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The best camping near Walnut Woods State Park

Discover the most magical spots to pitch your tent or park your rig on your next Walnut Woods adventure.

Discover the serene beauty of Walnut Woods State Park.

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Top-rated campgrounds near Walnut Woods State Park

99%
(53)

Bend River Farms

5 sites 路 RVs, Tents50 acres 路 Runnells, IA
Bend River Farms is nestled in the gently rolling hills of central Iowa. Camp Creek flows through the property and continues on towards the mighty Des Moines river. Native prairie restoration, regenerative agriculture and sustainable ranching are the focus of owners, Amy Buckendahl and Dave Breese. Bend River Farms was a former junk yard that has now been transformed into a cottage core dream. Cool woodland meadows provide a comforting back drop to your tent site or your glamping experience. Private showers, complimentary firewood, a jungle gym, a communal outdoor dinning area and a saltwater hot tub await! Please understand that our property is a working farm. We are not a state park campground or "all inclusive" resort. Instead, we offer your wandering heart a place to rest. Bend River Farms is a place to enjoy wild spaces and recharge. Our farm is located just 13 miles off Interstate 80. Travel to the farm is on all paved roads, with no confusing dirt roads to navigate. The property is located near the small community of Runnells, Iowa in rural Camp Township. Enjoy a cold beer or food at one of the two local taverns, or check out the local ice cream shop or our Tuesday farmer's market during the summer. Don't worry if you forget something! We have a nearby gas station and a general store. We have farm fresh honey and eggs available for purchase, check the option during checkout! Amy, our own resident biologist, will give you an opportunity to learn about livestock husbandry and the local wildlife. The farms front orchard boasts several wild bird feeding stations, with edible landscaping! A stay on our farm will provide you with an opportunity to learn about Land Management in an agricultural setting. Or learn about carpentry and welding from a master fabricator. Come learn about gardening, poultry care, horsemanship, beekeeping and even falconry! Check the extra options available during checkout. Fancy a fireside meal or homestyle dinner? Dave is a trained chef and loves to cook for our guests. Select a meal during checkout. Off-site, but nearby opportunities: miles of scenic hiking and biking trails, kayaking and fishing. The Iowa State Fair Grounds and Adventureland Waterpark is only 20 minutes away, along with big city fine dining, music and art museums are all less than a thirty miles drive; when you need a break from camping and nature. Fee based Transportation is available for guests flying in or needing a break from driving, or whenever you need a quick trip into town. Our philosophy: "Here at Bend River Farms we are passionate about regenerative agriculture. We strive to push ourselves and our partners to think of the future and the longevity of our agricultural practices. " Regenerative Agriculture is an agricultural philosophy that both acknowledges the degenerative impact of poor land stewardship, and the positive use of agricultural practices that foster restoration and productivity." Local conditions determine which practices are most appropriate. A regeneratively managed food system should improve the long-term health and function of the agricultural ecosystem and the communities that depend upon them, physically, culturally, spiritually, and economically. Regeneratively managed businesses protect and improve the natural function of our water, nutrient, and carbon cycles by taking steps to increase biodiversity in the agricultural system, works to minimize reliance on external inputs, and avoid the use of synthetic chemicals whenever possible.鈥
from
$18
/ night
97%
(431)

Come Enjoy the Beauty

61 sites 路 Lodging, RVs, Tents30 acres 路 Earlham, IA
This property has a year round running creek called Bear Creek. They also mined the stone off the property for the State Capital in Des Moines, Iowa. Abundant wildlife and聽mature beautiful trees.
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$28
/ night
97%
(198)

