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Prairie Rose State Park

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General Information

Description - Prairie Rose State Park is one of the most attractive outdoor recreation areas in western Iowa. The 422-acre park lies in a region of scenic hills, six miles east and three miles south of Harlan.

The park received its name from a small town called Village of Prairie Rose which was once located near the present park location. Plans for Prairie Rose were initiated in the 1930s. However, actual construction of the dam started in 1958 with the park dedication taking place in 1962.

Attractions - Park Construction and Renovation

Road resurfacing. The park will remain open to the public with some delays possible but the main campground and boat ramp will be open. Road projects will be completed mid May 2005. Please contact park staff for current project updates.


Prairie Rose State Park provides a number of beautiful picnic areas with excellent views of the 218-acre lake. These are ideal places for family cookouts. Two open picnic shelters are available for a fee and may be reserved through the park office. Both of the shelters have electrical outlets available.


Camping at Prairie Rose, whether for a weekend or a family vacation, is delightful. There are 97 campsites, 61 with electric hookups. Two campgrounds are available. The larger one features electrical hookups and modern shower and rest room facilities. The other campground, with non-modern rest room facilities, is popular with tenters. Camping permits are obtained by self-registration at the campground. Camping Fees can be paid at the registration station.


A nature trail is located in the northwest corner of the park, starting from near the beach area. Hikers can enjoy the scenery along the three mile trail. A bridge now crosses the spillway making it possible to travel from the camp area to the beach. It winds along the shore line and around the reestablished prairie and is a great place to observe a variety of plants and wildlife.

There is a multi purpose trail located in the eastern portion of the park and provides excellent wintertime fun, such as snowmobiling and cross country skiing. The two mile snowmobile trail is located in the eastern portion of the park and provides great wintertime fun.

Lake Activities (swimming, fishing, boating)

The lake is the real focal point of the park. The Prairie Rose beach provides swimming and sunbathing fun for young and old. A play-ground area is located near the beach and in the campground.

The lake is popular for all types of boating from canoes and sailboats to motor boats and, in the winter, ice boats. Any size boat motors may be used at "no wake" speeds. Two modern boat ramps provide easy access to the lake.

Anglers of all ages will find a challenge at Prairie Rose. The lake provides excellent bass, channel catfish, flathead catfish, bluegill and crappie fishing from boat or shoreline. Six new fishing jetties have just been completed. There are two fish cleaning docks located on the lake for successful anglers convenience.

Location - The park is located 3 miles south of Harlan, Iowa and 8 miles north of Walnut, Iowa.

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More Information

Contact Information:
Prairie Rose State Park, 680 Road M47 , Harlan, IA , 51537, Phone: 712/773-2701, Fax: 712/773-2702
, Prairie_Rose@dnr.state.ia.us

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


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