17 Parks near Johnston, Iowa
Jun 2012 - $9.00
This park is very nice, but it has some aging problems. The sights are gravel and mostly level. My wife and I have been coming here for about 10 years. Acorn is a alcohol free park. I talked to the ranger today and ask him why is Iowa's Army Corp parks behind as far as upgrading come pared to others that we have camped in, such as in Texas. He told me its a slow process getting money from the government. My wife and I like this park because its close to everything we see and do in Des Moines why we are here visiting. - Joceil
Aug 2007 - $22.00
I did not stay in the campground, but because it does not have a previous review, this one is being posted. My comments are based on a detailed inspection of the facility. This is a nice Corp campground. It has trees that provide some shade for most sites, but they do not interfere with the sites or the paved access roads. There are only 33 RV sites, the rest are for tents. The separate tent only area is also nice. RV sites are gravel and will accommodate most sized rigs, but the bigger the RV the more front to back leveling will be required on about half of them. All sites are 30A service and only a selected few have water hook-ups. There are community faucets for filling holding tanks. Bathhouses were clean and centrally located. There is playground equipment for the kids. All sites have picnic tables and fire rings/grills. There is a small pond in the campground. This appears to be a very quiet place to stay. - RLM
Sep 2016 - $10.00
Our site was one of the nicest that we have ever had anywhere. We were in the small loop next to the outlet that has sites 12 thru 20. These sites are all on concrete pads and have 50 amp outlets. Our pad was at least 80 feet deep and double wide. The fire ring was integrated into the pad. You could park an 18 wheeler on the site. There is no bathhouse in this loop, but one is available nearby in the large parking lot. Verizon cell, broadband and OTA TV were very good. This loop has some of the nicest sites that we have seen at a COE CG. - Bob and Inga
Aug 2015 - $20.00
Stayed 3 nights in 2 different sites due to availability. Sites in loop near spillway (50 amp / concrete pad) deserve a 7 rating. Easy access to and in the park with our oversized 40'+ Big Rig RV for this section; Wide pads make backing in easy. Sites in main campground loops (30 amp / gravel sites) deserve a 5 or lower rating. Sites in this section have railroad ties defining the sites and bordering each site's entrances making backing into the sites more difficult than it needs to be. High weeds growing through gravel at sites and our site was very unlevel. We would stay in the 50 amp loop again but not in the 30 amp section. - Snidely Whiplash
Jul 2015 - $18.00
Well maintained and level campground. The lack of shade could be an issue on hotter days. - MThome
Sep 2016 - $10.00
Great park, nice wide roads, large concrete pads and they are angled for easy access. Staff was friendly and helpful, gave us a lot with great view of the lake. We stayed overnight in a travel trailer and will camp here again when in the area. - dbrett
Jun 2016 - $9.00
This is a VERY clean, well-kept park. Our grandkids had fun in the playground area AND it was conveniently close to the very clean restrooms. It was quite hot when we were there, so the grandkids had squirt guns, which they could refill at one of the numerous spigots around the park. Our gravel site was level and not too close to the neighbors. - viddsk
May 2016 - $9.00
The sites within Aster and Honeysuckle loops are all on packed gravel had very narrow interior streets, lots of trees and shrubs. Half of the Dogbone sites are on packed gravel, the rest of this loop are on concrete. Coneflower and Blazingstar loops had wide interior streets, few trees and shrubs and all of the sites were on concrete. The entire campground is on the reservation system. All sites are back-ins.
Most of the sites are not very level (including the ones that are on concrete). Water spigots are scattered throughout the campground. Water can also be obtained at the dump station. There are only two dump stations for the entire park. Every loop has a bath house with a couple of showers. You cannot regulate the water temperature and they have a push button that controls the amount of water coming out.
Most of the loops have a kid's play area in the center. Coneflower and Blazingstar loops have 50 amp electrical service, all of the other loops have 30 amp electrical service. Our voltage was good - hovering around 122 volts. The park was not filled so I don't know if the voltage would degrade. Verizon air card and cell phone was on extended network but we did not have a problem with them. Every site has a fire ring and a picnic table.