Nature Heaven

8 sites 路 Lodging, RVs, Tents40 acres 路 Knoxville, IA
This seclude, beautiful pet friendly 40 acres of fenced camping site is on top of hilly land is rare in Iowa. It has close view of 3.5 private fishing ponds and far view of the Red Rock Lake. There are 10 acres nature timber area that keep you away from the other campers and rest of the world. Each site has a firepit, picnic table and a solar light . The drinking water is at the entrance, but no electricity on site. The RVs need to be self contained. There are tons of nature features, you may see deer, rabbits and other game birds by your campsite. The camping sites has good distances to keep privacy for each sites A recently built a 20ft diameter geodesic dome tent is for those who want more climate controlled stay while still enjoying the magnificent nature's gifts. for surrounding areas, the White breast beach is very close, a lot of water and hunting activities in the lake red rock year round. For our campers safety, any hunting activities are not allowed within our camping ground. However, in case you come for hunting with Iowa hunting tags, a couple of public deer hunting grounds are near our camping ground. The recently built glamping geodesic Dome tent is located on a top of hill. Our campers will have a fantastic sunset view of ponds and lake view while enjoy the great nature, and have a comfortable stay . And cell phone signals are good to use your hotspot remote working at this astonishing Lake Red Rock Oasis ^_^. Hope you will find joy, peace and happiness in this wonderful piece of natural land and the Red Rock lake areas. A little history of this land: This 40 acres of land was a surface mining site. The reclamation works done during the 1970s. But over the years, the soil was seriously eroded. Anna and Peilin, who have Masters and PhD in soil and environment health background, bought this land several years ago and started to restore the vegetation. Now the site looks beautiful and ready for nature lovers and campers to enjoy the fantastic view of the lake, ponds and tall grass... The site is totally different from what the Google map shows now.
from
$25
/ night
93%
(27)

The BUSS BARN woods.

3 sites 路 RVs, Tents5 acres 路 Norwalk, IA
Learn more about this land:Woods/Timber camping. Fire rings provided. Camp in the woods (tent) or camper in field. Kybo (satellite) toilets provided. Rental of ATV (single) Firewood for purchase on site. Axe throwing targets on site.聽 Other accommodations can be made as needed.
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$39.99
/ night
99%
(147)

Rock N Ranch Events & Campground

13 sites 路 Lodging40 acres 路 Menlo, IA
Our retirement dream is to share our beautiful property with people who love the outdoors.聽 We started with our rustic tent sites and slowly added cabins.聽 We go from primitive to sites with heat and air conditioning.聽 We are not far from the Interstate but sure seems like we are as you travel the 4.6 miles of gravel road to step back in time.
from
$15
/ night
100%
(4)

Saylor Creek Hideaway

1 site 路 Lodging7 acres 路 Des Moines, IA
We are in between Des Moines and Ankeny. We are surrounded by fields to the East and West. We have neighbors to the North and South but they are separated by space and trees. It feels like you are in the country but you are close to all that the Des Moines metro has to offer. Learn more about this land: Be in nature and have all the comforts. Surprise your friends or family with a unique experience. Our place is perfect for celebrating anniversaries, creating fun family memories or just taking a weekend to get away. Come and relax in the trees. Wake up to nature all around you and enjoy a slow morning as you sip on a cup of espresso while hanging out on the deck. During the day you can go explore all that the Des Moines area has to offer as we are located just minutes from downtown Des Moines. At night share stories around the fire. You won't have to give up comfort while "camping". Get a good night's rest in the king size bed. Stay comfortable in the various Iowa seasons by adjusting the heat or air conditioning. Running water at the nearby sink and shower means you don't have to give up cleanliness while camping. Sticky hands from roasting s'mores, no problem! Inside the Tent: - King size bed. All bedding is provided. - Couch folds into twin size bed. Bedding provided. - Air conditioning & heat - Small refrigerator - Nespresso machine with pods - Dining table with two chairs - TV with Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Prime - WiFi - Board games Outside the Tent: - Two deck chairs - Solo Stove smokeless fire pit - Two adirondack chairs - Two large foldable camping chairs - Charcoal grill with charcoal - One large bundle of firewood - Firestarter and lighter - Outhouse with sink & composting toilet - Outdoor shower with rainfall shower head Other things to note: We do not provide bath towels, so if you would like to enjoy the outdoor shower you will need to bring your own. Wifi and TV are amenities in the tent. If you want to unplug, let us know before check in and we can turn off the wifi and remove the TV. This tent is tucked into the trees on the 7 acre property where we live. Our house is out of sight when you're on the campsite. A short walk down a path and you will reach the tent where you will be immersed in the trees. Since you are in the trees there will always be bugs. Bringing bug spray is a good idea.
from
$200
/ night
100%
(3)

