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Popular with small families and first-time RV drivers who want a little more room than a van. Comparable to driving a truck.
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A formal-sounding name for camper van, but just as photogenic.
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Rent a motorhome and spend a weekend camping at Springbrook State Park, located near Guthrie Center, Iowa. The park was founded in 1926 and is one of the oldest state parks in Iowa. One of the draws of this park is the 17-acre spring-fed lake where visitors can enjoy swimming, boating, and fishing. You can book an RV in Guthrie County if you don't have your own rig.
The 930-acre park is only about 20 minutes southeast of Coon Rapids. If you're driving in from the south, stop in at Panora, only 15 minutes from Springbrook State Park. You can shop for camping supplies, souvenirs, and even get a bite to eat before parking your RV rental at Springbrook State Park for the weekend.
While RV camping at Springbrook State Park, get outdoors and enjoy the park's natural beauty. A total of 12 miles of hiking and biking trails wind throughout the park. When out on the trails in the morning or evening, expect to see deer snacking on the abundant grasses and plants found in the park. Pick up a trail guide from the park office so you know which trails best fit your athletic capabilities. Some of the trails connect Springbrook State Park with the Conservation Education Center, where guests are welcome to explore. During the winter months, four miles of trail is designated for snowmobiling.
The 17-acre lake and access to the Middle Raccoon River are big draws for Springbrook State Park campers. Pack your sunscreen and bathing suit and enjoy some water fun. Visitors can lounge on the sandy beach for an afternoon of sunbathing. Swimming is permitted, but there's no lifeguard on duty at the park. A boat launch ramp is located on the lake and another one on the river. Fishing is another popular activity on the lake. Anglers can cast their lines in hopes of catching largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, or catfish.
Hunting is permitted in designated areas of Springbrook State Park during certain seasons. Park rangers organize controlled deer hunts within specific recreational areas of the park, but hunters must pre-register. Contact the park office for more details on hunting at Springbrook State Park and licensing requirements.
State park RV camping is a great way to make memories that last a lifetime. Springbrook State Park offers more than 90 reservable, comfortable campsites with fire rings and picnic tables. Most sites are equipped with electric hookups, while some sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Modern restrooms and showers are centrally located within the campground, and a dump station is also available.
Camping with an RV at a KOA is a great way to relax and meet new people. The Des Moines West KOA in Adel has several campsites with full hookups. Modern restrooms and shower facilities with hot water are within walking distance of most campsites. Laundry facilities are available 24/7 for guests, as well as cable TV and Wi-Fi.
Alternatively, make a reservation at Shady Brook Camping in Earlham, which is a great place to park your campervan rental for the weekend. This campground can accommodate vehicles up to 45 feet. All campsites have 30- or 50-amp electrical service. Hot showers are also available for campers.
Once you've called time on your camping adventure, drive over to Des Moines and visit the Blank Park Zoo. This 49-acre zoo houses several endangered species. Visitors can meander through the zoo, learning tidbits of information about the animals they see along the way. Animal lovers can also take part in various educational presentations about the animals, including the reptile show, penguin exhibit, and big cat sanctuary.
After visiting the Blank Park Zoo, stop by the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden. This garden was founded in 1929 and showcases plants from all around the world, but the main focus is on the conservation of local flora. A popular collection at the garden is the Bonsai collection as well as Carrie the Corpse Flower. Visitors can walk through seven acres of outdoor gardens that have been carefully cultivated to inspire and educate those who visit.
No Des Moines camping excursion is complete without stopping to tour the Iowa State Capitol building. The statehouse serves as the seat of the state's General Assembly, Senate, and House of Representatives. Visitors can join one of the many tours that are held throughout the day or schedule a tour. Video and virtual tours are also available for those who don't have the time to tour the building and grounds. Be sure to make a stop at the gift shop to pick up a souvenir or two.