Description - Lake Manawa State Park is one of the most popular outdoor recreation facilities in the Omaha/Council Bluffs metropolitan area. The park's 1,529 acres encompass a beautiful 660-acre natural lake. Lake Manawa was formed during a flood in 1881 when a portion of the river channel was cut off by the meandering of the great Missouri River. Over the years, the resulting "oxbow" lake, became a major outdoor recreation center for thousands of visitors. "Manawa" is a Native American term meaning "peace and comfort."
Lake Manawa State Park provides many locations for fun family picnics. A number of open picnic shelters are located around the lake. These may be reserved for a fee by contacting the park manager. A shelter with a fireplace and kitchen facilities is a recent addition.
The campground at Lake Manawa State Park provides space for 73 camping units. Of these, 37 campsites are equipped with electric hookups. Modern shower and rest room facilities are available at the campground, as is a trailer dump station. Camping permits are obtained through self-registration at the campground. Camping Fees can be paid at the site.
Lake Manawa State Park provides ample opportunity for a hike or a leisurely walk or a bike ride along the shoreline. A nature trail with a paved surface offers opportunity to walkers and for the mobility-impaired. A paved bike trail within the park has been constructed and connects to the Western Trails Center, Council Bluffs trail system, and the Wabash Trace Trail.
Lake Activities (Swimming, boating, fishing)
Lake Manawa is the premier boating spot in the Omaha/Council Bluffs area. Boat motors of any size may be operated on the lake. Modern boat ramps are located on the north, south and west sides of the lake. Boats are available for rent at the south boat ramp area in the state park. A Missouri River boat ramp also provides boaters acess to the river.
Lake Manawa is also a favorite spot for anglers of all ages. Good catches of crappies, bluegills and catfish may be had throughout the year. Excellent populations of good size bass and walleye can be expected.
Lake Manawa is a great place for swimmers and sunbathers, young and old. A modern beach facility provides opportunities for supervised swimming, as well as refreshments.
Lake Manawa State Park is located 2 1/2 miles south of Interstate 80 (Exit 3) at Council Bluffs, Iowa. It is located 2 1/2 miles west of Interstate 29 (Exit 47).