Parks, Beaches, & Trails
Undeniably, Okoboji in Iowa is a great destination, especially for outdoor enthusiasts. Aside from the myriad of Arts and Cultural places to visit, the region is also home to numerous parks, beaches, and trails accessible throughout the state, offering even more opportunities for families to choose from a plethora of fun and exciting things to do with their kids.
You and your friends can also have a quick trip to one of the stunning and pristine beaches in Okoboji and enjoy the refreshing breeze of the lake waves. Nature lovers and those interested in wildlife can also explore several nature centers within the region. Some of the activities offered by most nature centers in Okoboji include animal watching, wildlife observation, and many more!
If you are more into just having a relaxing time under the calming shade of sprawling mature trees, Okoboji also has you covered. The wealth of tranquil and quaint community parks accessible in different locations in the area provides an excellent spot for picnics while also enjoying breathtaking vistas of the neighboring lakes.
Arnolds Park Amusement Park Beach
243 W Broadway St Arnolds Park, Iowa, 51331
Arnold’s Park’s coveted beach provides you with the opportunity to participate in exciting water sports such as paddle boarding, parasailing, and more. Arnolds Park Amusement Park Beach has everything you need to have a good time, creating a sandcastle or dominating your buddies on the sand volleyball court.
Arnolds Park Central Park
Dewey Street Arnolds Park, Iowa, 51331
One of the many parks in Arnolds Park features a shelter house and a playground open to all guests. The shelter house also caters free performances on its grounds. Come and listen to the music while taking in the view of the stunning West Lake.
Arnolds Park Preservation Plaza
37 Lake St Arnolds Park, Iowa, 51331
An ideal destination to visit if you like to watch free concerts and enjoy a fantastic fireworks display afterward. This outdoor facility is equipped with tables and chairs, fully manned bars, food options, and a large tent that can accommodate up to 300 people.
Dickinson County Nature Center
22785 Nature Center Road Spirit Lake, Iowa, 51355
This nature center, which includes live animal watching, an indoor beehive, a bat cave, and other educational displays, is a fantastic place for kids to learn about wildlife while also getting them to be more active outside. An attraction of the park is the Pollinator Paradise, which includes a Nature playscape, pathways, disc golf, and the Westport Schoolhouse. The park also includes a children’s space area and brand-new artworks.
East Lake Park
Great Lakes Spine Trail Okoboji, Iowa, 51355
East Lake Park, a beautiful addition to the myriad of parks in Okoboji, boasts its wonderful amenities, including a feature modeled after the famous Queen boat, gorgeous landscaping, plenty of parking, a public dock, and plenty of benches for the solace of its visitors.
Emerson Bay State Park
3100 Emerson St Wahpeton, Iowa, 51351
Are you planning to have a fun and relaxing family picnic? Come and visit Emerson Bay State Park, a popular leisure site in Wahpeton, Iowa, that exhibits splendid views of West Lake Okoboji. Other remarkable features of the park include an open grass recreation area, a playground, and a shelter near a sandy beach.
1501 10th St Milford, Iowa, 51351
Florence Park contains a covered foot space that can accommodate more than 100 people, making it an ideal location for your next open-air picnic, celebration, family event, or any social function. Parking is easy to get by, and the facility has concrete floors and tables and chairs for enjoyment.
601 Hill Ave Spirit Lake, Iowa, 51360
Gilbert Park is nestled on a substantial parcel of land with plenty of green areas for children to play and access the 500-feet shoreline of East Lake Okoboji. The park is home to a vast shelter house, two public floating docks, a basketball court, playground equipment, park benches, picnic areas, and handicap-accessible toilet facilities.
Gull Point State Park
1500 Harpen ST Wahpeton, Iowa, 51351
A large seaside park with a lodge, picnic spaces, and pathways for observing wildlife. Gull Point State Park is a popular camping site and one of the best places to enjoy the outdoors in the famous Iowa Great Lakes Region. The lake activities available in the park include swimming, paddling, water-skiing, or sail boating in West Lake Okoboji.
Gull Point State Park – Barney Peterson Memorial Trail
1500 Harpen St Wahpeton, Iowa, 51351
A 1.5-mile walk features an island bounded by West Lake Okoboji and a canal. Head over to Gull Point State Park – Barney Peterson Memorial Trail if you want to get up close and personal with nature, watch out for wildlife, find wildflowers, feel the rough bark or soft leaves of a tree and breathe in the fresh scent of pine and cedar trees.
