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USA Parks
Northwest Region
Ambrose A Call State Park
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Eastern Goldfinch ©
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Route 1, Box 264
Algona, Iowa   50511

Phone: 641-581-4835
Reservations: 877-427-2757
Email: park email button icon
Ambrose A. Call State Park is a 138 acre "oasis" of rugged hills heavily wooded with virgin timber in an area of gently rolling farmland. The park is located near the east fork of the Des Moines River. Ambrose Call and his brother, Asa, were early settlers in the area who carved their claim, the first in Kossuth County, on a walnut tree at the present site of the park. The brothers spent their first night in Kossuth County on July 9, 1854. The next day, while Asa went for his wife and supplies, Ambrose and a traveling companion, William Smith, began work on a cabin in what is now the state park.

Seventy-one years later, in 1925, Mrs. Gardner Cowles made a gift of land to the state in memory of her father, Ambrose A. Call. The park was dedicated in 1929.

The authentic log cabin is constructed of elm logs, some exceeding 18 inches in diameter, which is typical of cabins built by the original settlers in the area. Four men were needed to put the logs in place. The cabin in the park is located in the approximate location of the first log cabin in Kossuth County. It was moved from the August Zahlten homestead to the park.
History of the Area
Located in Kossuth County, the park was named after Ambrose A. Call, an early settler who arrived in 1854. The land originally served as a homestead for the Call family before being donated to Iowa for public use. Prior to its establishment as a state park in 1925, it functioned primarily as agricultural and woodland.

The area is known historically for Native American habitation with nearby Algona serving as a trading post location. Within the grounds are features like bur oak trees dating back centuries and remnants of prairie ecosystems.

Facilities such as picnic areas, campgrounds, and trails have been developed enhancing recreational opportunities while conserving natural resources. Recent conservation efforts focus on habitat restoration including reforestation projects and invasive species control measures.
Day-UseHiking Trailyes
CampingPrimitive, #3
 Electric Sites, #13
Ambrose A. Call State Park offers 16 sites. 13 sites are 30 amp electric and 3 sites are non-electric. There are two hydrants available in the campground for people to fill from. Guests are not able to remain connected to the hydrants when camping.
A log cabin-style lodge built in 1928 provides an excellent setting for such group activities as wedding receptions, family reunions, and community get-togethers. For lodge reservations, call the ranger at Pilot Knob State Park at 641/581-4835.

Ambrose A Call State Park offers picnic tables, grills and a shelter house for picnicking with beautiful woodland views.
The rugged and heavily wooded park offers two miles of trails that wind through the forest, down a ravine, and along a picturesque winding creek. Many species of shrubs, flowers and trees can be found at A.A. Call. A cross-country ski trail is available in the winter.
The park offers birding opportunities with a variety of species, including warblers and woodpeckers. Bird-watching trails are available.

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Directions to Ambrose A Call State Park, Iowa:

- Starting from Des Moines, take I-35 N toward Minneapolis/St. Paul.
- After about 75 miles, merge onto US-18 W/US Highway 18 via exit number 190 towards Algona/Wesley.

From the west:

- If you're coming from Sioux City, head east on US Hwy 20.

Once in Algona:

- Head south on Phillips Street (IA-15).

Nearby landmarks include Smith Lake to the north and Kossuth Regional Health Center to the southeast of the park.

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Iowa State Parks