17 Parks near Hartford, Iowa
May 2016 - $30.00
Great place! Large yards for dogs to play and run. Way out of town down a very long dirt road which kicked up dust all over our vehicles. If you don't like to get your vehicles dirty don't camp here. We thought it was worth it. Mostly permanent campers. Very friendly staff and owners. The owners started this camp 40 years ago. We were lucky to get a site and the one we got had a spectacular sunset view of the Des Moines River and the Des Moines skyline. - juustright
Sep 2012 - $26.00
First problem was 4 miles of very dusty gravel road to get to park. They encourage you to wash your RV after you get there it is soooo dust covered. The interior streets are paved but the sites are gravel. The sites were huge but our "pull thru" was not a pull thru because of low hanging limbs. The other problem was the extreme variance of voltage (from 108 to above 132) which caused our surge protector to cut the power off many times. - consort
Aug 2012 - $30.00
Loved it - would come back. The park is grassy and lots of shade trees with large sites. The owners are very friendly and helpful. Laundry room is great. Convenient for Des Moines and Knoxville. - Oregon1963
Jul 2009 - $13.00
Stayed here for a week at $100. Very nice campground. We realized going in they did not have water and sewer hookups, but still enjoyed the place. Friendly campground host, came to our site and visited - got acquainted. Would certainly go back again. - AZHusker
May 2016 - $28.00
We stayed at the fairgrounds for 20 nights, and we are glad we did. Cheaper than other local campgrounds. They were having trouble with the water in the areas with 50-amp sites so we stayed in a 30-amp site. It was chilly so didn't need to have both A/Cs running, so we were fine with that amperage. Quiet, except for train whistles a few times a day. Had 2-4 bars of AT&T cell service.
Ultimately - camping here out of the busy fair season...great! If a very big event or the fair was happening...I don't think you could pay me to stay here.
If the all the sites in a section are being utilized, it will be VERY tight and driving down the roads of the different sections may not be possible if you have a bigger rig. We have a 40' 5er and drove through other grass sites to get in and out of the spot we picked to avoid the steep entrance to section FE.
We parked at the end of the middle part of section FE. Very nice overlook of the city. Since there were only 2 other rigs in our section for the majority of the time there, we spread out a bit and parked our truck and SUV next to the 5er instead of in front or behind, so we were actually taking up 3 sites (that's how close these sites are). Site was pretty level; we did use one extra board under most of the jacks when leveling.
Be sure to call the day you're driving in to see which entrance of the fairgrounds is open. We went to the 'official' campground entrance according to the map on their website but it was LOCKED! Called the office and they said "oh yeah that's locked for safety, you have to come in another way." The entrance on Grand Avenue is pretty much always open day/night. If you're coming up from the south to Des Moines I would take the Hwy 5 bypass around town and come through Pleasant Hill instead of I-235.
They didn't mow around our site while we were there so the grass/weeds got pretty tall in some spots. I understand some folks get fussy about mowing around their RV, but we wish they would have. They might have if I asked them to. - FrozenWaters
Sep 2015 - $28.00
Stayed here 2 weekends. First weekend in section 2. Second weekend in section 11. Overall, a decent place to stay. Nice and quiet. Nothing special or fancy. Plenty of spaces to choose from due to it not being fair week. W/E/S all worked well. Decent access to I-235. Be careful of what section you stay in. Most section 2 sites were nice and level, and from what we saw, most of the 50amp sites were as well. However, Section 11 had, maybe, 1 spot level enough to accommodate our 28' motor-home. A previous comment mentioned ski slope, and section 11 would qualify.