The Waypoint

5 sites 路 RVs18 acres 路 Earlham, IA
A vanlife destination located at the confluence of I80 and I35. 18 acres of land featuring a limestone quarry pond, perfect trees for hanging hammocks, flat ground for parking vans and so much space for community. If you鈥檙e interested, we are happy to coordinate introducing you to our small herd of alpacas and Great Pyrenees dogs.
from
$25
/ night
98%
(64)

Greenhouse Camping

2 sites 路 RVs5 acres 路 Ankeny, IA
We love this beautiful land that has been in our family since 1917, and think you will too!聽聽 We are located 1/2 mile off I-35 at the north border of the City of Ankeny.聽 Here you'll find the best of both worlds just fifteen minutes away from your quiet campsite - Boating, skiing, jet-skiing, fishing at Saylorville Lake.聽聽 Canoe,聽聽kayak聽and paddleboat rental at Big Creek State Park.聽 Swimming & waterplay for all ages at the Ankeny Aquatic Center.聽 Upscale shopping and dining at the District.聽 Or venture out聽a bit further to concert venues in Ames & Des Moines, local farmers markets, Des Moines' beautiful riverwalk and exciting nightlife, or聽the Iowa State Fair.聽 It's the best of country and suburban living!聽 End your day with a quiet stroll along the mowed walking path that overlooks one of the most beautiful areas of聽Four Mile Creek in Iowa, which circles right back to your cozy campfire.聽聽聽Learn more about this land:You'll love this relaxing space聽to camp and enjoy the Iowa outdoors!聽聽Very easy access,聽 we are just聽1/2 mile off of Interstate-35. 聽Our聽farm is bordered by nature on three sides and the city of Ankeny on the south.聽聽This is a single campsite, private and quiet. Your campsite has an adjoining mowed private聽walking trail overlooking Four Mile Creek, and is also within walking distance of Ankeny sidewalks for biking, walking, jogging. 聽It鈥檚 the best of both worlds - town and country!聽We're聽a聽15 minute drive聽from Big Creek and Ledges State Parks,聽Jester Park and Saylorville Lake聽where you can enjoy fishing, skiing, boating, horseback riding, hiking, biking, and聽the聽beach life.聽 You'll find unique shopping experiences, delicious dining, a good movie, a thriving live music scene just聽15 minutes away in downtown Des Moines, downtown and campus town聽Ames, and 聽at The District in Ankeny.聽聽Upon your arrival you'll find the聽greenhouse mini-fridge is stocked with聽4 complimentary bottles of water and everything you'll need for making S'mores.聽聽One free bundle of wood is included with each booking.聽聽
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$37.50
/ night
100%
(3)

