2013 Heartland North Country
2013 Heartland North Country
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Southwest Iowa is laden with sprawling fields of wildflowers and scenic hills and valleys. On Route 34, midway between Omaha and Creston, just outside of Red Oak, is the lovely Viking Lake State Park. This 1,000-acre park encompasses Viking Lake is home to a diverse selection of flora and fauna, making it very attractive to outdoor enthusiasts.
After the dam was built, construction of the lake began in 1957. Just over 50 years later, the 140-acre Viking Lake was completed. It quickly became one of the most visited parks in southeastern Iowa. A good portion of the area has been left undisturbed by humans, so the natural life has flourished.
Viking Lake State Park campers come from all over to take part in the outdoor activities provided here. Whether it’s boating, fishing, wildlife viewing, or hiking, Viking Lake State Park has what you need — and the picturesque backdrop isn’t going to hurt either. Book an RV in Montgomery County and start planning your vacation today.
Hikers at Viking Lake State Park can use the nearly six miles of trails to explore the park. The trails are well-maintained and a great way to view wildlife and the local natural habitats. The Burr Oak Nature Trail is a one-mile hike that comes with a booklet to help you identify plants and trees along your walk and learn more about the flora and fauna of the entire park.
The main draw to the park is definitely Viking Lake. The park’s easy access to all 140 acres of the lake allows visitors to enjoy the water the way it was meant to be enjoyed. There are four boat ramps for Viking Lake boaters to drop in. Take your motorboat, sailboat, or canoe out onto the lake and go for a cruise. If it gets too hot, go for a dip. There's plenty of beachy shoreline to guests to go swimming at Viking Lake.
Since the lake is well-stocked, anglers from all over show up to try fishing at Viking Lake. You can try fishing from the boat, the shore, or one of the six accessible fishing jetties. Toss your line into the water and see what you catch. Bluegill, red-ear sunfish, largemouth bass, channel catfish, walleye, and crappie are just a few of the species you might find in Viking Lake.
Viking Lake State Park is widely renowned for its exquisite RV camping experience. Of the many reservable campsites on offer, 62 have water and electrical hookups with 30 and 50-amp service, 22 have full hookups, and 23 are non-electrical. The campground can accommodate motorhome rentals up to 126 feet in length. Some sites are back-in only, while others are pull-through.
The park provides a dump station, modern restrooms, hot showers, and drinking water. Stay connected with park Wi-Fi, though most major cell phone carriers have great service in the area. There's also a playground for the kids, a horseshoe pit, and some other places to play outdoor sports. Pets are allowed as long as they are on a leash in the designated areas and well-behaved.
For a nice day trip during your Viking Lake State Park camping adventure, head to Red Oak and visit the quaint downtown area. Local shops and restaurants line the streets. Visitors are encouraged to take a walking or driving tour that takes them to all the sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Check out the well-preserved buildings built back at the turn of the century, see a play at the theater, or visit the Burlington Northern Depot Museum.
If you’re looking for a short getaway to a place with friendly locals and small-town charm, head east to Lenox. Take a trip down the walking trail of the town and explore the area with your family. Test your swing at the local nine-hole golf course or take the kids for a swim in the heated pool at Lenox Park.
Looking for something a bit busier? An hour's drive west of Viking Lake will take you to Omaha, Nebraska, one of the largest cities in the state. Take the family to the Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium and see all the amazing animals. Or head to the SAC Aerospace Museum and learn about the science behind mankind’s connection with air and space. Omaha is a big college basketball city, so if you arrive at the right time of year, you might be able to catch the NCAA College World Series. Then, enjoy the nightlife with a fancy dinner and some live music or grab a burger and a pint at a sports bar. Whatever you’re looking for, it’s probably waiting for you in Omaha.
When it's time to pack up the RV rental, you won’t have to drive far to fill your tank. You'll find plenty of spots to get gas and snacks for the road within 20 minutes. Then, you can head east towards Des Moines or west towards Omaha or Lincoln.