Clear Lake State Park RV & Campground Guide


At only 55 acres, Clear Lake State Park in northern Iowa isn’t huge, however, it features one of the most popular campgrounds in the entire state park system! The park is located on the southeast corner of the 3,643-acre Clear Lake, and offers a wide variety of recreational opportunities, including lake activities, hiking, cross-country skiing and more. Clear Lake State Park offers rolling ground with open, mature groves of beautiful oak trees, plus wildlife viewing in their habitat in the Scenic Woodford Island, and much more. Thinking of visiting Clear Lake State Park on your next camping trip? Continue reading to find out what makes it worth a visit!  

National Park Sample Image
Spring 50-80 F
Summer 60-83 F
Fall 25-60 F
Winter 6-28 F
National Park Sample Image
Trip Planner
Use our FREE RV trip planner to begin customizing the perfect RV trip. Continue
National Park Sample Image

RV Resorts & Campsites in Clear Lake State Park

Of course, you can always sleep every night in a tent under the stars, but glamping out in style in a comfortable RV is a great way to experience Clear Lake State Park. If you’re going to opt for an RV for your next camping trip, consider renting one fromRVshare.com. You can easily use the site to find a completely custom, perfect for you and your family RV – and even better, there are a variety of options for every budget! Plus, all rentals come with nationwide insurance and 24/7 roadside assistance.

Once you’ve found the perfect RV, you need the perfect campsite! Clear Lake State Park is home to one of the most popular campgrounds in the Iowa State Park system. It features full hookups, a dump station, electrical sites, a modern shower and restroom facilities, a playground, picnic areas and many more recreation opportunities. These popular campsites fill up quickly, but there are plenty of other campgrounds in the area. Here are some worth checking out:

Oakwood RV Park

Open April 15th-October 15th, Oakwood RV Park is located minutes from the State Park and just two blocks from the lake, in a very quiet setting. The family-friendly campground caters to big rigs with long, wide pull through sites, plus it has plenty of other amenities and recreational fun nearby. Rates begin at $35 a night.

Water hookup: yes

Electrical hookup: yes

Sewer hookup: yes

Wifi: yes

Pet-friendly: no

Other amenities: free wifi, clean bath house and more.

MacNider Campgrounds

Located about a half hour from Clear Lake State Park, MacNider campgrounds offers a wide variety of sites, plus plenty of amenities and fun! There are no reservations, all campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Rates begin at $17 a night.

Water hookup: yes

Electrical hookup: yes

Sewer hookup: yes

Wifi: no

Pet-friendly: yes

Other amenities: roadways, park lighting, tornado shelter/bathhouse, picnic shelters, office/camp store, fire rings, picnic tables and more.

RV Rentals Near Clear Lake State Park

Nearby RV Rentals


What to Do at
Clear Lake State Park

Inside Clear Lake State Park

Clear Lake State Park may be small at only 55 acres, it’s mighty with plenty of nature recreation and fun! Whether you’re ready to take on the Lake itself or just want to do some wildlife viewing, sunbathing or enjoy a cookout with family, there is something for all ages to enjoy. Here are some of the activities and things to do inside the park:

Clear Lake Activities – Although the 3,643-acre Clear Lake isn’t technically part of the State Park, they are located next to one another and many of the recreation activities take place on the lake! The State Park includes a 900-foot sandy beach that offers unsupervised swimming, sunbathing and of course, playing in the sand. The lake itself allows visitors to boat, jet ski, sightsee from the lake, windsurfing, sailing and angling. Clear Lake is a great place to fish for walleye, muskie, northern pike, bullheads, catfish, yellow bass and much more.

Scenic Woodford Island – A 3-acre island managed primarily for wildlife habitat, it’s the perfect area of the State Park for wildlife viewing and fishing. Some of the wildlife that visitors may see include owls, squirrels, opossums, raccoons, rabbits, songbirds and deer.

Picnicking/Shelters/Lodges – Clear Lake State Park has more than 10 acres of picnic areas with tables and grills, playground equipment and more. They are the perfect spot to enjoy a family cookout or picnic after a day spent on the lake! There are also open picnic shelters available for reservations and a day-use lodge near the beach – it was built in 1938 and is a historical facility perfect for large group events.   

Outside Clear Lake State Park

The fun doesn’t end when you leave Clear Lake State Park! In fact, many of the nature trails are actually located outside of the park itself. There are also many unique sights to see in the area and plenty of things to do for your entire family. Here are some of the fun things to do in the Clear Lake area. 


