature Center, take the time to head over to the Higgins Museum in Okoboji, where you can learn about money. The museum opened in 1978 for the sole purpose of preserving and displaying banknotes. Now, the museum houses not just banknotes but also related artifacts. Visitors to the Higgins Museum can view one of the biggest collections in the United States of National Bank Note issues.