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 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
 / night
99%
(89)

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%
(80)

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
Booked 1 time

Gonzocamp

2 sites · Lodging40 acres · Woodward, IA
Welcome to Gonzocamp Iowa camp! We offer top quality service for our guests. We have 2 nice-looking ''tent-camps'' with all conviniences like grill, toilet, wifi, bike rental and hiking in near area. There are sauna in our place. Sauna is free for all guests (included in price). We always happy to see you!
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$99
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100%
(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
100%
(8)

Burkhart Farm

11 sites · RVs10 acres · 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 in winter. Water is always available in the barn to refill tanks. 3 sites are gravel. 4 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’ 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).  1140 300th St Woodward Iowa Caution;   Google maps has a tendency to have you take extra gravel roads. Follow the instructions below to stay on paved roads untill last 1/3 mile. From Woodward: Head to North end of town turn left to the West onto North 3rd St.  Go 1/4 mile turn right at T intersection to the North onto R18 for two miles.  At stop sign turn left to the West on R18.  (stay on R18 do not go straight North onto the gravel) in 1 mile turn right to the North still on R18 for 3 miles turn right to the East on gravel 300th St for 1/3 mile.  Turn right at (Address 1140) Mickey Mouse Pole Light. Park at Woody the hoot owl and we will help you find a spot. From Ames: Head West on highway 30 to Highway 17 go South for 5 miles to Luther turn right on E57 to the West for 7 miles.   At stop sign turn left to the South on R18 for 3 miles turn left to the East on gravel 300th St for 1/3 mile.  Turn right at (Address 1140) Mickey Mouse Pole Light.  Park at Woody the hoot owl and we will help you find a spot. From Ogden: Head South on Highway 169 for 5 miles to E57 turn left to the East for 4 miles.  At stop sign turn right to the South on to R18 for 3 miles.  Turn left to the East on gravel 300th St for 1/3 mile.  Turn right at (Address 1140) Mickey Mouse Pole Light. Park at Woody the hoot owl and we will help you find a spot. From East bound Interstate 80   Turn at exit 110    (Adel / Winterset) onto Highway 169 and go north 29 miles to E57.   (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)  Turn right to the East for 4 miles.  At stop sign turn right to the South on R18 for 3 miles.   Turn left to the East on gravel 300th St for 1/3 mile.   Turn right at (Address 1140) Mickey Mouse pole Light.  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 about the route look at our host site at the photo map. Local Hospital Perry IA ---------------------515 465-3547 Boone IA--------------------515 432-3140 Local gas station: Casey’s General Store (gas, pizza, sub sandwiches, and groceries). Madrid (9 miles away) is the closest diesel fuel. Restaurants in Woodward: Cayennes Café Whistling Donkey Sports Bar and Grill Laundry: Uptown Laundry, 115 S Main St., Woodward Groceries: A J’s 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
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from 
$10
 / 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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