LAKE DARLING STATE PARK
Lake Darling State Park was dedicated on September 17, 1950. J. N. "Ding" Darling, for whom the park was named, "set the gate," a ceremony in which an honored guest closes the valve on the spillway, completing the impoundment process. Ding Darling was the editorial cartoonist of the Des Moines Register and was a champion of conservation during the early part of this century. Through his efforts, the conservation movement was fostered in Iowa. In recognition of his contributions, Lake Darling State Park was named in his honor.
Lake Darling State Park is 1,417 acres in size, including a beautiful 302-acre lake with almost 18 miles of shoreline. The park, with its beautiful wooded hills and valleys and lovely lake, offers something for outdoor recreation enthusiasts, young and old.
Lake Darling has a large and well equipped campground. A total of 118 campsites are present, 81 with electrical hookups. The campground has 2 modern rest room buildings, as well as a conveniently located trailer dumping station. 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. There is playground equipment in the campground.
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Lake Darling is a popular boating lake for both power and non-power boats. The concession offers boat rental opportunities. Any size motor may be operated on Lake Darling at "no wake" speeds.
Lake Darling is an angler's delight. Catfish and crappies are probably the most prevalent catch for most anglers. However, bullheads, bluegills, largemouth bass, carp, and tiger muskies are also plentiful.