The addition of WiFi would boost my rating, but there are no plans to add it any time soon. - BounderPounder
Sep 2015 - $28.00
This review is for off-season camping (non-fair dates). They don't take reservations, but Labor Day weekend was nearly empty. Even with 2,300 sites, it took over half an hour to find a suitable FHU, and we had to park the truck in an adjacent spot. As other reviewers noted, the terrain makes most sites undesirable if not downright unusable. It's like they had a contract to install a certain number, so they made them short, narrow and crammed in as many as possible - even if it meant putting some on a 40-degree slope. This wouldn't matter with so few RVs, except they tend to huddle together on the few patches of level ground. 50 amp sites don't have sewer.
A fair amount of train noise/whistles, but otherwise very quiet. Call for directions because the fairgrounds are a maze, the only campground signage was in front of a locked gate, and the campground office was not staffed. Nice hilltop views, but I expected better TV reception given the transmitters are only 14 miles away. Strong Verizon and AT&T signals. - TheRollingJones
Sep 2016 - $25.00
We only stayed one night. When we got there (after having called and been told "yes"), we were told there were no pull-throughs. Enter the wonderful employee who came charging up in his golf cart to the rescue by telling us he didn't know what he was thinking, but a work camper just left and we could have their spot! Had to run to get a part we didn't have, came back and then found that delivery dinner wasn't going to work. All in all, however, this was a successful stay, the grounds are clean and Michael will forever remain in our "saved the day" memories! - EllynG
Aug 2016 - $35.00
Stayed here for just an overnight. We had a pull in blackout site. Had an odd layout, but it was fairly quiet and seemed as though we had seasonals around us. Had a dog park and a nice pool. It is right next door to an amusement park. Hookups were all good. - PackerFanRick
Aug 2016 - $35.00
Exceptionally clean park with lots of attendants throughout our weekend stay. Plenty of open space to walk our dog. We were attending a convention, so the park being next door to the convention center made it very easy to let our dog out often enough for her comfort. (Now if she'd just been that cooperative getting back in the coach!)
We were right next to a large open area so there was plenty of room to walk her and not be bothered by other dogs (room for 4-5 dogs to exercise without interfering with each other). Almost all spaces appeared to have reasonably tall shade trees (most appeared to be a bit above the height of the coaches/trailers). Each site seemed to have a picnic table and fire pit.
We stayed in the J loop on the perimeter of the park. These parking loops were really well-designed to pull in past your space and back straight in with no difficulty. If pulling a dolly, recommend asking for a 50-60' space. We had a 35-40' space that was just long enough for our motorhome plus a car. Had we towed a vehicle, there would not have been room for a dolly or trailer.
With the amusement park next door, we expected to hear lots of noise, but we didn't! There is a border of tall trees between the park and the amusement park that dampened almost all the noise and what we heard sounded distant. Easy access to the casino and convention center.
Rated Satisfactory on service for three reasons: the attendant who greeted us was rather gruff in response to my query about senior or military discounts. ("We don't have to with the casino and amusement park next door.") There appeared to be no convenience store in the park itself, and internet service was awful. The attendant told me they hadn't upgraded the service in 6 years. I believe it; we regularly had difficulty getting online, often got bumped offline, and could not get a signal after 11:00 p.m.
Fix the internet and provide a small convenience store and this would be a superior place to stay. - Dobiedaddy
Apr 2016 - $11.00
We camped at this campground pretty early in the season. There were quite a few sites that remained open through the weekend. One disappointment was when making the reservation the visitor alert stated that the shower houses would be open the day of arrival. The day before departure the alert was changed to the following weekend. We were not dependent on using those facilities but if I was a tent camper or someone without a bathroom I would have been disappointed.
The playground at the electric campground needs to be updated. There is an additional playground in the equestrian campground area that was much nicer and offered more. There are pull-through sites available as well as back-in sites. There were also tent camping areas with grassy pads.
The park offers hiking/multi-use trails. It appears this campground caters more to the equestrian campers. They had very nice facilities and there were numerous day use equestrian visitors.
