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On the westernmost edge of Iowa, just 95 miles south of Sioux City, ten miles east of Omaha, NE, and 28 miles west of Carson rests a historic little Iowan state park. Lewis and Clark State Park is only 176 acres, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in natural beauty. This park is nestled in the horseshoe crook of Blue Lake and provides a nice location for fishing and other water sports.
In 1804, famed American explorers Meriwether Lewis and Captain Williams Clark landed in the place where the park now resides during their great expedition to discover the West.
The main draw to the park is definitely Blue Lake. At 269 acres, Blue Lake provides the perfect spot for fishing and human-powered boating. Anglers at Lewis and Clark are lucky because the lake is stocked throughout the year with a large supply of black bullhead, bluegill, channel catfish, common carp, largemouth bass, and northern pike. Take a boat onto the lake or fish from the jetty. There are no motor regulations for boats on the lake.
Another fun characteristic that draws people to Lewis and Clark State Park is the keelboat display. The keelboat is an exact replica of the vehicle that Lewis and Clark operated on their famous excursion out west. They named the barge “Best Friend,” and it's a magnificent sight to see. This piece of art is one of many replicas of the boats that took these adventurers on their quest, all of which can be found in the keelboat display room. Texts and stories about the expedition are also available for Lewis and Clark State Park campers.
If you enjoy a bit of hunting, the surrounding area provides more than 1,300 acres of hunting land. Depending on the season, you can hunt deer, pheasant, turkey, waterfowl, and dove. A hunting license is required for all participants over the age of 16. A wildlife habitat fee also applies, which must be paid by residents and non-residents before they're allowed to hunt. Non-Iowa residents must provide an out-of-state hunting license.
Lewis and Clark State Park has just under 100 campsites available for your RV rental equipped water and electrical hookups with 30 and 50-amp service. Full hookups are provided at an additional 12 campsites. Most of the sites sit on the shoreline of Blue Lake and offer a nice view of the water. The campground can accommodate campers up to 90 feet in length. Nearly all campsites are back-in only, but the bigger ones are pull-through.
Motorhome camping at Lewis and Clark is easy, thanks to a variety of convenient amenities. Visitors can feel free to use the public restrooms and hot showers. Firewood is available for purchase as well as ice. The park provides trash dumpsters and dump stations to help keep the park clean. If you’re looking to have a family barbecue, there's a playground for the children, as well as horseshoe pits and a picnic area — everything you’ll need to have the perfect grill day in the sun.
A stone's throw east of the park will land you in the small city of Onawa, Iowa. Onawa calls itself a progressive Midwestern community, full of art, fairs, festivals, and shops. Whether it’s the Harvest Festival, the Monona Fair, or any of its summer events, there's always something stirring in Onawa. Scenically, there are also swaths of farmland, old-style homes, and the backdrop of the Loess Hills.
Or, head north to the big life of Sioux City! Whatever you're into, Sioux City has it. If you happen to be visiting during the winter months, Cone Park is a great place to bring the family tubing. Or, head to the Launchpad Children’s Museum for a fun day of learning. Sioux City is also home to a rock climbing gym, an arts center, and a library. Sioux City is also a great spot to go for dinner and a little nightlife.
Another short drive from the park is Council Bluffs, Iowa. The art and architecture alone are worth the trip. Enjoy the beauty of the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge, or any of the fountains, cemeteries, monuments, or other gems around town. The Lincoln Scenic Byway goes right through Council Bluffs. The city also has just about anything you’d want to eat: from your fast-food favorites to steakhouses, seafood restaurants, and Mexican fare, this place has it all.
With respect to gas stations, you'll find a couple right around the park itself, but if you miss them, the big city of Omaha has plenty. Once your rental RV's tank is full and you’ve had your fill of food from one of the lively neighboring areas, the next step is up to you. There's a crossroads at the park where I-80 and I-29 intersect. These can take you just about anywhere you’d like to go.