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Lake Keomah State Park

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General Information

Description - Lake Keomah State Park is 366 acres of beautiful woods and water. Lovely shaded picnic areas are nestled between the arms of the 83 acre man-made lake.

During the summer the open water, grasslands, deep woods and marshy areas provide habitat for all types of wildlife. Hikers along the park's scenic hiking and nature trails may catch a glimpse of bullfrogs blowing and puffing bass solos, a great blue heron wading the shallows in search of minnows, or a covey of quail rising at the approach of human footsteps. In the fall, the lake is surrounded by a mass of color from a variety of trees and shrubs.

"Keomah" may sound like an Indian name, but it is not. The name is derived from the first syllables of the two counties that helped finance the park over 50 years ago --Keokuk and Mahaska. A portion of the south side of the lake was reserved for private development and many homes dot this side of the lake. The park was dedicated in 1934. Many of its facilities were constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC).

Attractions -

Park Construction and Renovation

Campground electrical upgrade. Currently, the campground is closed. Seventeen electrical sites will be available on April 22, in addition to a number of nonelectrical sites. Weather permitting, 100% of the campground should be available May 20, 2005. Please contact park staff for current project updates.


A lodge is available on a reservation only basis. It is an ideal place for special events such as wedding receptions or family reunions. Contact the park office to make a reservation.

Lake Keomah's scenic beauty has long made it a very popular picnic spot. Open picnic shelters may be reserved for a fee through the park office.


The campground has 65 campsites (41 with electrical hookups), modern showers, rest rooms and a trailer dump station. Camping permits are obtained by self-registration at the campground. Camping Fees can be paid at the site.

Group Camping

Lake Keomah also has a dining/rest room building available on a reservation basis to organized groups. Camping for group members is allowed nearby. See the document Group Camp Rental Reservation for specifics on reservation policy and specific rates, damage deposits and reservation deposits.


The park's wooded terrain provides great hiking year-round. There is a multi-use trail which runs along the lake shore. In winter, snowmobiles may be operated on designated trails.

Lake Activities (swimming, boating, fishing)

Spring and summer fishing for crappie, bluegill, largemouth bass and channel catfish is excellent. Ice fishing is popular in winter. A fishing jetty is available on the west shoreline and is accessible to persons of varying abilities.

Electric motors only are allowed and 2 boat ramps provide easy access to the lake.

Lake Keomah has an unsupervised swimming beach. The beach is a great place for young and old alike on hot summer afternoons.

Location - Oskaloosa is six miles west of the park and the site of beautiful William Penn College. Sigourney is 20 miles east. Pella is 21 miles northwest.

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Additional Information:
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