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Iowa State Parks

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USA Parks
Northwest Region
Gull Point State Park
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Gull Point State Park © Hal Olson
Gull Point State Park © Hal Olson
Gull Point State Park © Hal Olson
Gull Point State Park © Hal Olson
Gull Point State Park © Hal Olson
Gull Point State Park © Hal Olson
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1500 Harpen Street
Milford, Iowa   51351

Phone: 712-337-3211
Reservations: 712-337-3211
Email: park email button icon
The "lakes area" of northwest Iowa offers a tremendous array of outdoor recreation opportunities, year-round. The unique setting of beautiful and clear Lakes East and West Okoboji, Big Spirit Lake and other water bodies truly provides wonderful opportunities for outdoor recreation. The focal point for state parks and recreation areas in this region is beautiful Gull Point State Park, established in 1933. Gull Point provides a pleasing, shaded setting on West Okoboji Lake and offers a well-rounded variety of outdoor recreation facilities.
History of the Area
Located on the western shore of West Okoboji Lake, Gull Point has a history rooted in both natural beauty and human activity. Before European settlement, Native American tribes such as the Sioux used this area for hunting grounds due to its abundant wildlife. As settlers moved into northwest Iowa during the 19th century, they transformed much of the land around what is now known as Gull Point State Park for agriculture.

The park itself was established in 1933 when local citizens sought to preserve part of the lakeshore's remaining natural habitat. During that time period, many state parks were developed across America under programs like Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), which provided labor and funding; however specific involvement by CCC at this site isn't well-documented.

Historical features within or near include Pillsbury's Point where Spirit Lake Massacre took place in 1857 - one of Iowa's most tragic frontier events involving conflict between settlers and Santee Sioux warriors led by Inkpaduta.
 Hiking Trailyes
 Swimming Beachyes
BoatingLaunch Rampsyes
 Electric Sitesyes
The Gull Point campground is one of the most popular in the lakes area. The campground is well shaded and features paved roads, playground equipment, modern restroom and shower facilities, as well as a sanitary dump station. There are a total of 112 campsites, 60 with electrical hookups. Starting February 13, 2006 advance campsite reservations can be booked through the park reservation system. Half of the campsites are still available for self-registration on a first-come, first-serve basis.
The Gull Point lodge, built during the 1930's by the Civilian Conservation Corp, is the largest such facility in the state. It features kitchen facilities and will seat 140 people. The lodge is a wonderful setting for group activities such as wedding receptions and family reunions. The lodge is available on a reservation basis through the park manager.
1. Gull Point State Park offers a designated swimming area on West Okoboji Lake.
2. Lifeguards are not provided, so swim at your own risk.
3. The sandy beach is perfect for sunbathing and building sandcastles before or after swimming.
4. Swimming lessons aren't offered by the park; bring your equipment if needed.
5. No pets allowed in the swimming areas to ensure safety and cleanliness of water bodies.
6. The lake's clear waters provide excellent conditions for swimmers of all levels.
7. Restrooms and changing facilities near the beach make it convenient for swimmers.

The park offers a variety of boating options for visitors. There is an unsupervised beach area where you can launch your own boat, and the nearby West Okoboji Lake provides ample space for sailing or motorized boats. The lake also has several fishing spots that are accessible by boat, with species like walleye, northern pike and smallmouth bass available to catch. Canoeing and kayaking opportunities abound as well due to calm waters in certain areas around the lake.

West Okoboji and the many other lakes are some of the prime fishing spots in Iowa. Anglers will find challenging sport pursuing a variety of game fish, including walleye, northern pike, smallmouth bass, white bass, perch, bluegills, crappies, catfish and bullheads.

Gull Point is a great place for a family picnic. Several open shelters are available and may be reserved for a fee through the park manager.
1. Nature Trail: A self-guided loop that winds through the wooded areas of Gull Point State Park, offering educational signage about local flora and fauna; length approximately 0.8 miles.

2. West Loop Trail: This trail takes hikers along the western edge of the park with views of wetlands and a chance to spot wildlife; it connects back to other trails within the park.

3. Lakeview Trail: As its name suggests, this path provides scenic vistas over West Okoboji Lake, perfect for photographers or those looking for a leisurely walk near water; distance not specified.

4. Oak Savanna Pathway: Showcases an oak savanna ecosystem which is rare in Iowa due to agricultural development-ideal for bird watching and observing seasonal wildflowers.

5. Interpretive Boardwalks & Platforms: These may offer short strolls on raised platforms through marshy or sensitive ecological zones without specific lengths mentioned.
While exploring the park, cyclists can enjoy a 1.5-mile trail that winds through picturesque woodland and prairie landscapes.

However, be aware this path is shared with pedestrians so exercise caution when cycling to avoid accidents.

In addition, it's important for riders to note there are no bike rental facilities available within the area itself.

Also remember helmets aren't provided on-site; bring your own safety gear as part of responsible biking practices in public spaces.

Please respect all posted signs regarding speed limits or restricted areas designed for wildlife preservation purposes.

Lastly but importantly: always stay hydrated during physical activities like bicycling especially under hot weather conditions!
The park offers birdwatchers a variety of species, including waterfowl and songbirds. Birding trails are also available.

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
August 9 Horrible customer service
park review stars; one to five We rented two camp sites for seven people 2 adults and 5 kids. We adhered to the two tents/4 people per site rule. However, the DNR counted one of our tents as three tents, simply because it was three single person dome tents That connect together, and made us rent a third site. The worst part was how rude the lady was. She wouldnt even listen to me when I tried to show her the tent bag, indicating it was one tent. She acted as if we were criminals. Since there was NO two way conversation allowed, I indicated that we would pay for the extra site but would never be back, at which point she said Thats fine. Worst customer service ever Three sites for 2 adults and five kids. Really I dont recommend this place at all There are way better places to stay in the Okoboji area
July 20 a hot weekend by not happy
park review stars; one to five lots of rules that are strickly enforced, no parking except right infront of camper, need to have boats far away in another parking lot long walk to the beach, very little breeze
September 18 Great State Park by Scott White
park review stars; one to five Great park with hot showers. Great place to fish.
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Area Campgrounds
CenLa RV Park
3400 Highway 71
Spirit Lake, IA
Cutty's Okoboji Resort Club
1528 Highway 86
Spirit Lake, IA
Nearby Hotels

Directions from Des Moines, Iowa:

- Start on I-235 W.
- Take exit 137B to merge onto IA-141 N toward Urbandale/Grimes.
- Continue for about 20 miles then turn right onto IA -17 N/E Ave.

From Sioux City, Iowa:

- Get on US -75 S
- Follow US -75 S and US -18 E to County Rd M27 in Lost Island township.
- Turn left at the first cross street into Gull Point State Park.

If you're coming from Cedar Rapids, follow these steps:

- Begin by getting on I380-N /IA -27N/US151 North.
- Merge with Avenue of Saints towards Mason city/Fort Dodge/I35W.
- Exit off Highway3 West through Eagle Grove until reaching Humboldt.

For those traveling from Davenport:

- Head westbound via Interstate80 till Newton,.
- Switch over to northbound route using highway15 which leads directly up past Algona, finally turning eastward along county road B14 straight into park entrance.

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Iowa State Parks