Staff was rarely seen throughout the weekend and no one ever checked in with us. I maybe saw them drive through one or twice throughout our stay. This may be different during peak seasons. There was a reduced rate for our stay-I am guessing because the facilities were not turned back on yet. The campground offers 30 and 50 amp electrical sites but no water or sewer sites. - Moon8211
Oct 2014 - $22.00
Our first stay at this campground will not be the last. The gravel road led to our gravel reserved site on the circle loop which was long and the upper area was almost level. We chose a site with electricity, water was "available" at a distance for each loop, and to fill tanks use the potable water at the entrance/dump station. (water is shut off mid-late October). Ringed with trees, our loop had a large open area with a couple mature trees and a number of newly planted trees. None of the park's sites have a view of the lake. The campground was quiet and most sites had a campfire smoking in the provided ring. The multi-use trails were a fun walk for us and the horse riders, but the low spots were muddy after the previous week's rain. Verizon phone and wifi coverage was strong. We will return. - AluminumCloud
Jun 2011 - $16.00
We camped here in a 40' rig. We had a pull through site (reservation web site said it was a back-in) and had plenty of room to park our toad. The site was fairly level. It was a gravel pad. Had a nice fire pit with a cooking grate. There is a water spigot in the center of the circle, but you would need 200' of hose to reach it. The main water fill is at the dump station when you first enter the park. The pull through section had no toilets. Even the tent section didn't have a porta-potty or a pit toilet. So if you're not self contained I would highly recommend bringing a potty with you. It is quite a jaunt when you have to go. There was one shower house that serviced four loops of the campground. The equestrian portion had a nice shower house and playground. The park seems to cater more to the equestrian camp. Also there were no security lights in the loops. It was very dark at night. The only light for the four non-equestrian loops was at the shower house out on the main road. Overall, it was a pretty and clean park with quite a few deer roaming around. - User781
Aug 2016 - $18.00
The roads and sites are very tight and not conducive for big rigs. We moved four different times to get a semi-level site which still maxed out our leveling system. Difficult to get satellite. Park people were nice. - The DnD Adventure
Sep 2013 - $16.00
This is a very nice, clean park which we really enjoyed. The sites are easy to get into and fairly spacious. The park is on a beautiful lake with many activities including hiking trails, fishing, boat rentals and swimming. We stayed here over labor day weekend and although the park was full, it didn't feel crowded. The restrooms were clean and well maintained. Will definitely stay here again when passing through. - User3145
Jun 2011 - $18.00
Plenty of room to hike and bike. Be careful on the upper camping area, the turns on the west side on very tight. Cutbacks have affected Iowa campgrounds as some of the picnic areas are not being mowed, just paths to and around them. - stetwood
Sep 2016 - $15.00
This is our 4th year at Griffs and we will continue to come back. As the website states, most of the sites are long term but we see 1 and 2 nights stays quite often. The sites in front are back-in and some are dirt and some are cement. The sites in back are all cement with pull-thrus in the middle and back-ins around the circles. The hook-ups are easy, the sites are mostly level, there are trees but they are still growing so mostly the sites are sunny. The clubhouses are wonderful: clean, large, with full kitchens (can be rented out for parties), clean bathrooms and laundries, tornado shelters and TV's. There is a nice pond with fountains and a path around it. There is also an old railroad bed which has been made into a trail next to the park. The park is close to both Altoona and Ankeny for shopping.
Can you tell I like this park and will continue to return? - swike
Aug 2016 - $30.00
I don't understand any negative reviews about this park. This is one of the nicest parks we've ever stayed in. Extremely well manicured and there's plenty of grassy area between concrete pads. No tables or fire pits, so bring your on tables and gas grills. Check in was a breeze. With reservations (and you should have reservations) we just called the manager lady when we arrived and she gave me directions over the phone to the site. A first class experience. - bb6306
Jul 2016 - $30.00
One of the best laid out, cleanest parks we have ever stayed in. It is actually a reason to go back to Iowa. $30 is the best deal we've ever seen for a park of this quality.
Huge sites, vast grassy areas to walk dogs, wide paved streets, etc.
