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Weekend Getaways

The ten Largest Lakes in Iowa

Each route in Iowa results in a brand new physique of water to find, and it’s residence to a few of the nation’s largest, longest, deepest, and most picturesque lakes. The Hawkeye State has a protracted historical past that traces again to the 1600s and contains most of the man-made and pure sources of water that lie all through the state. The lakes in Iowa sit between rolling hills and deep valleys, surrounded by lush forests and exquisite woodlands, and bordered by sandy seashores and marshy wetlands.

Like most of Iowa’s pure lakes, the Iowa Nice Lakes are glacial, and so they’re all the time a favourite vacation spot for household holidays. The state’s largest freshwater lake and a sequence of lakes entice vacationers for summer time holidays on this space in northwest Iowa. On the subject of spending a day mountaineering, mountaineering, boating, crusing, swimming, or fishing, Iowa’s lakes don’t disappoint. Under, we are going to discover the ten largest lakes in Iowa. 

The ten Largest Lakes in Iowa

    10. Misplaced Island Lake

Misplaced Island Lake is a 1,162-acre (4.70 km2) lake positioned north of Ruthven, Iowa. Bass, catfish, crappie, walleye, sunfish, perch, and northern pike thrive inside 7 miles of the shoreline. Mountaineering and touring the native state parks are by no means sufficient for nature lovers! They provide a wide range of actions and alternatives to get outdoors and revel in the fantastic thing about nature. Misplaced Island Lake County Park is not any exception, sitting on the japanese fringe of Misplaced Island Lake. It has two problem ranges: a paved mountaineering/biking observe and a more difficult rock and filth path that travels nearer to the lake. The county park, which borders the Nature Heart and Huston Park, has loads of picnic spots, shelter amenities, and restrooms). 

    9. East Okoboji

The longest pure lake in Iowa is East Okoboji Lake.

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East Okoboji Lake is a pure physique of water in Dickinson County, Iowa, with roughly 1,835 acres (7.42 km2) floor space. It’s a part of the Iowa Nice Lakes chain of lakes, and the Santee or Jap Dakota Sioux had lengthy lived within the space. Okoboozhy, which implies reeds and rushes in Dakotan, impressed the title given to the lake. It’s Iowa’s longest pure lake, however it’s not notably deep. Regardless of this, the variety of bullheads makes it a preferred fishing spot. Paddlefish have been additionally as soon as prevalent in these waters, and so they have been huge freshwater fish.

The Elinor Bedell State Park lies alongside the lake’s western shoreline and permits guests to take pleasure in boating, fishing, and swimming. There are additionally tenting areas, picnic shelters, and a number of other miles of mountaineering routes all through the park.

    8. Okamanpeedan Lake

Okamanpeedan Lake, also called Tuttle Lake, sits in northern Iowa, sharing a border with Minnesota, and is a well-liked trip vacation spot with a wide range of outside and leisure actions. The two,300-acre (9.30 km2) lake, which spans three counties: Emmet, Martin, and Minnesota, is known as after a Native American phrase which means “a nesting place of the herons” as a result of huge inhabitants of herons that lives within the towering timber alongside the shoreline. Boating, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, and swimming are among the many hottest water actions in Okamanpeedan Lake. Whereas fishing, anglers can depend on getting black bullhead, bluegill, channel catfish, largemouth bass, northern pike, walleye, white crappie, yellow bullhead, and yellow perch. Seasonal cabins and summer time homes occupy the lake’s southwest shoreline, whereas everlasting residential houses and a tenting floor with a ship launch line the lake’s south financial institution.

    7. Clear Lake

Clear Lake Iowa 1970
Dwelling to the Clear Lake Yacht Membership, Clear Lake is one among 34 naturally occurring glacial lakes in Iowa.

Susan J. Koscielak / FortepanIowa / Inventive Commons – License

Clear Lake is one among 34 naturally occurring glacial lakes in Iowa, created about 14,000 years in the past by the melting and motion of glaciers. It’s famous for glorious crusing and is a boater’s fantasy world. The three,684-acre (14.91 km2) lake, which is residence to the Clear Lake Yacht Membership, gives a wide range of watersports, together with pleasure and energy boating, crusing, tubing, wakeboarding, waterskiing, and extra enjoyable actions like canoeing, kayaking, and swimming. There are numerous boat ramps, jetties, and a fish cleansing facility on the lake, with an abundance of bullhead, yellow bass, and walleye. Clear Lake State Park is alongside the lake’s shoreline, dotted with everlasting and summer time homes. On the north shore of the lake, McIntosh Woods State Park lies, and its quite a few shade timber present welcome aid from the summer time warmth.

    6. West Okoboji Lake

West Okoboji Lake Iowa
The water high quality of West Okoboji Lake is answerable for its shiny, gorgeous shade of blue.


West Okoboji Lake, a part of the Iowa Nice Lakes chain, is a 3,847-acre (15.57 km2) pure lake in northwest Iowa that’s one of the crucial in style lakes within the area for glorious leisure actions. Its excellent water high quality is answerable for its shiny, gorgeous shade of blue. The water high quality is so good that it acquired the title of Excellent Iowa Water by the Iowa Division of Pure Assets. Locals and guests take pleasure in boating, crusing, swimming, and waterskiing on the lake’s magnificent waters, because it additionally has world-class fishing for bluegill, yellow perch, and walleye. The cities of Arnolds Park, Okoboji, West Okoboji, and Wahpeton, all named after Dakota Sioux and Santee folks, now line the lake’s seashores, which offer a wide range of residential and trip homes, amusement parks, pure reserves, campgrounds, eating places, and retailers.

