Date of Stay: July, 2011
We camped overnight at Ledges as it was on our way and was listed as one of the top campgrounds in the National Geographic State Park book. However, the park has obviously deteriorated since National Geographic visited. We pulled into our site and poison ivy surrounded the neglected gravel pad. The park was full, and many people brought large dogs which they let run loose. The park ranger drove right by them and didn't say a word. The bathhouse had peeling paint and the showers had those little buttons on the wall you had to push to get water. The water then stayed on about five seconds, and you had to push it again. We wanted to hike down to the gorge, but the ranger said the bridge had been washed out and hadn't been rebuilt. The park area near the entrance had picnic tables and grills, but the grass was taller than the picnic tables. Overall, it was a disappointing experience. If this is Iowa's best, I am glad I don't live in Iowa.
Date of Stay: June, 2011
This is a nice, shaded campground with big pull-through sites that are nicely spaced. Each site has a fire-ring and grill as well as a picnic table. The best part of the park is the nice hiking trails especially the one that leads to the base of the falls where it feels cool even in the heat of summer. The bathrooms were clean, but the showers were only a luke-warm trickle. Other than that, we had a lovely time.
Date of Stay: May, 2011
We decided at the last minute to camp over the Memorial Day weekend, and this was the only campground for miles that had a spot open. We enjoyed our stay. This is a nice park with fun things for the family to do; there is a nice playground with play equipment, basketball court, tether ball, horseshoes, and volleyball. There are several hiking trails. There is also a small golf course and a frisbee golf course. The bathrooms were cleaned daily, and most of the time, hot showers were available. The lake is pretty. They have a designated swimming area. And the fireflies in Kansas are nothing like the lazy, yellow flashers we have in Oklahoma; they are large, fast, and filled the tree-tops like Christmas lights!
Date of Stay: March, 2011
This is a lovely campground set amid tall pines. Each site has a fire pit, grill, and picnic table. We camped in site 36 in loop B. It is just a short walk from a lake. The best part of this park is the many hiking trails nearby. Waterfalls, grottos, caves, amazing rock formations, rushing streams, Native American artifacts are abundant. Don't miss the amazing panoramic view of the valley at the Petit Jean gravesite overlook. My only complaint is that the very clean bathrooms in loop B had very cold showers. We walked to the loop A bathrooms to get a nice hot shower.
Date of Stay: January, 2011
This is a nice large park with a good hiking trail nearby, the Two Rivers Trail. Good lake access with nearby dam fishing. It is only a few miles to a mid-sized town with a Super Wal-Mart. I would camp here again.
Date of Stay: December, 2010
This is a campground near my home. We actually go there to walk many evenings. We bought a new travel trailer and decided to try it out at this local campground first before taking in on the road. We stayed there in December and got the winter rate. The day we stayed was the day of Mannford's Christmas parade. After the parade, the campground held a chili cook off and had fireworks. This is a nice, peaceful campground located on the shore of Lake Keystone. Most of the sites are shady. They have picnic tables at each spot as well as a grill and fire ring. The roads are paved, and the pads are gravel and level. The people who run the campground are extremely nice and helpful. You can often see herons and ducks fishing along the shore. Occasionally, you can see deer. There is no playground in the camp. The restrooms aren't fancy, but they are clean. They are heated in the winter. There is a railroad near, and you can see the trains going by. The tiny town of Mannford is less than a mile away and has grocery, gas, and fast food like Pizza Hut and Sonic.