1924 240th St Milford, Iowa, 51351
A 180-acre preserve with a trail system runs along the Little Sioux River. You’ll be surrounded by a rich range of species with an upland forest, pastures, marshes, and oxbow ponds. Horseshoe Bend provides a unique opportunity to experience nature firsthand.
Ingham Okoboji Lutheran Bible Camp
1203 Inwan Wahpeton, Iowa, 51351
One of the most beautiful places in the state to spend time with friends and family while admiring God’s magnificent creation. Various programs are available, including family and youth camps, recharges, retreats, and venues for families and groups to experience spiritual rejuvenation through Christ.
Iowa Great Lakes Trails
389 US-71 Arnolds Park, Iowa, 51355
A 14-mile trail traverses its way all around lakes and the Iowa Great Lakes region, passing through West Okoboji, Spirit Lake, Arnolds Park, Okoboji, Milford, and Lake Park. The site provides a variety of outdoor activities, spanning from its famed blue lakes and beautiful beaches to more tranquil nature locations.
Iowa Lakeside Laboratory
1838 IA-86 Milford, Iowa, 51360
Iowa Lakeside Laboratory, established in 1909 with learning, research, and water observation in mind, also functions as a nature preserve and historic district, providing students with a one-of-a-kind academic experience with small, comprehensive, comprehensive, field-oriented natural science classes.
Isthmus Park and Beach
115 Hill Ave Orleans, Iowa, 51360
A 5-acre dog-friendly facility with 1,000 feet of shoreline along Upper East Lake Okoboji. Visit the promenade, floating docks, and walking path, or stop by the picnic areas and grills for a late-afternoon bite. The site also features a canoe ramp, fishing piers, and handicap-accessible restrooms.
Kettelson Hogsback Park
125th St Spirit Lake, Iowa, 51360
A conserved beauty in Spirit Lake rests on 2,040 acres of land and is believed to be among the most bird-rich regions in Iowa. The facility extends from the west banks of Big Spirit Lake northwest up to the Minnesota state border. White lady slippers, prairie bush clover, prairie fringed orchids, wooly milkweed, and porcupine grass are just a few of the more than 270 species found in Kettelson Hogsback Park.
1100 23rd St Spirit Lake, Iowa, 51360
Spirit Lake is the main attraction in this park, which also features a shelter house. You can relax and feel some air while having a picnic or spend time crafting art in an arts facility in the park. Families visiting the site can also take advantage of the playground for the children to play. Other amenities in Kiwanis Park include a trail system, park benches, grills, bicycle rack, picnic tables, and handicap-accessible toilets.
Okoboji Gold Disc Golf Course
2279 170th St Spirit Lake, Iowa, 51360
Guests of any skill level are welcome at Okoboji Gold Disc Golf Course, offering beginner and professional-level concrete tee fields and leading disc golfers through various environments, including a rehabilitated oak savanna. The course is also home to a lovely walk in a picturesque, natural region full of blooming wildflowers and plenty of bird species during the summer.
1300 Sanborn Ave Okoboji, Iowa, 51355
Thanks to the plethora of sprawling trees around the park, a quaint community park in Okoboji with generous natural shade. Other amenities accessible on the site are handicap-friendly restrooms, newly developed courts, a new open-air seating area along with picnic areas, and electrical outlets for the comfort of its visitors.
Spirit Lake Pump House Beach
24700 140th St Orleans, Iowa, 51360
Enjoy over 140 feet of beachfront on the southern edge of Big Spirit Lake and a sandy beach, park benches, and a path system. Boaters in the region who wish to visit the place can dock their boats in a public dock facility that is easily accessible on the site.
Splash Pad – Memorial Park
300 Lake St Spirit Lake, Iowa, 51360
A 10-acre memorial park offers access to two shelter houses, a splash pad, bike paths, and walking trails. Guests can also take advantage of convenient lake access that stretches for about 1500 feet of the shoreline of East Lake Okoboji. Other amenities available in the park include picnic tables, grills, horseshoe court, park benches, and accessible restrooms, as well as two handicap-accessible piers and two fishing/boat docks.
Templar State Recreation Area
N Templar Dr Orleans, Iowa, 51360
Templar State Recreation Area, located in Orleans, Iowa, is a popular site for outdoor enthusiasts. It has an open picnic shelter and readily available restrooms. In addition, the park provides access to a boat port and various fishing spots along the shoreline of Big Spirit Lake.
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