Burkhart Farm

8 sites 路 RVs10 acres 路 Woodward, IA
We live in the country on a working grain farm (corn and soybeans). It can get noisy and dusty during harvest and grain hauling operations. You could wake up to deer eating grain around the bins. In the evenings, you can look down to the East by tree line for deer and turkey. We can handle any size RV. All spots are level. All electric sites are 30/50 and are for year-round use. We have 9 sites with electric and city water. Water to camp sites is off for the winter. Water is still available in the barn to refill tanks. 4 sites are gravel. 3 sites are grass. 2 are concrete. We also have a large primitive camping area west of the grain bins in open yard (no electric or water). Rv parking is available on grass when ground is hard or on the concrete and gravel driveway when soft. We have one picnic table for campers鈥 use. There is a trail we keep mowed North East of the hay barn alongside the crops, which is great for walking/dog run. Gray water may be dumped in the farm field; the crops love it. Sorry, we can no longer recommend black water dump stations as the local campgrounds are refusing non-customer use. Whistling Donkey in Woodward has a dump station; you can call them and ask if you can use it (515) 438-2669. You can be as private or engaged with us as you feel. Dumpster is by machine shed. There are 30+ local TV channels (no cable available). Open southern skies for satellite use. The lights automatically turn off at 10 PM. Fire pit is available for your use. Firewood is available East of the barn. Fire Pit light dims down to 15% after 10 PM. Yard lights also come on for one minute at Noon every day. Stargazing really pops at night on a clear night. You are welcome to turn lights back on and continue outdoor activities and use fire pit as long as you do not disturb other campers. Mouse and weather vane lights stay on all night for your convenience. Please do not put trash in fire pit. (I have to clean it out) We would prefer if guests arrive before dark; we like to settle down for the evening. WIFI is 250 Mbps depending on number of users. WIFI is Boondockers. Password is welcome1 (no caps) (Farm is 4 Miles North of Woodward). 聽1140 300th St Woodward Iowa Caution; 聽 Google maps has a tendency to have you take extra gravel roads. Follow聽the聽instructions below to stay on paved roads untill last 1/3聽mile. From Woodward: Head to North end of town turn left to the West onto North 3rd聽St. 聽Go聽1/4 mile turn right at T聽intersection to the North onto R18 for聽two miles. 聽At聽stop sign turn left to the West on R18.聽 (stay on R18 do not go straight North聽onto the gravel) in聽1 mile turn right to the North still on R18聽for 3 miles turn right to聽the East on聽gravel 300th St for聽1/3 mile. 聽Turn聽right at (Address 1140)聽Mickey Mouse Pole Light. Park at Woody the hoot owl and聽we will help you find a spot. From Ames: Head West on highway 30 to Highway聽17 go South for 5 miles to聽Luther turn right on聽E57 to the West for 7 miles. 聽 At聽stop sign聽turn left to the South on R18 for 3 miles turn left to the East on聽gravel 300th St for聽1/3 mile. 聽Turn聽right at (Address 1140)聽Mickey Mouse Pole Light. 聽Park at Woody the hoot owl and we will help you find a spot. From Ogden: Head South on Highway聽169 for 5 miles to E57 turn left to the East for 4 miles. 聽At聽stop sign turn right to the South on to R18 for 3 miles. 聽Turn聽left to the East on聽gravel 300th St for聽1/3 mile. 聽Turn聽right at (Address 1140)聽Mickey Mouse Pole Light. Park at Woody the hoot owl and we will help you find a spot. From East bound Interstate 80聽 聽Turn at exit 110 聽 聽(Adel / Winterset)聽onto聽Highway 169聽and go north 29 miles to E57. 聽聽(Google maps has a tendency to have you turn onto 300 street which is an extra 4 miles of gravel road go North to E57)聽 Turn聽right to the East for 4 miles. 聽At聽stop sign turn right to the South on R18 for 3 miles. 聽 Turn聽left to the East on聽gravel 300th St for聽1/3 mile. 聽 Turn聽right at (Address 1140)聽Mickey Mouse pole聽Light. 聽Park at Woody the hoot owl and we will help you find a spot. From Des Moines take 141 to the North to Woodward (From Woodward see above). For questions聽about the route look at聽our host site at the photo map. Local Hospital Perry IA ---------------------515 465-3547 Boone IA--------------------515 432-3140 Local gas station: Casey鈥檚 General Store (gas, pizza, sub sandwiches, and groceries). Madrid (9 miles away) is the closest diesel fuel. Restaurants in Woodward: Cayennes Caf茅 Whistling Donkey Sports Bar and Grill Laundry: Uptown Laundry, 115 S Main St., Woodward Groceries: A J鈥檚 Grocery Store Picket Fence Creamery Banks: E-Bank, ATM 217 S Main St., Woodward Local Attractions: Picket Fence Creamery Woodward High Trestle Bridge & BikeTrail Also see: http://burkhartelectric.com/Burkhart%20Boondockers%20Site.html
from
$20
/ night
100%
(4)

