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RAGBRAI EVENT STOPPING IN FORT DODGE JULY 20, 2015: RAGBRAI (Register's Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa) will stop and overnight in Fort Dodge on July 20. The event draws 10,000 bicyclists and spectators. Regular park visitors should be aware that the park could see an increase in visitors due to the event. Traffic getting to the park could also be congested. Campers wishing to camp at Brushy Creek must reserve a campsite or register as a first-come, first-serve camper and pay the appropriate fees. All camping rules and regulations apply including a limit of six people per campsite and one camping unit per campsite or a maximum of two tents per campsite. If you have any questions regarding camping or the park, please call park staff at 515/543-8298. For more information about RAGBRAI, please visit RAGBRAI.com
Brushy Creek Beach Closed in 2015: The swimming beach at Brushy Creek will be closed to public access in 2015 for a major beach renovation. The project includes a new road/parking lot and a restroom and concession building. We apologize for the inconvenience. The Beach Campground will remain open and accessible.

Brushy Creek State Recreation Area, IA

Status: Open year round.   Season Dates
Max reservation window: Sun Oct 04 2015   Later Dates


Brushy Creek is one of Iowa's premier outdoor recreation destinations. At 6,500 acres, it has the largest tracts of public recreation land with a mosaic of native prairie, grassland, timber, riparian and lake habitats. The 690-acre lake is the deepest artificial permanent pool lake in Iowa and has an extensive network of trails. Join our interpreter in the summer for nature-related programs and hikes. Each spring, the park hosts a geo-caching event and fishing derby for kids. Program event details are posted at the campground kiosks.


Lake Activities
Fishing is a popular activity at Brushy Creek. The lake has 21 miles of shoreline with four boat ramps and ten fishing jetties. A universally accessible fishing pier is located on the west side of the lake. Anglers can try their luck fishing for bluegill, crappie, largemouth bass, channel catfish, walleye or muskellunge. The creek and the 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. Brushy Creek is a "no-wake" lake. There is no restriction on motor size.

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

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. There is a 12 mile gravel trail around Brushy Creek Lake that is open in all weather conditions. A map of these multi-use trails is on display at the information kiosk located in the equestrian campgrounds.

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.


Brushy Creek is a great place for picnics and large gatherings. Picnic areas are located throughout the park and offer tables and fire grills. There are two open shelters that can be reserved online.

Equestrian Camping
Equestrian users can enjoy one of the most modern camp facilities in the Midwest. The north equestrian campground has a modern shower and restroom, electric and non-electric sites, horse wash area, ample shade, a substantial hitch rail at every site (users are required to tie animals to rails) and a 100 ft by 200 ft arena. Water hydrants with potable water are available, as are picnic tables, grills, and a playground.

The south equestrian campground has a modern shower and restroom, electric and non-electric sites along with some full hookup sites (water and sewer), horse wash area, ample shade, and a hitch rail at every site.

Non-Equestrian Camping
The non-equestrian campground has electric, non-electric, and full hookup sites (water and sewer).

Day Use Areas
There are two large day-use areas, one located adjacent to the north equestrian campground and one just west of the south equestrian campground. Day users, including equestrians, are encouraged to use these areas at no charge for the day. Facilities include seasonal restrooms.

Shooting RangeTwo gun ranges are located at Brushy Creek State Recreation Area. The target range (paper targets only) is south of the park office on Brushy Creek Road approximately 1/4 mile north of County Rd D46. The clay target range is located off of Taylor Ave. just south of Hwy 20 and west of County Road P73.

Nearby Attractions:

Lehigh is located five miles west on County Road D46. Duncombe is located five miles north on County Road P73. Fort Dodge is located approximately fifteen miles northwest of Brushy Creek off of Hwy 20. Webster City is located approximately fifteen miles northeast on Hwy 20.

Services & Amenities:

Within Facility
  • Bird Watching
  • Boat Launch Ramp
  • Boating
  • Canoeing
  • Dump Station
  • Fish Cleaning Station
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Hunting
  • Jogging/Running
  • Modern Restroom
  • Mountain Biking
  • Park Office
  • Parking
  • Playground
  • Shooting
  • Showers
  • Swimming - Beach
  • Toilet, Pit/Vault
  • Trails, Equestrian
  • Trash Dumpster
  • Walking
  • Water Hydrants
  • Wildlife Viewing
Less Than 1 Mile
Greater Than 1 Mile
  • Fuel, Vehicles
  • Laundry
  • Town
Greater Than 10 Miles
  • Hospital
  • Medical Clinic
  • Motel
Alerts and Important Information
Trails are closed to non-foot traffic during wet conditions. 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.

Multi-Use Trail System Rules:

1. Always call ahead for current trail conditions (515) 543-8298.
2. Stay on designated trails only.
3. Respect others' trail rights.
4. Report any trail problems to park staff.

Attention Equestrian Riders: State regulations require horses, mules and donkeys being transported interstate (from one state to another) must have a current Certification of Veterinary Inspection (health certificate) and a negative Coggin's test (EIA). This paperwork must accompany the animal into the State of Iowa. Please refer to www.iowaagriculture.gov/animalindustry/horseadmissionregs.asp for more information.
This law applies to equestrian camping, day-use and trail riding in any State owned Park or Forest.

Getting There:

GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
42.39139, -93.99056
42°23'29"N, 93°59'26"W

Visitors from the North
From Hwy 20 go south on P73, for West Entrance go east on Lake View Dr.; for South Entrance continue on P73 and go east on D46.

Visitors from the South
Get on D46- the South Campground and South Day Use Area are located off of this road. For all other facilities go north on Brushy Creek Rd. which curves and becomes Lakeview Dr.

Trap Shooting Range can be reached by taking 250th from County Rd P73, then turn right onto Taylor Ave.

Contact Information:

Mailing Address:

Brushy Creek State Recreation Area
3175 290th St
Lehigh  IA  50557

Phone Number:

Information:  (515)543-8298