    5. Coralville Lake

Coralville Lake
Having a floor space of 5,340 acres, Coralville Lake is among the largest lakes in Iowa.

United States Military Corps of Engineers / This file is a piece of a U.S. Military soldier or worker, taken or made as a part of that particular person’s official duties. As a piece of the U.S. federal authorities, it’s within the public area in the US.

Coralville Lake is a synthetic lake shaped by the Coralville Dam in Johnson County, Iowa. Coralville Lake is the star of east-central Iowa’s leisure lakes, with a floor space of 5,340 acres (21.61 km2) and a historical past of bringing vacationers to its waters and shoreline for greater than 60 years. Mountaineering, biking, tenting, fishing, and boating are just some of the actions accessible on the lake and its surrounding shoreline. There are 11 recreation areas, 4 swimming seashores, three marinas, 18 boat ramps, three campgrounds (620 campsites), seven large picnic shelters, two disc golf programs, and 7 trails. Lake MacBride State Park is only the start of the general public lands close to Lake MacBride and the Coralville Reservoir to discover. This pet-friendly park is in style with canine house owners who like strolling by means of wooded valleys and alongside stunning lake trails.

    4. Massive Spirit Lake

Massive Spirit Lake is the most important lake in Iowa’s Nice Lakes Chain, shaped about 13,000 years in the past over the last ice age, and sits in Dickinson County in northwest Iowa. Spirit Lake is Iowa’s largest pure lake, with a floor space of 5,684 acres (23 km2), 16 miles of shoreline, and a most depth of 24 ft. Dakota Native People gave the lake its title, believing that evil spirits guarded the lake. Canoeing, kayaking, swimming, and fishing for bluegill, crappie, massive and smallmouth bass, yellow perch, and walleye are all in style actions within the higher part of East Okoboji Lake, the place the shallow depth is appropriate for canoeing, kayaking, and swimming.

    3. Saylorville Lake

Saylorville Lake Iowa
The third-largest lake in Iowa is Saylorville Lake.

Bella Bender/

Saylorville Lake, stretching roughly 50 miles throughout three counties simply outdoors of Des Moines, is alongside the Des Moines River outdoors the town and is well-known for land and water-based sports activities. The 5,950-acre (24 km2) reservoir, constructed by the Military Corps of Engineers for flood management in 1977, now attracts locals and guests to take pleasure in boating, swimming, fishing, kayaking, tenting, mountaineering, and mountain biking. The American Chook Conservancy listed Saylorville Lake as an internationally vital birding space. Starting in August and culminating round Labor Day, tens of hundreds of American White Pelicans congregate on the flats. Bald Eagles additionally thrive on the lake ice or alongside the Des Moines River beneath the dam in the course of the winter months. Whereas in winter, coyotes and deer stroll on the lake ice and in wooded areas.

    2. Rathbun Lake

1653740987 74 The 10 Biggest Lakes in Iowa - August 12, 2022
The lake with Iowa’s largest warm-water fish hachery is Rathbun Lake.

US Military Corp of Engineers / This file is a piece of a U.S. Military soldier or worker, taken or made as a part of that particular person’s official duties. As a piece of the U.S. federal authorities, it’s within the public area in the US.

Rathbun Lake has one thing for everybody, it doesn’t matter what your pursuits are. It’s Iowa’s second-largest lake, with 11,000 acres (44.52 km2) of lovely water and 150 miles of shoreline. The lake, nestled in Appanoose County, is appropriate for boating, crusing, and swimming. It additionally has the state’s largest warm-water fish hatchery, making it an ideal place to fish for crappie, channel catfish, largemouth bass, and walleye. The lake is residence to white-tailed deer, wild turkey, Canada geese, and different mammals, birds, and fish. The close by Rathbun Wildlife Administration Space additionally has deer, pheasant, waterfowl, quail, and dove. Eight parks encompass the lake’s shoreline, together with tenting and picnic areas, public docks, boat ramps, youngsters’s playgrounds, and the state-run Honey Creek State Park Resort’s huge indoor waterpark.

    1. Lake Crimson Rock

Red Rock Lake Iowa
The most important lake in Iowa is Lake Crimson Rock.

U.S. Military Corps of Engineers, photographer not specified or unknown / This picture or file is a piece of a U.S. Military Corps of Engineers soldier or worker, taken or made as a part of that particular person’s official duties. As a piece of the U.S. federal authorities, the picture is within the public area.

Lake Crimson Rock, Iowa’s largest lake, is a synthetic reservoir with a floor space of 15,520 acres (62.81 km2). This huge reservoir sits alongside the Des Moines River about 88 kilometers (55 miles) southeast of Des Moines, near the Dutch-inspired metropolis of Pella, one among Iowa’s finest little cities. The magnificent woodlands and swamps encircling the lake are in style leisure locations, providing water-based recreation and land actions. Crimson fox, badger, coyote, pika, and raven are year-round dwellers amongst these wealthy habitats. The lake’s shoreline is residence to Elk Rock State Park, Cordova Park, Roberts Creek Park, stunning swimming seashores, and quite a few mountaineering and mountain bike paths.

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