Considering the location near Council Bluffs with all the recreation possibilities, it is a real shame that this park is the black sheep of the Iowa State Parks system. It has been slated for a major overhaul for several years but continually gets bumped back. It has a reputation of being used by near homeless people and undesirables. The campground is located on one of the largest lakes in this part of the state and there is abundant wildlife in the park. Good bike and hiking trails. Close to shopping, restaurants, theaters and casinos. It could have a lot to offer. Iowa should be ashamed of itself with how this park is maintained and used. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
The park is located in a pretty location but suffers from age and poor lay out of the electric hookups(better have a long electric cord). There are a few water faucets scattered through the park. There were groups of people playing loud music and loud cars and people driving too fast through the park. The park hosts didn't seem inclined to control any of these issues. Overall I could not recommend this park even for an overnight stay. We camped here in a Truck Camper.
Campground is close to Lake Manawa, but we could not see lake from the camper sites of the campground. Older campground so electrical boxes aren't located for ease of use. We had to park on the grass instead of on the site's gravel pad in order to reach the electrical box. The campground hosts are OK with that as it is the only way you can use the electrical hook-ups. The electrical boxes are shared between two campsites. No water hook-ups, but they have multiple hydrants thru-out the campground. A vault is located by the camper section of the campground, tent section is close to the restroom/shower house. Very clean restrooms, excellent water, and water pressure, except when someone flushes a toilet - then you have no water! I thought that was pretty funny. It comes right back on, but the first time it happened it threw me a little. The showers are very clean and have doors for privacy. Everyone stayed to themselves, not overly friendly, but we were only there one night. It's not the easiest campground to get to, as you go through residential areas to get to it. We left the other way as we thought it was an easier way, but there were a lot of low hanging branches that made us nervous, which is probably why they direct you the other way. We would probably camp there again if we had to go to Council Bluffs. We had to pay an extra $4. online booking fee so technically it's $16. for electric sites. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
It's too bad this park isn't better. Some sites are nestled near the trees with glimpses of the lake, while others are stuck against a fence that separates the park from the residential street and regular housing. I was disappointed there was only three showers and toilets for a sold-out (Memorial Day) crowd. The flies were biting, and I think it was because the trash receptacles were not kept closed. The staff needed to enforce the rules better also, e.g. noise after 10:30 p.m. and dogs running off leash. And too bad some campers/RVers like to leave their trash strewn about the grounds. I spent much time picking up litter in the woods. This is not on my list to places to recommend or return to. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
This is an old park (in all respects). The biggest complaint we had was the total lack of any control at the entrance to the campground area. It seems to be a favorite place for the locals to sightsee; motorcycles, cars, and trucks. A simple gate attendant would solve the problem! We were not sure if the “Campground Host” has any duties, but vehicle control could be one of them. The 30 Amp power (the only hookup) was fine and the Verizon aircard worked well. We have no interest in returning to this park – only stopped to visit friends. We camped here in a Motorhome.
We won't be going back. It was so mosquito ridden that we were not able to be outside of the camper at all. Probably due to all of the rain and flooding in 2010. The campground seemed to be the local party grounds. It was quite loud with parties and lots of traffic. Not a good camping experience considering it is a State Park. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
You have to drive three miles into the park before you find the camping area. The camping slots are all on gravel. The sites with the best lake access are all "dry camping" sites, and will hold tents or small trailers and campers. The bigger rigs will need to be in the pull-throughs in the center. The sites with the best access to the lake are sites 1-5; and sites 7-17 odd. Sites 19, 20, and 22 also give you lake access, but down a longer path. I would try to avoid getting Sites 1 and 2, as they are right next to the community dumping station. If you decide you really, really, REALLY want an electric site, you may need an extension cord. Two sites share one pole between them. Depending on whether you are on the "correct" side, or the "wrong" side, you may, or may not, need the extension cord. I was glad I happened to have one. Each site has a picnic table and fire ring. The sites do not have water, you need to fill up at one of the water faucets in the park before you park. The sites do not have sewer, you use the community sewer dump. At this time, you are not allowed to bring in wood from out of state due to a certain bug problem. Campground host was friendly and helpful. Bathrooms weren't the greatest, but at least the showers were free. However, you had to keep pressing the button, as you only get 20 seconds of lukewarm water (I timed it...). Recommend wearing shower shoes. I stayed two nights. Verizon Air Card worked just fine. Park was ok for the price, but nothing spectacular. We camped here in a Motorhome.
We are part of a camping club that stayed at this park this past weekend. Most of us will not be returning to this park in the future. It was not a clean and well maintained park at all. We had to listen to people all night with blasting music and loud drunk people. We had issues with loose pit bulls, people flying through the campground, and constant dumpster divers. We watched a group move into a site not yet vacated by the current campers. Then the rangers stepped in and removed the new comers by force. Some of the wives in the group got to watch a man completely undress in broad daylight. We had to chase a couple of guys away from going through someones stuff while they were sleeping at night. I would not suggest this camp group to anyone with small kids or any self respect. The above comment was right on the money. The rangers do nothing to control the campground. And we are also not snobs just people who enjoy camping at a clean friendly campground that doesn't make you feel like you should have something to protect yourself with. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
We had to stay here because the casino campground is closed. The campsites are located on the lake, with lots of shady sites. There were also lots of "shady" characters camping there, so we set up and stayed inside. A family with at least five kids had a baby crying for hours. The husband took a peek at the bath house, and said it was so filthy he wouldn't set foot in it. The trash bin was filled to overflowing. Several sites were "occupied" by horse trailers (without horses) but no people. We felt this park is like a ghetto, except for three other RVs parked near us. We are not snobs, but we will not return to this park. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
This was not a well maintained park. Staff was oblivious to any problems (mainly unruly dogs at many
campsites). Dump station was difficult to access. We chose to go down the road and use the rest stop dump instead of risking a close call with a large tree. Lots of kids, dogs, fires and general confusion. We camped here in a camper.
[ 5 / 10 ]
The rate during prime month has been raised. It is now $16. Rangers seem to spend more time cutting grass than cleaning restrooms. There was a Campground Host in October of 2001. When the showers and flush toilet restrooms are closed the rate returns to $11. Still the most reasonably priced campground around CB. We camped here in a camper.
[ 7 / 10 ]
Like most state parks it is busy during the summer. It is right on the lake and a boat ramp is nearby. There are a lot of big trees and the sites are gravel and level. It is close to Omaha and the riverboat casinos. Major stores are about 3 miles away. There are plenty of good restaurants in Omaha and Council Bluffs. We camped here in a camper.