85 State Parks 6 State Forests 2 State Fish Hatcherys 24 State Wildlife Areas 20 State Wildlife Management Areas 2 State Wildlife Refuges 2 State Fish Hatcherys 1 National Historic Site 3 National Wildlife Refuges
A forgotten Gem right here at home! - Some times I think people of Oskaloosa forget about Lake Keomah. It has a nice campground, newer shower houses, hiking trails, and descent fishing. So next time you go camping save some gas and remember what is in your own back yard, Lake Keomah.
comment/question - I have driven by the park several times a month for many years now and notice that the gate is rarely unlocked and often time vehicles are parked at the locked gate.
The sign says open dawn to dusk.
Who is supposed to be unlocking the gate?
This is possibly a disservice to the users of the park.
Thanks for your time and consideration.
Great Views and Quiet Camping - I have been to this camp on a regular basis I regularly walk the river when it is low and do bird watching in this area it also has very nice clear trails that accommodate Horses and people. Also it is not to far from Browns Woods which is also awesome for creek walking and trail hiking. It is really quiet and you may here the buzz of vehicles but mostly you will hear the sounds of birds in the morning as they wake and throughout the day. I have personally seen woodpeckers of all kinds, the occasionally hummingbird groups, the Iowa state bird the goldfinch, Redtail hawks, Harrier Hawks from time to time, and Bald Eagles which nest some where along the river. This is a great park to relax and camp or if you live in the area to take your kids for the day because there are trails that are easy to walk to the small but well maintained playground across from the Walnut Woods Lodge.
- Been there the last four Sundays tomorrow looks to be too cold so we will have to take a break. Wife and I absolutely love it. Just wish it would be easier to find the origional site of the town of Prepreation and the lake or is the lake willow lake thanks Iowa for a fantastic place to viist we will be back.
Memories of the Past - Lots of memories for me as I lived here for several years, went to the country school located on the corner of 290th street and Brushy Creek Road. I am in the process of writing a family history and story of this area.
Horse Camp - I was disappointed to see last year that sevaral NON-Horse people were able to reserve sites in the horse camp. There are so few nice horse camps in our area, that is seem this should not be allowed unless there are empty spaces near the camp date. We would not be allowed to swipe up camp sites in their disignated areas. For this reason several of our horse friends could not get in to camp.
Beautiful but lots of work - This is a State Preserve and is VERY primitive. NO CAMPING ALLOWED. The last sign when turning off pavement onto one lane gravel is small and hard to find. Road in is steep, one lane, somewhat washed out dirt and gravel leading to a turnaround area. Next to the turnaround is a WPA style restroom building. About 75 yards down a dirt and grass path is a WPA style picnic shelter build against a cliff. The stream is still 100'+ vert. below the shelter. The only path down is a steep and difficult dirt path along pock-marked dolomite limestone formations, called "slump blocks". Last 25' vert. to the streambed is much steeper and even more difficult. However your reward is a beautiful, clear, cold water stream with many trout, up to pan sized. Once at the bottom travel in the canyon is by way of wading in the streambed. The (same) trail out requires climbing out the first 25' and is steep and strenuous. Very rewarding if you know what you are getting yourself in to!
Our cabins are located on my fourteen acres of ground next to Stephens State Forest in south-central Iowa located on the Chariton River bottom approximately 60 miles south of Des Moines in some of Iowa's best white tail and turkey habitat.