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Iowa > Brushy Creek State Recreation Area
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Brushy Creek State Recreation Area

Brushy Creek State Recreation Area
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General Information

Description - At over 6,000 acres, Brushy Creek is one of Iowa's largest tracts of public outdoor recreation land. Visitors can get a real sense of being "away from it all" while, at the same time, enjoying a variety of outdoor recreation opportunities such as camping, hunting, horseback riding, and winter sports. The development of a 690 acre lake and associated facilities will provide additional opportunities for boating, swimming, and fishing, picnicking. These developments are under construction and are expected to be completed in the future.

Attractions - Picnicking/Shelters

Brushy Creek is a great place for picnics and large gatherings. Picnic areas are located around the park. They offer tables and fire grills. Two open shelters are available for rent by contacting the park manager.

Equestrian Camping

Equestrian users enjoy one of the most modern camp facilities in the Midwest. The northern equestrian campground has a modern shower and restroom, 125 campsites (50 electrical), horse wash area, ample shade, a substantial hitch rail at every site (users are required to tie animals to rails) and a 100' by 200' arena. Water hydrants with potable water are available, as are picnic tables, grills, and a playground. In the future another shower/toilet building will be constructed.

The south campground has a modern shower and restroom with 105 sites (70 electrical) and the same amenities as the northern campground. Camping Fees can be paid at the site.

Horses are not to be hitched or tied to trees, shrubs or park facilities in a manner that will cause injury or damage to the plant or facility. Animals may be hitched to trailers for short periods of time for grooming and saddling. Animals must be stabled inside a trailer, at a hitch rail or in stalls or corrals if provided. Portable stall/pens or electric fences are not allowed.

Non-Equestrian Camping

A modern non-equestrian camping facility is located lakeside and includes 38 electric sites, 10 with full water and sewer hookups. This location makes the campground very inviting to those using the nearby boatramp and beach. This area is also available for picnicking. Non equestrian campers are also welcome to use any of the equestrian campgrounds.

Equestrian Day Use Staging Area

Currently there is a day-use staging area near the existing equestrian campground in the northern portion of the recreation area and one in the southern portion, near the equestrian campground. Day users are encouraged to use these areas at no charge for the day. Facilities include seasonal restrooms. Additional staging areas are being developed in the southern area.

Lake Activities (swimming, boating, fishing)

Fishing is also a popular activity at Brushy Creek. The creek and Des Moines River have always provided not only scenic beauty but also a challenge to the angler with smallmouth bass and panfish as favorite catches. Several boat ramps and fishing jetties are located around the 690 acre lake. A fishing pier is located on the west side of the lake, north of the beach area. There are fishing tournaments occurring almost every weekend out on the lake.

Swimming is allowed in the designated beach area only. A large sandy beach is located on the west side of the lake.


With approximately 35 miles of multi-use trails, there are trail activities for everyone including horseback riding, hiking, snowmobiling, cross country skiing, and mountain biking. Mountain biking is allowed on all multiple use trails. A map of these trails is on display at the information kiosks located in the equestrian campgrounds. When using the multi-use trail system: 1) Always call ahead (515)543-8298 for current trail conditions 2) Stay on designated trails only 3) Respect others' trail rights, 4) Report any trail problems to park staff, and 5) Enjoy!


Hunting is one of the most popular activities at Brushy Creek. Every year, hunters pursue a variety of game species ranging from pheasants, quail, rabbits and squirrels to white-tailed deer and wild turkeys. A number of designated parking areas are located throughout Brushy Creek to provide convenient access for the hunter.

Shooting Range

Two ranges are located at Brushy Creek SRA. One is south of the park office approximately 1/2 mile north of County Rd. D-46. The other is a trap range located in the northern section of the park. It can be reached by taking 250th from Co. Rd. P-73, then turn right on Taylor Ave.

Location - Lehigh is located five miles southwest of county road D45. Duncombe is located five miles north on county road P73. Ft. Dodge is located approximately 15 miles northwest of Brushy Creek on Hwy 20. Webster City is located approximately 25 miles northeast on Hwy 20.

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More Information

Contact Information:
Brushy Creek State Recreation Area, 3175 290th Street , Lehigh, IA , 50557, Phone: 515/543-8298, Fax: 515/843-8395
, Brushy_Creek@dnr.state.ia.us

Additional Information:
Iowa State Parks -
North Central Iowa Travel Region -


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