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Set on a shimmering lake, Prairie Rose State Park is one of the top outdoor recreation destinations in Iowa. There are plenty of opportunities to soak up the Midwest sunshine, from swimming, boating, and fishing in the lake to hiking scenic trails and enjoying picnics on the grassy foreshore. A lakeside campground makes it easy to enjoy an extended getaway to Prairie Rose State Park.
Planning an adventure in the Hawkeye State? Book an RV in Shelby County and you can make a splash at Prairie Rose State Park. You'll love combining the creature comforts of a motorhome with the novelty of sleeping under the stars. With a home on wheels, you'll also have the freedom to extend your trip and discover Iowa gems like Maquoketa Caves State Park and the Effigy Mounds National Monument.
At the heart of the park, the 218-acre lake provides a picturesque backdrop for water sports. The sandy beach is great for swimming and sunbathing, while a pair of boat ramps make it easy to launch canoes and kayaks. The lake also allows motorboats at "no wake" speeds. Anglers will jump at the chance to reel in bass, channel catfish, bluegill, and crappie from the clear waters of Prairie Rose Lake. Cast a line from one of the six fishing jetties or head out to deeper water.
More than seven miles of trails wind through the park and are a great way to stretch your legs and enjoy the scenery. In the northwest corner of the park, an interpretive trail skirts the lakeshore. Along the way, a series of informational plaques spotlight local flora and fauna. Things don't slow down in the winter, when snow-dusted Prairie Rose State Park transforms into an outdoor playground for snowmobiling and cross-country skiing.
Prairie Rose State Park is dotted with scenic picnic areas overlooking the lake. There are also a pair of spacious picnic shelters that can be reserved for group events like birthday parties and family reunions.
The Prairie Rose State Park campground enjoys a picturesque setting by the lake. Sites are spread across two campgrounds and offer plenty of shade, space, and privacy from your neighbors. The east campground appeals to campers in search of creature comforts and offers full hookup sites with electric, water, and sewer connections. Like most state park RV campgrounds in North America, Prairie Rose comes complete with restroom and shower facilities as well as a dump station. Kid-friendly amenities like a basketball court, horseshoe pits, and playground make the east campground a favorite with families.
The west campground is popular with back-to-basics vacationers and features a mix of electric and non-electric sites. You'll also have access to primitive restrooms. In addition to the east and west campgrounds, Prairie Rose State Park offers two self-catering cabins with bunk beds, heating and air conditioning, and basic kitchen facilities. As one of the most popular outdoor recreation areas in Iowa, it's best to make reservations for your Prairie Rose State Park camping trip in advance, especially if you're traveling over the busy period from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Dogs are welcome, so why not rent a pet-friendly camper and bring along Fido on your Prairie Rose State Park camping trip?
RV camping at Prairie Rose State Park puts you in the heart of Western Iowa, where you'll find beautiful rural scenery, historic towns, and Civil War sites. Behind the wheel, you can cruise along a fantastic network of scenic byways and historic driving trails. Be sure to stop at one of the Amish roadside stands selling handmade baskets, quilts, bread, jellies, honey, and other treats. An organized visit to one of the local Amish farms offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the traditionalist way of life. Throughout the year, the region hosts a colorful lineup of events, including the annual Walnut Antique Show and Shelby County Speedway stock car races.
The small town of Harlan is a three-mile drive from the campground and is a good place to stock up on fuel, food, and other motorhome camping essentials. Des Moines is an hour and a half east and offers a huge selection of RV rentals, as well as good highway connections and access to Des Moines International Airport. The state capital will also win you over with attractions like the gold-domed State Capitol Building and Des Moines Art Center, as well as lively neighborhoods like East Village.