Black Hawk State Park RV & Campground Guide


Black Hawk State Park is in Lake View, Iowa, on the shores of Black Hawk Lake. Before European settlement, various Native American groups, including the Sauk and Meskwaki tribes, inhabited the area around Black Hawk Lake. The lake was formed in 1930 when Black Hawk Dam was constructed. A notable feature at the park is the Black Hawk Watch Tower. It is a historical and scenic attraction that provides panoramic views of the surrounding landscape and Black Hawk Lake. The lake features open water, coves and inlets, making it ideal for boating, fishing and other water-based activities. Black Hawk State Park holds an annual water event known as Lake View Water Carnival. Nearby Cities: • Lake View, IA • Denison, IA • Carroll, IA • Storm Lake, IA

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Spring 40-70 F
Summer 59-88 F
Fall 57-79 F
Winter 19-35 F
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RV Resorts & Campsites in Black Hawk State Park

Black Hawk State Park Campground • Water hookup: Yes • Electrical hookup: Yes • Sewer hookup: Yes • Wi-Fi: No • Pet-friendly: Yes • Max RV length: 40 ft. • Other amenities: Sand volleyball courts, playgrounds, showers, restrooms, disc golf court, dump station

Camp Crescent

Less than 10 minutes from Black Hawk State Park, Camp Crescent is set on the shores of Black Hawk Lake and is run by the city of Lake View. The municipal RV park is open from April 15 to October 1st each year. There are plenty of amenities and recreation opportunities at the family-friendly campground. Rates begin at $18 a night.

Water hookup: yes

Electrical hookup: yes

Sewer hookup: yes

Wifi: no

Pet-friendly: yes

Other amenities: 24-hour courtesy patrol, chapel services, courtesy lake dock, diner/snack bar, dump station, family park, forest areas, ADA accessible, picnic area, playground, phone, recreation such as a beach, swimming, fishing, boating, hunting and more.

Sunrise Campground

Sunrise Campground is located on the shore of another nearby Lake – Lake Storm Lake. It offers both primitive and full service camping sites, and is staffed from mid-April to mid-September. With plenty of amenities and a boat ramp located across the street, there is no shortage of fun to have in your time away from the State Park!

Water hookup: yes

Electrical hookup: yes

Sewer hookup: yes

Wifi: yes

Pet-friendly: yes

Other amenities: restroom and laundry facilities, wood and ice available for purchase, cable, fire pit, picnic tables. Located in walking distance to King’s Pointe Waterpark, the Regatta Grille, Sunrise Pointe Golf Course, Pirates’ Pointe Mini Golf, Mandeville Disc Golf Course, sand volleyball courts, family playground and a public beach.

RV Rentals Near Black Hawk State Park

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What to Do at
Black Hawk State Park

Swimming is one of the ways you can relax at Black Hawk State Park as there is a designated swimming area with a sandy beach along the lake's shoreline. It's a great place to cool off on a hot day. There are also picnic areas throughout the park where you can enjoy meals with your family and friends, and some sites even have picnic shelters that you can reserve in advance. Additionally, you can climb the Black Hawk Watch Tower for breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape and the lake. The tower is an excellent spot for taking photographs.

Inside Black Hawk State Park

Whether you’re visiting Black Hawk State Park to try to snag a big fish on Black Hawk Lake or looking forward to a scenic hike, there is something for everyone to do inside the park. Some of the paved trails are even available for winter recreation. 

Black Hawk Lake Activities – The 957-acre Black Hawk Lake is one of the most popular features of the State Park!  Roughly 50% of the lakeshore offers public access to the lake, there are three boat ramps and no motor size restrictions, plus a universally accessible fishing pier. There is a swimming beach located along Black Hawk Lake, but angling and boating out on the lake are some of the most popular activities.