Cabin in the Woods

1 site 路 Lodging18 acres 路 Bondurant, IA
Cabin in the Woods is located on 18 wooded acres. Small stocked pond right outside your front door! Enjoy the wildlife and peacefulness of nature all around. Secluded area, yet 15 minutes to restaurants, shopping, Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino, Adventureland and more! The cabin is a small one room space, with a loft for extra storage or sleeping. There is electric, but no running water. Gallon of water will be available. There is an attached outhouse with toilet. Small fridge and microwave. TV with DVD player. Please note that the cabin does share a driveway with our house, so there may be cars that drive by. We do have animals on our property, so you may encounter dogs, cats, chickens and goats (all friendly)!
from
$120
/ night
100%
(33)

Sleep in an Iowa Barn @ TLC

2 sites 路 Lodging, Tents28 acres 路 Zearing, IA
Threshold Learning Center is 28 acres of prairie, creek, woods, and our barn dormitory.聽 Threshold is first, an outdoor learning center for schools during the school year, and a summer camp offering several day camps, family camps, and trips.聽 As a non-profit, however, we are constantly trying to find a way to聽 offer our programs to everyone regardless of whether they are able to pay our fees while still making enough money to stay open.聽 We started renting TLC to the public 5 years ago for weddings, reunions, or just families who are looking to connect to the world around them.聽 Our motto is "No Child Left Inside" and we want every inner child to enjoy what we have at TLC.聽 We have 7 bedrooms in our dormitory, 5 camp sites, a large camp fire ring, a mini-golf course, and we are always willing to lead your group in an educational experience or take you on a hayrack ride.
from
$15
/ night
95%
(38)

Comfortable Camping near Des Moines

2 sites 路 RVs3 acres 路 Carlisle, IA
Once a piece of farmland, now this is home to a historic church rectory and a whole lot of chickens (real and fake ones to be clear.) Learn more about this land: BEFORE BOOKING - if you are traveling with a dog be sure to message us BEFORE booking to make sure that we can accommodate you. IMMEDIATELY AFTER BOOKING please send a message introducing yourself and confirming how many are in your group and how large your camping set up is. We live on just over 3 acres of land. Some of it is a flat grass area, some is hilly, and some has taller brush. From any of these camping areas you can see our home but not much else besides fields, brush, and grass - and the sky! A train goes by a few times a day/night. We are located on a paved rural road, so while you will hear cars go by, there is no flow of constant traffic. We are located an easy two miles from a gas station and an easy 17-30 minute drive to Des Moines if you're looking to go into the city. The land is former farm land but the house is a historical church rectory that was moved to this location several years ago.
from
$25
/ night

The best camping near Walnut Woods State Park guide

Overview

About

River riding, bird watching, and sweet hikes? Ya, you can jump on ALL the fun stuff at Walnut Woods State Park. With 260 acres of wooded bottomland to explore you can hop on the trail in the morning, and back into the town of Des Moines by the time happy hour rolls around! Or stay at one of Walnut Woods campgrounds, the shady sites are the perfect way to beat the summer heat and escape the hustle and bustle of city life. A day or a weekend, this pretty little park will keep you smiling and collecting miles for as long as your feet will carry you.

When to go

The best time to visit Walnut Woods State Park is during the spring and fall when the weather is mild and the natural scenery is at its most vibrant. Summer months offer lush greenery, but can be hot and humid. Winters are quiet, with a stark beauty, but can be quite cold.

Know before you go

  • Check the weather forecast before your visit to dress appropriately and plan activities.
  • Be aware of park hours, typically from 6am to 10:30pm, and plan your trip accordingly.
  • Remember to pack insect repellent and sunscreen for protection against the elements.
  • Stay on designated trails to protect the park's natural habitats and your own safety.
  • Facilities such as restrooms and picnic areas are available, but it's wise to bring water and snacks.

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