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Red Haw State Park is a woodland oasis in the heart of America’s farm country. It's set around placid Red Haw Lake, which provides a scenic backdrop for swimming, boating, hiking, and picnicking. The lake is also one of the top pan-fishing destinations in Iowa, making Red Haw State Park a rewarding destination for anglers. An RV-friendly campground set under a sun-dappled canopy of oak, pine, maple, and hawthorn trees makes it easy to enjoy an extended motorhome camping trip at Red Haw State Park.
Planning an escape to the Hawkeye State? Book an RV in Lucas County and you can combine the creature comforts of a self-contained camper with the novelty of sleeping under the stars. An RV rental will make it easy to access other popular Iowa attractions like Maquoketa Caves State Park and the Effigy Mounds National Monument.
Fringed by a grassy foreshore, the 72-acre Red Haw Lake is a fantastic place to soak up the sunshine and cool off in the clear water. The park is also known as a premier pan-fishing destination, with the chance to reel in tasty bluegill – perfect for a fish fry back at your camper rental. The lake is also well-stocked with bass, crappie, and catfish. Cast a line from one of the fishing jetties or launch a boat and access deeper waters. To maintain the peaceful atmosphere, Red Haw Lake allows canoes, kayaks, and electric trolling motors with no wake.
When lunchtime rolls around, claim one of the scenic picnic areas overlooking the lake. They're set on the grass and feature tables and grills. There are also five pavilions that can be reserved for group events like birthday parties and family reunions, as well as a historic Civilian Conservation Corps stone shelter with a central fireplace that's popular for weddings. The southern end of the park is occupied by a 230-acre woodland that's popular with hunters. Expect to pursue white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, pheasants, quail, and cottontails.
Scenic hiking trails wind through the park and are a great way to stretch your legs and discover local flora and fauna. The four-mile Lake Loop Trail is an excellent option for families, promising flat terrain and beautiful views of the lake. As you hike, watch for local birdlife such as bluebirds, flycatchers, and red-headed woodpeckers. You could also spot eagles and hawks soaring overhead. Hiking in the park is especially beautiful in April, when thousands of Eastern redbud trees come into bloom. In the winter, Red Haw State Park transforms into a snow-dusted outdoor playground, with ice skating, sledding, skiing, and snowmobiling on offer.
The Red Haw State Park campground enjoys a picturesque lakeside setting shaded by mature oaks, maples, and pines. Choose from 76 RV-friendly sites, most with either 30 or 50-amp electric hookups. There are no water or sewage hookups, but you'll have access to several potable water stations. Red Haw State Park offers the same amenities as most state park RV campgrounds, including modern restrooms with showers as well as a dump station.
When RV camping at Red Haw State Park, you're within walking distance of the beach and boat launch areas, as well as a handful of nature trails. There are both back-in and pull-through sites, making Red Haw State Park a good option for both experienced and novice RV drivers. Reservations can be made up to three months in advance and are recommended if you're traveling in the summer, especially over the busy period from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
Camping at Red Haw State Park puts you in the heart of Southern Iowa, where you'll find a postcard-perfect landscape of rolling hills, shimmering lakes, and rural farms. For a change of scene, spend the day at Rathbun Lake, which lures sunseekers with a sandy beach and excellent fishing. Chariton is a ten-minute drive from the campground and offers a good selection of gas stations and grocery stores. For an adrenaline-fueled day out, head to the Knoxville Raceway, a 30-minute drive north of Chariton on Highway 14.
Des Moines is a one-hour drive north and is a popular city to rent a camper near Red Haw State Park. Easy access to major roadways and Des Moines International Airport make the state capital a great place to kickstart an Iowa road trip. While you're in town, don't miss attractions like the Des Moines Art Center and the Blank Park Zoo. You can also explore upbeat neighborhoods like East Village and stock up on fresh produce at the city's farmers' markets.