The Neal Smith bike trail runs right through the park. - adsaxs
May 2016 - $22.00
We recently stayed at Cherry Glen Campground and enjoyed our stay. This campground has access to the 26-mile Neal Smith Bike Trail, which we utilized quite a bit during our stay. There is no swimming beach access directly from the campground but you can take the trail about 2 miles to get to it by bicycle. I reserved our site two weeks in advance and I checked for availability five days before arrival and it was completely booked.
There was a playground there for our children. It was adequate for them but we found other playgrounds at the other COE campgrounds at Saylorville to be newer, larger and more modern. The bathrooms were always clean. We did not use the shower facilities while we were there. There are a few lakeview sites but were all taken by the time we made our reservations. The campsites tend to be a bit unlevel and we had a difficult time leveling our travel trailer. There is quite a few trees which provided a lot of shade and privacy between sites. Not all sites had this privacy though.
The campgrounds roads were paved which provided great opportunity for easy biking throughout. The speed limit was 15 MPH and many would drive faster than this which was very dangerous, especially with the tight loops and vegetation and vehicles parked so close to the roadway (which would be expected).
We would consider staying at this campground again. However, we checked out Prairie Flower Recreation Area two miles away and would consider that campground before this one.
The staff were very attentive to campers needs and very friendly. Very helpful during check-in and the Park Rangers drove through frequently throughout the day. - Moon8211
Jul 2015 - $10.00
We planned a last minute trip to the area that happened to be during 4th of July weekend. We were in another RV Park that could not accommodate us on July 3 and4. Somehow Cherry Glen had a spot available for July 3 and 4. When we arrived at Cherry Glen, we were surprisingly amazed. This is a beautiful park with plenty of room and plenty of shade trees. The Comfort Stations (bathrooms/showers) were impeccably clean. Sites are large with nice tables and fire rings. If there is one drawback, it would be that the majority of the sites have electric hook up only. If you plan to stay there, fill your fresh water tank before you arrive, or you can fill it just inside the entrance of the park. This will be my preferred location when I visit the area in the future. - Armyret99
Jul 2015 - $11.00
I did a review of this campground a couple of years ago and we still like it a lot. I will mention that one thing I noticed this stay is how many campsites are rather unlevel front to back. I think a larger motorhome might end up with the front wheels well off the ground in the site we had. There are, of course, a number of spots that are level or at least "level enough" but because of our site I began noticing others and realized that several sites are like this. Also, I've learned that, while there are no sewer sites here, there are several water hookup sites scattered around the park. The spigots aren't near the electric posts. Instead, they are stand alone water hookups either along the roads between the campsites or well behind them. There's an extra $2 charge for those campsites. Someone told me that the common practice is for the person in a water campsite to put a "Y" splitter at the faucet so that people can get water out of it even though someone is hooked up to it. My Verizon has a barely-working 3G signal here. It seems to work okay during the day and then as evening comes it slows down considerably. I was able to get satellite TV by putting the dish up close to the road. We still like this campground and will likely make it our place to stay when visiting central Iowa. - nazpaz
Apr 2015 - $11.00
Cutty's is a membership park, we are members again. We used to be members, but moved to another state. There are a lot of upgrades since we left. In the clubhouse there are new washers and dryers. They are upgrading the roads between campground sites. They have also upgraded the electricity. They now use smart cards to get into the park. The one negative thing about the park, to many golf carts. Cutty's is a great place for kids, there a lot of activities for the young ones during the summer. - Joceil
Jul 2013 - $10.00
Past reviews are pretty much current. The WIFI is very slow and only available at the clubhouse. Sites are gravel and need maintenance. The internal roads are dated and rough. Spaces are very tight. The campground is filled with many long term campers. I would stay at a near by COE CG before I would stay here in the future. My C to C Premium rate was $0.00 - A hitch and hop
Aug 2012 - $10.00
