Description - Visitors to Honey Creek State Park return often to enjoy the beautiful setting of 828 acres of rolling, timbered hills against a background of beautiful Lake Rathbun, Iowa's largest lake. In 1954, Congress authorized the construction of Rathbun lake because the Chariton River Valley in south central Iowa was susceptible to flood and drought problems. The dam was completed in 1969 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Rathbun Lake provides flood protection for 149,300 acres of land along the Chariton River.
The Corps manages 55 square miles of land and water at Rathbun Lake. Honey Creek is a part of the Rathbun Lake recreation complex consisting of 11,000 acres with eight parks, 155 miles of shoreline, two marinas and 21,000 acres of public land. In addition to Honey Creek State Park, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources manages the Rathbun Fish Hatchery and Fisheries Research Facility located below the dam.
Honey Creek is a great place for picnics and larger gatherings. Open Picnic Shelters are located at scenic points overlooking the lake and may be reserved for a fee through the park manager.
Honey Creek is a favorite camping destination. There are 155 modern campsites with showers, rest rooms and a trailer dump station. Fourteen of the sites have full recreation vehicle hookups (sewer, water, electricity), and 80 are equipped with electricity only. Electricity is available year-round in the campground and the shower building is heated in the winter. The full hookups, however, are closed during the winter. Camping Permits are obtained by self-registration at the campground. Camping Fees can be paid at the site.
Hikers enjoy the miles of multi-use trails and the Woodland Interpretive Trail. By following the interpretive trail one may learn about the early Indians who inhabited the area. Displays on the history of Honey Creek are located in a special shelter at the beginning of the interpretive trail.
Lake Activities (boating, fishing)
Rathbun Lake is very popular with sailboaters, power boaters, water skiers and anglers. Crappie, walleye and channel catfish are available to challenge anglers. The park has excellent boat launching ramps and conveniently located fish cleaning facilities. The boat ramp and parking lot will be repaired and paved in 1999.
Honey Creek is located about 12 miles from Moravia and 4 miles from Iconium. The park is approximately 24 miles from both Albia and Centerville.