Hiking and Nature Activities – With over 30 miles of trails, there are plenty of ways to take in the beautiful surroundings and wildlife at Black Hawk State Park. Trails are open for hiking, biking, in-line skating and even cross-country skiing and snowmobiling in the wintertime. The Stubb Severson Nature Trail is 1.6 miles and the Sauk Rail Trail is a 33-mile, hard-surfaced, multi-use trail. The Sauk Trail is also the only trail in the state that starts at one park and end at another!

Picnicking – After boating all day or enjoying a nice long hike, taking time to stop and enjoy your surroundings is the perfect way to relax. The park offers many areas to cookout or have a picnic, all within sight of the lake. There are also two shelter houses that are available for reservations as well as on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Fishing Fishing

The 957-acre Black Hawk Lake is home to various species, including walleye, bass, bluegill and crappie. Anglers can cast their lines from the shoreline, a boat or from one of the fishing piers. Ice fishing is also popular in the winter when the lake freezes over. However, make sure you check the condition of the ice before heading out. There's also a fish cleaning station at the park.

Geocaching Geocaching

Engage in a high-tech treasure hunt by using GPS coordinates to find hidden geocaches and treasures within the park.

Nature Viewing

While exploring the park, be on the lookout for deer, squirrels and rabbits. Bird watchers will also enjoy observing local and migratory birds.

Stargazing Stargazing

Black Hawk State Park's natural setting makes it an excellent spot for observing stars under the night sky and identifying constellations.

Hiking Hiking

Discover the natural beauty of the park by hiking on its trails. The park's Stubb Stevenson Nature Trail is 1.6 miles long and contains 20 marked sites that describe the area's plant life. There is also the 33-mile, hard-surface Sauk Trail if you're looking for a longer distance.


There are no motor size restrictions for boating on Black Hawk Lake. You can rent a boat locally or bring your own. There are four boat ramps near the water.

Climbing Climbing

While it's not known for extensive rock-climbing opportunities, you can enjoy bouldering or scrambling on some of the park's rocky outcrops.


If you're an avid mountain biker, the Sauk Trail will provide you with an excellent ride.

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How to Get to
Black Hawk State Park

Begin by heading east on I-29 S from downtown Sioux City. Merge onto US-20 E via Exit 143A toward Fort Dodge. Continue on US-20 E for approximately 60 miles. Take Exit 224, turn onto IA-110 and then head toward US-71/Early/Sac City. Turn left onto IA-110 W/US-71 S and then right onto US-71 S. Afterward, turn left onto IA-175 E, and continue toward Black Hawk Lake Road in Lake View. Once you reach Lake View, follow the Black Hawk State Park signs on the side of the road to get to the park's entrance.

Entering Black Hawk State Park

Like all state parks in Iowa, there is no entrance fee to enter the park. Black Hawk State Park has one small parking lot located near the restrooms and picnic shelters for day-use visitors.

Frequently Asked Questions About Black Hawk State Park

What is the best time of year to visit Black Hawk State Park?

When you should visit Black Hawk State Park depends on your interests. Summer is ideal if you enjoy water sports and warm weather. However, if you plan to hike, you should visit the park during the fall.

What kind of wildlife can be found in Black Hawk State Park?

There are many avian species in Black Hawk State Park, including songbirds, waterfowl, raptors and migratory birds. Common sightings include mallards, Canada geese, red-tailed hawks, woodpeckers and sparrows. The park's meadows and wildflower patches also attract various insects, including butterflies, bees and dragonflies.

Are there designated RV camping spots in Black Hawk State Park?

Yes, Black Hawk State Park does offer designated RV camping spots within its campgrounds. The RV campsites at the campground offer electric hookups and can accommodate various RV sizes from smaller camper trailers to larger motorhomes.

Do you have to reserve a camping spot at Black Hawk State Park and what is the cost?

If you are considering camping at Black Hawk State Park, you should reserve a spot, especially during the holidays and peak camping seasons. You can make reservations through the Iowa Department of Natural Resources website.

Are pets allowed at Black Hawk State Park?

Guests are allowed to bring dogs to Black Hawk State Park. However, they always have to be on a leash to avoid damaging the local vegetation. You must also pick up after your pet to ensure the park remains pristine for other guests.