The Council Bluffs area offers many options for enjoying the great outdoors. Many sites for basic camping are found throughout Pottawattamie County, including Arrowhead Park near Neola, Iowa, Botna Bend Park near Hancock, Iowa, and Honey Creek Nature Area. Wilson Island State Recreation Area, just north of Council Bluffs at the DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge, is a 577 acre multi-use park. If you prefer the comforts of RV camping, Lake Manawa State Park in Council Bluffs, offers many amenities. From rustic to modern camping, come enjoy the beauty of the Loess Hills and Lake Manawa, and bring your camera!
The park is situated on a 17 acre lake, offers camping, boating, fishing, and numerous other activities year round. You can stay in one of three rustic cabins, pitch a tent and rough it or use one of the 65 campsites with electric service; there are 6 non-electric sites, also. Dump station, showers, hydrants and pit toilets available. The lake is stocked with bluegill, bass and catfish. If you enjoy fishing, enjoy a hike along the trail or rent a canoe or paddleboat, play sand volleyball or basketball. Playground available.
The park is located on the West Nishnabotna River and offers a unique opportunity to see American Bison and elk herds that reside in the park’s pasture. Spring is an ideal time to see the newborn calves! Botna Bend Park is a favorite for campers; equipped with a modern shower house, dump station, forty 30-amp electrical sites and tent camping spots. Canoe or kayak down the Nishnabotna River (rental available) or explore along the riverbank for fossils and unique rocks. Picnic shelters and playground are also available.
Hitchcock has some of the largest remaining prairie remnants in Iowa and provides refuge for plants and animals found nowhere else in the state. The 1,003 acres are open every day of the year for hiking, camping, picnicking, bird watching, snow sledding, star gazing or simply enjoying nature. A 22 acre modern campground is equipped with 18 RV sites, shower house, two group tent sites, three cabins, and overlook deck. There is a fully furnished lodge for meetings, events or retreats. Attend seasonal recreation programs such as hikes, Monarch butterfly tagging, Night Sky Viewing, “HawkWatch” Programs, Mushroom Hunts and more.
Campground provides space for 72; 37 are equipped with electric hookups. Modern shower, restroom facilities, and trailer dump station are available. These may be reserved for a fee by contacting the park manager.
90 electric hook-ups, water avail, dump station, new playground and Aquatic Center in the park.
Red Carpet Inn & RV Park
I-80 Exit 46
Tomes Mobile Home Park
I80, Exit 3 South
706 W South Omaha Bridge Rd.
Wilson Island State Park
32801 Campground Lane
Missouri Valley, IA
544 acres of dense cottonwood stands help create the seclusion of one of the area’s greatest assets. Spacious shady campsites, hiking trails and picnic spots provide a welcome retreat. Visitors may see deer grazing or huge flocks of geese flying overhead in the fall. Bald eagles often perch in the tall cottonwood trees during the winter. The area is also famous for mushroom hunting in the spring. There are 135 well-shaded campsites. A modern camp area offers showers, flush toilets, 63 electric campsites, and two large youth group camping areas and a playground nearby. Approximately five miles of trails are used for hiking, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing and mountain biking. Hunting is open to the public in designated areas of the park; and fishing along the Missouri River.