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Spending your vacation camping in an RV is a great way to see the natural beauty of the United States. One such beautiful park is Lake Anita State Park, located south of Anita, Iowa. This state park features a 171-acre reservoir that is fed by the Nishnabotna River. You don't need to own a rig to enjoy camping with an RV. Browse the RV rentals in Cass County and find a vehicle to suit your style.
The biggest draw for visitors to Lake Anita State Park is the lake itself, where boating, swimming, and fishing are extremely popular. Stock up on your camping supplies and snacks in Massena, which is only about 15 minutes to the south of the park. If you're driving in from the north, then you may want to stock up on supplies in Adair, which is just over 10 minutes northeast.
A Lake Anita State Park camping experience offers so much more than lounging around a campsite. Visitors come to the park to tackle some of the nature trails that wind throughout the park and to spend the weekend on the water. The self-guided, one-third-mile nature trail gives visitors a glimpse of the abundant and photo-worthy flora that's part of the park’s charm. The Lake Anita Loop is a four-and-a-half-mile loop trail that gives hikers a great view of the lake as it winds around the entire lake. This trail is of moderate difficulty.
If you're visiting in the summer, bring along your bathing suit and sunscreen. The beach along Lake Anita is pristine sand and a great spot for a spirited game of volleyball. Sailboating, canoeing, kayaking, and paddleboarding are popular on the lake. There are no lifeguards on duty at the lake, but visitors can still swim and wade along the shore. A concession stand is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day near the beach, where you can buy snacks, drinks, and souvenirs.
RV camping at state parks with great fishing opportunities gives visitors a chance to catch their dinner fresh from the lake or river. Lake Anita is a fantastic place to cast your line in hopes of catching bluegill, walleye, largemouth bass, crappie, or channel catfish. You can fish from the shore of the lake or take a boat out to deeper water for a relaxing afternoon of fishing. Be sure to check with the park office regarding any restrictions that may be in place.
State park RV campgrounds are a great place to camp and enjoy nature. More than 150 campsites are available to reserve in advance, many of which come with full hookups. About a third of the campsites have water and electric, while others are primitive. Several campsites have access to Lake Anita. Modern restrooms and shower facilities are centrally located within the park’s campground. It's a good idea to make a reservation during the park’s busy season to ensure you get a campsite.
If you're looking for a place to camp near Lake Anita State Park, check out Shelby RV Park in Shelby. While this is considered a basic RV Park, the campsites are level with room for an additional vehicle. Electrical hookups are available at some campsites, and there's a community picnic area instead of a picnic table at each site. Wi-Fi is also available here.
Alternatively, reserve a site at Shady Brook Camping in Earlham, about 30 minutes from the park. Each campsite is level, and most spots have plenty of shade. There are 30 or 50-amp electric hookups at many of the campsites. Hot shower facilities are centrally located within the campgrounds.
While camping at Lake Anita State Park, take some time to visit Omaha, Nebraska and Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium. Omaha is only about an hour a half away from the park. Thousands of animals from around the world are housed in the 160-acre zoo, including big cats, rhinos, penguins, giraffes, and many more are able to be seen. There's even a webcam where you can watch certain animals. You can still visit the zoo when the weather isn't ideal and check out the seven acres of indoor exhibits, such as the reptile house and aquarium.
While exploring Omaha, drop in and see the Durham Museum, housed in the former Union Station. This museum’s mission is to preserve the history of the western region of the United States. The architecture of the former Union Station blends well with the exhibits and displays that transport visitors back through the history and culture of the west. The Durham Museum has partnered with the Smithsonian Institution, Library of Congress, and National Archives to bring traveling exhibits to the museum.
Visit Adair, Iowa and the Jesse James Historical Site, where the first known robbery of a moving train occurred on July 21, 1873. A shipment of gold amounting to $75,000 was rumored to be on the train traveling from the Cheyenne region through Adair. Jesse James, his brother Frank, and the rest of the gang made plans to pull off the big heist. The James gang pulled up part of the track causing the train to careen off the track and land on its side in a ditch. The engineer, John Rafferty, was killed as well as a fireman. When Jesse and Frank boarded the train and got the safe open, they found just $2,000 — the gold shipment had been delayed.