Gardens, Parks & Nature Areas

Clear Lake has several City Parks and Nature Areas perfect for relaxing and connecting to nature.

Butterfly Sundial CGNICentral Gardens of North Iowa
N 8th St & 2nd Ave S
(641) 357-0700

Formerly Central School grounds, Central Gardens of North Iowa was developed in 2000.  Since its inception, it has grown to be North Iowa's largest public garden, situated on 2.75 acres.  The gardens are host to over 25,000 visitors each season, and numerous private events.  It is an inviting place to wander through, or bring lunch and relax on the terrace or lawn.  The gardens are host to special events, like their popular summer series Fresh on Friday.  Group tours are available by appointment.

Clear Lake Parks & Recreation Department
(641) 357-7010

Clear Lake is home to 11 lush parks in all shapes and sizes.  City Park is the hub for community events, and is located downtown.  The parks can be reserved through the City of Clear Lake’s Park & Recreation Department. Volleyball kits, horse shoes, Frisbees, and softball bats & balls are available for check out through the department.

Clear Lake State Park

2730 S Lakeview Drive
6490 South Shore Drive (Campground Entrance)
(641) 357-4212

Clear Lake State Park is located on the southeast shore of beautiful 3,643-acre Clear Lake, one of the major outdoor recreation features of northern Iowa. The 55 acre park offers a tremendous diversity of outdoor recreation opportunities due to its location on the lake as well as its natural beauty. The park is characterized by gently rolling ground with open, mature groves of oak trees. Several small draws and thickets provide habitat for owls, squirrels, opossums, raccoons, rabbits, many species of songbirds and an occasional deer. Scenic Woodford Island is a 3-acre island managed primarily for wildlife habitat and is an excellent spot for fishing.

Lake Activities
The 900 foot sandy beach offers unsupervised swimming and is a great place for swimmers and sunbathers, young and old.

Clear Lake is a great place for fishermen throughout the year. The lake offers good fishing for walleyes, muskie, northern pike, bullheads, catfish, yellow bass, crappies, and other panfish. Boaters enjoy skiing, jet skiing, sightseeing, wind surfing and sailing.
The park features more than 10 acres of picnic grounds with tables and grills. The shady picnic areas provide a great place for a family cookout. Playground equipment for small children is located in the picnic area adjacent to the campground. An open picnic shelter is available for online reservations.

A day-use lodge is located in the picnic area near the beach. Built in 1938 by the Works Progress Administration, this impressive historical facility is a great place for such group events as weddings, family reunions, company picnics, and other large group gatherings.


Clear Lake State Park has one of the most popular campgrounds in the Iowa state park system. The campground contains a modern restroom, shower facilities and trailer dump station.  Advance reservations can be made online through the Reserve America system. Half of the campsites are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
180 sites: Standard Electric (162); Standard Full Hook-Up (7); Standard Non-Electric (8); Shelters (2); Day-use Lodge (1).


McIntosh Woods State Park
1200 E Lake Street, Ventura, IA
(641) 829-3847

McIntosh Woods is a 60 acre natural refuge located along the northwest shore of Iowa's second largest natural lake, Clear Lake, and home to the only two yurts in the Iowa state park system. It is also the anchor base for anglers trying their luck on beautiful Clear Lake anytime of the year. In winter, one may cross-country ski, snowshoe or ice fish. Whether you are here to fish, camp, swim, boat, sail, ski, snowshoe, paddle or just relax, we hope you enjoy your stay.

A one-mile interpretive hiking trail winds its way through the park with several key features highlighted along the route. The trail takes you through the Mallard Marsh on a walkway above the marsh that leads to a wildlife viewing blind where you can take photos of waterfowl, birds and a variety of wildlife species.

Lake Activities
McIntosh Woods State Park is one of the major boating access points for Clear Lake. A modern boat ramp, the largest on the lake, is present with an extensive paved area for vehicle trailer parking.  To enhance angler enjoyment, a modern fish cleaning station is located near the boat ramp area.

The park has a point or peninsula of land jutting out into the lake. This area includes an unsupervised beach which is popular for swimmers of all ages.

McIntosh Woods State Park is a popular spot for picnickers. The grassy and shaded picnic areas are a fine place for a family cookout. An open picnic shelter has been built near the boat ramp and can be reserved online.
McIntosh Woods' shaded campground, complete with electric and non-electric campsites, is a favorite for many and is heavily used by boaters and fishermen. A modern restroom and shower building are present, as well as a playground.
53 Total Sites: Standard Electric (45); Standard Non-Electric (4); Yurts (2); Shelters (2).
A yurt is a traditional dwelling of the nomadic people of central Asia. They were found from Anatolia to Mongolia and, in Iowa, exclusively at McIntosh Woods State Park. Visitors to McIntosh Woods may stay in one of two yurts available for rent. The two yurts are unique and extremely popular for overnight accommodations on the lakefront.

Oakwood RV Park

5419 240th Street
(641) 357-4019

Located just off South Shore Drive, Oakwood RV Park has been hosting campers since 1987.  Originally a 50-site campground, a 2002 addition brought the total number of full hook up sites to 90.  They are especially proud of the large site that accommodates a 40-45’ RV with a cement patio!

The Speakars are known for their hospitality, and each year hire two Workamper Host Couples that will help you check in and escort you to your site.  These friendly faces are their extra hands to make sure everyone is taken care of and enjoys their time in Clear Lake.

The park is also home to Lakeside Church. This 1890’s country church is home to small weddings and Sunday morning worship.  They also have a recreational hall available by request.

All sites have sewer, soft water, electricity (3 point hook up, 30 & 50 amp service), and wireless internet access, restrooms, laundry, & hot showers.  Cable & hard-line telephone service is available.

Twin Oaks RV Park
5351 South Shore Drive
(641) 357-3337

Located on the south side of Clear Lake, Twin Oaks has 45 campsites, a playground, shelter, game room, restrooms, and showers.

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