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Lake Manawa State Park, IA

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


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 753 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 millions of visitors. "Manawa" is a Native American term meaning "peace and comfort".


Lake Manawa provides ample opportunity for a hike, leisurely walk or bike ride on a total of seven miles of paved trails. These trails connect to the trail system that runs throughout Council Bluffs including the Wabash Trace Trail and the Bob Kerry Pedestrian Bridge. A nature trail with a paved surface offers opportunity to walkers and the mobility-impaired. There are also eight miles of unpaved trails perfectly suited for mountain biking located on either side of the Missouri River access on the south side of the park.

Lake Activities
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. Paddleboats and canoes are available for rent at the beach area from the concession operator. A Missouri River boat ramp also provides boaters access 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 swimming, as well as refreshments.


Lake Manawa provides many locations for family picnics. Six open picnic shelters (one of which includes a kitchenette) are located around the lake and may be reserved online. Another open shelter, Shelter 3, is located near the beach and concessions. Shelter 3 can be rented from the concessionaire by calling (712) 366-4802 during the summer recreation season.

The campground at Lake Manawa provides both electric and non-electric campsites. Modern shower and restroom facilities are available during the peak season which runs from May 1 through October 1.

Nearby Attractions:

Lake Manawa hosts Winter-Fest Ice Fishing Derby (January), Fourth of July Fireworks over the lake and Black Squirrel Triathlon (August).

The park is also a short driving distance of any major attraction or event in the Omaha/Council Bluffs area, including the NCAA College World Series (June), Western Trails Historic Center, Durham Museum, Union Pacific Railroad Museum, Strategic Air and Space Command Museum and the Henry-Doorly Zoo.

Nearby Towns
Council Bluffs and Omaha. Lake Manawa State Park is located two and one-half miles south of Interstate 80 (Exit 3) at Council Bluffs, Iowa. It is located two and one-half miles west of Interstate 29 (Exit 47).

Services & Amenities:

Within Facility
  • Bait
  • Bird Watching
  • Boat Launch Ramp
  • Boat Rental
  • Canoe Rental
  • Canoeing
  • Concession
  • Docks, Fishing
  • Dump Station
  • Firewood Sales
  • Fish Cleaning Station
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Jet-Skiing
  • Jogging/Running
  • Kayak Rentals
  • Kayaking
  • Lake
  • Modern Restroom
  • Mountain Biking
  • Paddle Boat Rentals
  • Paddle Boating
  • Park Office
  • Parking
  • Playground
  • Sail Boating
  • Showers
  • Swimming - Beach
  • Telephone
  • Trash Dumpster
  • Walking
  • Water Hydrants
  • Wildlife Viewing
Less Than 1 Mile
  • River
Within 10 Miles
  • Antiquing
  • Art & Museum
  • Fuel, Vehicles
  • Historic Sites
  • Hospital
  • Interpretive Center
  • Medical Clinic
  • Motel
  • Nature Center
  • Shopping
Greater Than 10 Miles
  • Archery
  • Hunting
  • Tennis
Alerts and Important Information
The lifeguarded beach requires an admission fee. Shelter 3 can only be rented through the park concessionaire by calling (712) 366-4802 during the summer recreation season (Memorial Day to Labor Day). In the off-season please call the park office for the concessionaire's contact information.

Getting There:

GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
41.2075, -95.85722
41°12'27"N, 95°51'26"W

Take exit 47 off of I-29. Go west on Hwy 92 about 1/2 mile to East Manawa Drive. Follow East Manawa drive and you will end up at the East Entrance. Take Exit 3 from I-80. Take the South Expressway south 1 mile to Hwy 92. Go west on Hwy 92 to S. 11th St. Go south on S. 11th St to South Shore Dr. This is what we would consider the West Entrance.

Contact Information:

Mailing Address:

Lake Manawa State Park
1100 S Shore Dr
Council Bluffs  IA  51501

Phone Number:

Information:  (712) 366-0220