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 State Park adventure.

Discover the serene beauty of Walnut Woods State Park.  

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Top-rated campgrounds reviewed by the Hipcamp community.

Top-rated campgrounds near Walnut Woods State Park

97%
(215)

Nature Heaven

8 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents40 acres · Knoxville, IA
This seclude, beautiful pet friendly 40 acres of fenced camping site is on top of hilly land and 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. Each camping sites have good distances to keep privacy from each other. 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 close by White Breast Beach is open from May 23-September 3, 2024, boating, hunting and hiking activities in the lake red rock year around. 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. You will have a fantastic sunset view of ponds and lake view while enjoy the great nature, and have a comfortable stay . The cell phone signals are good, you may use your cell phone hotspot work remotely 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 Master's 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.
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$25
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99%
(87)

Bend River Farms

5 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents50 acres · Runnells, IA
Bend River Farms is just a short drive from Interstate 80. The farm 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 is a place to enjoy wild spaces and recharge. 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 glamping experience. Private showers, complimentary firewood, a jungle gym, a communal outdoor dinning area and a saltwater hot tub await your arrival! Please understand that our property is a working farm, and our staff are often busy working on projects. We are not anything like a state park campground or "all inclusive" resort. Instead, we offer your wandering heart a place to rest. Our farm is located just 13 miles off I-80. All travel to the farm is on 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 hot food at one of the two local taverns, or check out the local ice cream shop or our Tuesday night 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 EXTRAS option during checkout! Amy, our own resident biologist, will give you an opportunity to learn about livestock husbandry and the local wildlife. The farms 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! These are also available in the EXTRAS options 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 system 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.”
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$28
 / night
96%
(441)

Come Enjoy the Beauty

61 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents30 acres · 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 mature beautiful trees.
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$29
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99%
(78)

Greenhouse Camping

2 sites · RVs5 acres · Ankeny, IA
We love this beautiful land that has been in our family since 1917, and think you will too!   We are located 1/2 mile off I-35 at the north border of the City of Ankeny.  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.   Canoe,  kayak and paddleboat rental at Big Creek State Park.  Swimming & waterplay for all ages at the Ankeny Aquatic Center.  Upscale shopping and dining at the District.  Or venture out a bit further to concert venues in Ames & Des Moines, local farmers markets, Des Moines' beautiful riverwalk and exciting nightlife, or the Iowa State Fair.  It's the best of country and suburban living!  End your day with a quiet stroll along the mowed walking path that overlooks one of the most beautiful areas of Four Mile Creek in Iowa, which circles right back to your cozy campfire.   Learn more about this land:You'll love this relaxing space to camp and enjoy the Iowa outdoors!  Very easy access,  we are just 1/2 mile off of Interstate-35.  Our farm is bordered by nature on three sides and the city of Ankeny on the south.  This is a single campsite, private and quiet. Your campsite has an adjoining mowed private walking trail overlooking Four Mile Creek, and is also within walking distance of Ankeny sidewalks for biking, walking, jogging.  It’s the best of both worlds - town and country! We're a 15 minute drive from Big Creek and Ledges State Parks, Jester Park and Saylorville Lake where you can enjoy fishing, skiing, boating, horseback riding, hiking, biking, and the beach life.  You'll find unique shopping experiences, delicious dining, a good movie, a thriving live music scene just 15 minutes away in downtown Des Moines, downtown and campus town Ames, and  at The District in Ankeny.  Upon your arrival you'll find the greenhouse mini-fridge is stocked with 4 complimentary bottles of water and everything you'll need for making S'mores.  One free bundle of wood is included with each booking.  
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$35
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99%
(154)

Rock N Ranch Events & Campground

13 sites · Lodging40 acres · Menlo, IA
Our retirement dream is to share our beautiful property with people who love the outdoors.  We started with our rustic tent sites and slowly added cabins.  We go from primitive to sites with heat and air conditioning.  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.
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$15
 / night
100%
(13)

The Waypoint

5 sites · RVs18 acres · 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’re interested, we are happy to coordinate introducing you to our small herd of alpacas and Great Pyrenees dogs.
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$30
 / night
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(33)

Sleep in an Iowa Barn @ TLC

2 sites · Lodging, Tents28 acres · Zearing, IA
Threshold Learning Center is 28 acres of prairie, creek, woods, and our barn dormitory.  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.  As a non-profit, however, we are constantly trying to find a way to  offer our programs to everyone regardless of whether they are able to pay our fees while still making enough money to stay open.  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.  Our motto is "No Child Left Inside" and we want every inner child to enjoy what we have at TLC.  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.
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$15
 / night
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(10)

The Point at Lake Red Rock

1 site · Lodging32 acres · Knoxville, IA
Our 32 acres is a unique property on Iowa’s largest lake, Lake Red Rock. It features 17 acres of woods and 15 acres of native pollinator flowers and plants. Enjoy fishing, kayaking, hiking, bird watching and much more! Gorgeous sunsets and quiet surroundings will give you a memorable get away!
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$99
 / night
100%
(5)

Cabin in the Woods

1 site · Lodging18 acres · 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)!
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$120
 / 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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