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Black Hawk State Park

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General Information

Description - Black Hawk Lake lies off the southeast tip of the town of Lake View in Sac County, Iowa. Black Hawk Lake was formed many thousands of years ago by glacial action. In fact, it is the southern-most glacier-formed lake in Iowa. The lake's 957 acres which adjoins the state park, and the many services provided within the town of Lake View, all combine to provide a variety of outdoor recreation opportunities to the public.

There is a great deal of Iowa history at Black Hawk Lake. In 1828, President John Quincy Adams formally declared that all lands east of the Mississippi were to be sold to settlers gradually moving their way westward. This resulted in the forcing of Indian tribes to the west. Chief Black Hawk and 2,000 of his followers refused to move and the "Black Hawk War" resulted. Future President Abraham Lincoln fought in the Black Hawk War in command of a detachment of Illinois militiamen. In August of 1832, Chief Black Hawk was defeated at the Bad Ax River in Wisconsin. In 1838, the chief died and was buried in a sitting position facing southeast near Iowaville on the Des Moines River. Later, his remains were stolen, the skull was recovered, and then lost in a fire.

Chief Black Hawk's legacy lives on in such places as Black Hawk Lake and as the namesake for Black Hawk County, Iowa. Black Hawk State Park was established in 1935. Many of its buildings were constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps.

Attractions - Picnicking/Shelters

Black Hawk State Park provides quality picnicking opportunities for the public. There are many places to enjoy an informal cookout, all within sight of the beautiful lake. Four open picnic shelters are available and may be reserved for a fee through the park manager.


The Black Hawk State Park campground is a large one. It will accommodate 176 camping units, including 68 campsites equipped with electrical hookups. The campground features modern shower and rest room facilities. Nearby, a Frisbee golf course is available for some fun-filled exercise. A volleyball court and a large playground facility also offer lots of fun opportunities for campers, young and old. Camping permits are obtained by self-registration.

Lake Activities (swimming, boating, fishing)

Angling is a popular pursuit at Black Hawk Lake. Channel catfish, crappies, walleyes, bluegills, sunfish and several types of bass abound and provide a challenge to anglers of all ages. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources provides boat launching ramps on the lake. Three are located within Black Hawk State Park.

Swimming is allowed only in designated areas.


The "Stubb" Severson Nature Trail offers visitors a chance to learn about many of the shrubs and trees found in the park. Along the trail, walkers often see a variety of wildlife, including deer, waterfowl and many species of songbirds.

Location - Black Hawk Lake is located next to the town of Lake View. Wall Lake is one mile south on county Road M68 and two miles west on D54. Odebolt is 10 miles west on Highway 175. Sac City is eight miles north on M68 and two miles east on Highway 20.

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More Information

Contact Information:
Black Hawk State Park, 228 S. Blossom , Lake View, IA , 51450, Phone: 712/657-8712, Fax: 712/657-0999
, Black_Hawk@dnr.state.ia.us

Additional Information:
Iowa State Parks -
Northwest Iowa Travel Region -


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