The rate was a Coast to Coast rate. This is an older, member owned park and as such is very well kept. The gravel interior roads are dusty but everyone we saw was considerate and drove slow. The on-site camping store had a lot of commonly needed parts on hand. The electrical system is new and offers 20/30/50A on each post. The only drawback for us was being at the end of the park beside I-80 so noise was loud. Next time we will ask to be in a back-in site away from the highway. We will camp here again. - geysergazer
Oct 2014 - $22.00
The lower campsites have had a major upgrade. Now widely spaced, the sites have clearly defined picnic and fire ring areas. Most of the newly seeded grass is taking well. The lower sites now have electricity too, but no trees. This lower area can flood when the reservoir fills in wet years. We stayed in the upper camp ground with gravel roads, gravel sites, well-used fire rings, and lovely mature trees. Our site was completely level. The park's trails make a pleasant and quiet hike, the gold course borders the park, the fishing pond is tiny, the children's natural playground is wonderful, and the bison and elk viewing area is newly improved. Verizon phone and wifi coverage was strong. We will return. - AluminumCloud
Oct 2013 - $19.00
One of my favorite local county parks. The gravel sites are level, many with really large grass areas. Each site features a roomy level gravel patio with picnic table and fire ring. We enjoy a nice campfire, and most sites have one every night. I will return. The county park has many trails, with cell phone tour information. Also ranger lead educational hikes are available, occasionally. Neat children's nature center with nice new bison and elk viewing area. The upper campsites have electricity with water available, while the sites on the lake are dry camping due to seasonal flooding. The nearby Equestrian Center is a nice place to reserve horse for their trail rides. - AluminumCloud
Aug 2011 - $10.00
This is our home campground close to Des Moines and is a lovely one, equal to many of the top state campgrounds we have visited in our travels. Seniors pay half price from Sunday night thru Thursday night. Located on the Des Moines river down from an Army Corps lake, this park has good RV and tent sites. Clean, well-kept, great security and good camp hosts. Often has sites midweek, but book ahead for electric sites on weekends. Nice hiking trails. - User2225
Oct 2016 - $19.00
Rate is based on weekly rate. Improvements in the park continue. Almost all spots are now concrete. Spots are spacious and level. We look forwar to staying here every year. Two clubhouses, a nice pond to walk around, etc. Our only knock on this park is the wi-fi. It's not free but we still did not use it as the wi-fi signal was too weak for us to even get a connection. - D-Lo
Oct 2016 - $19.00
Stayed a week here in a 42 foot 5th wheel and rate reflects that. Rate does not reflect the additional $13.95 for internet access which was very good. Even though we reserved a pull-through and were given a back-in, the site was deep, large and very nice. Nice park amenities in the clubhouse and easy access, paved roads. It is interesting to note that we never met the owners but we spoke to them via phone when we arrived. They then guided us to our site via phone. Park is very quiet with some train noise at night. The site was deep but no patio or picnic table was provided. Nice that the paved bike path runs right behind the park for easy access. - DIXIEDUALLY2013
Oct 2016 - $30.00
Park looks like two different parks, one a little older that looked very tight to your neighbor and the other wide open grassy sites that we beautiful. We were in the nicer section on an end site. Both sides of the camper had park like grass and plenty of room. No cable but lots of OTA channels. We only had one night but after seeing the campground and surrounding area we wished that we had more time.
As someone else noted checkin was easy if you have a reservation.
Would definitely stay again. - John Borajkiewicz
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
Oct 2016 - $28.00
The park is HUGE. Most of the 1800 sites are unlevel. It would be very hard to stay here when it was crowded.
We stayed here the end of the season the park closes today.
We will come again for sure. - gypsyrunner
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
Oct 2016 - $44.00
A nice park with older but cared for facilities. Setting is nice, it just happens to have an odd layout resulting in most sites being "KOA" close. - rwthomasjrfamily
Aug 2016 - $40.00
We stayed over night in pull-through. The park is very attractive, shady, quiet and well thought-out. A very restful place to stay. GPS directions are a little off so call the park to verify. I would come back again and stay longer if possible. - Ginger C Brown
Jul 2016 - $40.00
Very quiet, shady. Close to town but in rural area. - LindaGarrard