I'd give it a 10 if the WIFI was free (it is very strong) and if the utilities were positioned for motorhomes instead of 5th wheels.
We stayed in site C5, a pull through easily long enough for our 43' coach plus dolly plus minivan, but the utilities were in the back corner, so by the time I was fully in the site I had to run ~30' of cable and 25' of sewer hose. The site slope was such that the sewer would not drain by itself, either. Next time, we'll unload the dolly and put it and the car in front of the coach and the services will play much better.
There is no office. You have to call ahead for a reservation secured by a credit card. When you get there, you call the owner and she gives you very clear directions on how to reach your site. She charges the card and you leave whenever you are ready. - bobcovey
Jul 2016 - $25.00
Nothing has changed in a year. Still good for an overnight if you are going to Knoxville speedway. Clean and safe with hook ups. Lots of room if it is not Nationals week. - acadiandave
Jun 2015 - $40.00
A great park if you are going to Knoxville speedway or the Museum. It is within walking distance of the track, but it is a long walk. Spots are small and not level, but with water sewer and electric hook ups it is much better than being right at the track. Please note there are two campgrounds right beside each other and can be a little confusing. Just look for the Sprint car sign out front. - acadiandave
May 2016 - $25.00
This is a great FSU county park. The pads are long and for the most part level. This may be the only county park in Iowa that gives a $2.00 discount for having an America the Beautiful card. - rving4fun
Sep 2014 - $17.00
This is a nice county park. Water and sewer are now available at individual sites, though not all sites have sewer yet (website has a map with amenities available at each site). Sites are gravel and some leveling will be required. The park has tons of trees and has some modest hills. Electricty and water were fine. Very relaxing feel to this park, and it was quiet. I was there on a race weekend, and it was pretty full. Bath house looked in good shape, I didn't use it but others in the group said it was very clean. This park was a great setting for our large group of race fans. I don't believe the park is very busy other than for a handful of the biggest race weekends at Knoxville Raceway. The group I was a part of has already reserved for next year, and seems to be growing each year. This was a very satisfactory park to stay in, and I look forward to returning. - KeystoneTT
Sep 2009 - $12.00
A very pretty county park. There are water bibs every couple of sites, but hook-ups are not allowed. There was one close enough to us to fill our tank without moving. All grassy sites, very well maintained, some a little uneven and of varying size. We were here at the start of the Labor Day weekend, park was filling up with a lot of family groups. Lots of kids and dogs, but very quiet. A bit smoky as most people spent the evening sitting around their fire rings. Easy access to dump station which has a water bib with hose for flushing tanks. The park is close to Knoxville Speedway (Sprint Car Capital of the World). There maybe some noise on race nights, but no races while we were here. The obligatory train crossing was far enough away to be acceptable. Rate for electric only was $14, we paid $12 with the America the Beautiful senior pass. We would stop here again, although it is a bit off the interstate. - Dennis M
Apr 2016 - $14.00
What a treat. Full hook-ups, lovely peace and quiet, the Raccoon River and tons of bird species nearby. - Mrs.Picky
Nov 2015 - $14.00
This campground is a gem--beautiful sites with concrete pads and patios. Some have full hookups. Close to Des Moines. I noticed another reviewer said to be careful of the low hanging branches on Walnut Woods Drive, but they must have been trimmed because we did not have a problem. I would recommend this campground highly to anyone. Very big rig friendly. - kwikkeys10
Aug 2015 - $14.00
This is a great value at $14 for 50 amps and w/s. The roads are narrow and tight for big rigs and due to this fact there is a lot of mud and ruts from people driving on the grass. It is very quiet with lots of trees - no satellite reception. Concrete pad with large concrete patio. Roads getting here from 63rd St are a little confusing as the names of the streets have changed. Beware of overhanging trees on Walnut Woods Dr. They beat the top of our rig as we passed. No charge to enter state park. - Freedom Bus