If you don’t want to take advantage of the kitchen in your RV, the next best thing is a delicious meal out on the town with family and friends! The Clear Lake area has a wide selection of restaurants, all offering a variety of cuisines, so everyone in your group will be happy. Here are some nearby restaurants worth checking out:

The Landing Patio Bar and Grill

Just minutes from Clear Lake State Park, the Landing Patio Bar and Grill is located right on the lake, and offers delicious food, live music and spectacular views. The menu includes seafood, burgers, sandwiches, wings and much more.

Type: American

Location: Clear Lake, IA

Sevens Restaurant and Steakhouse

Located in downtown Clear Lake, Sevens Restaurant and Steakhouse has been a local, family-owned restaurant since 2009. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, Sevens has something on the menu for everyone, including steaks and seafood, pasta, sandwiches and burgers, salads and much more.

Type: Steakhouse

Location: Clear Lake, IA

GeJo’s by the Lake

At GeJo’s by the Lake, the food is just as good as the surroundings! The restaurant features a casual dining atmosphere with a dining room and an outdoor porch overlooking Clear Lake and the city park. The authentic Italian cuisine offers pizza, pasta, sandwiches, salads and more.

Type: Italian

Location: Clear Lake, IA


Clear Lake Main Street

Downtown Clear Lake, on Main Street, features unique, local shops perfect for picking up a vacation souvenir or just some window shopping! Just about a half hour away, the Plaza West Strip Mall in Mason City has other options for food and incidental items you may have forgotten at home, like a grocery store, restaurants and more. 

Location: Clear Lake, IA


Hiking and Nature Activities

There are no trails located within Clear Lake State Park, but there are more than 15 in the Clear Lake area. These trails cover 139 miles and include walking trails, bike trails, running trails and even trails for dog walking and wintertime cross-country skiing.

Location: Clear Lake, IA

The Lady of the Lake

Sit back, relax and experience Clear Lake the best way – right on the water! The Lady of the Lake offers cruises, narrated tours and even private charters aboard an authentic sternwheel paddleboat. Cruises are offered between May and September.

Location: Lake View, IA

Central Gardens of Northern Iowa

The Central Gardens of Northern Iowa offer natural beauty from May-October. The area features three-acres of themed flower beds, ponds, stream beds and art as well as winding brick pathways. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a nice walk and relax while taking in the sights. Special events also occur and include gardening, beekeeping, crafts, make and take art projects and much more.

Location: Clear Lake, IA

National Park Sample Image

How to Get to
Clear Lake State Park

Clear Lake State Park is located on South Shore Drive in Clear Lake, Iowa. For more information and directions, click here.

Entering Clear Lake State Park

Iowa State Parks do not charge entrance fees, so you don’t have to worry about paying an entrance fee for Clear Lake State Park.


Whether you’re ready to catch a big fish, want to take a long hike or bike ride or just simply set up a beach chair and enjoy the beach, Black Hawk State Park is the perfect location! There is something for every type of nature lover to do inside the park. When you post your fun vacation photos on social media, don’t forget to tag us, or shoot us a photo and some details at [email protected]. We may just feature your story on our blog or social media channels. Happy camping!

Frequently Asked Questions About Clear Lake State Park

What is the best time of year to visit Clear Lake State Park?

There are two times during the year that is a great time to visit the park. Spring is the time to visit if you enjoy outdoor activities in pleasant temperatures. Fall is the time to visit for fall foliage.

What kind of wildlife can be found in Clear Lake State Park?

There is a variety of wildlife that live in Clear Lake State Park. Ducks, pelicans, blue herons, osprey, and bald eagles can be spotted all year. Deer, mountain lions, bears, raccoons, and others can be found near the basin.

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

Reservations are not required but are welcome. You can make reservations from six months to two days in advance. The Kelsey Creek campsites are on a first-come basis from October through March.

Are pets allowed at Clear Lake State Park?

Yes, dogs are allowed at Clear Lake State Park but only in campgrounds, in the parking lot, and on paved roadways. They aren’t allowed on the trails, on the swim beach, or in day-use areas.

Is Clear Lake State Park accessible for disabled visitors?

Yes, Clear Lake State Park has six accessible campsites. ADA-accessible restrooms with showers are located throughout the campgrounds, near the cabins, and near the boat launch. There are accessible trails, and the swim beach is also ADA-accessible.