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Water facilties are open: Shower/restrooms are now all on.

McIntosh Woods State Park, IA

Status: Open year round.   Season Dates
Max reservation window: Wed Oct 28 2015   Later Dates


McIntosh Woods is home to the only two yurts in our state park system. It is also the "anchor" base for anglers trying their luck on beautiful Clear Lake anytime of the year. In winter, one may cross-country ski, snowshoe or ice fish. Whether you are here to fish, camp, swim, boat, sail, ski, snowshoe, paddle or just relax, we hope you enjoy your stay.


McIntosh Woods State Park is a 60 acre natural refuge located along the northwest shore of Iowa's second largest natural lake, Clear Lake.


A one-mile interpretive hiking trail winds its way through the park with several key features highlighted along the route. The trail takes you through the Mallard Marsh on a walkway above the marsh that leads to a wildlife viewing blind where you can take photos of waterfowl, birds and a variety of wildlife species.

Lake Activities
McIntosh Woods State Park is one of the major boating access points for Clear Lake. A modern boat ramp, the largest on the lake, is present with an extensive paved area for vehicle trailer parking.

Clear Lake is very popular with anglers of all ages. A variety of fish may be taken in Clear Lake including walleye, panfish and channel catfish. To enhance angler enjoyment, a modern fish cleaning station is located near the boat ramp area at McIntosh Woods.

The park has a point or peninsula of land jutting out into the lake. This area includes an unsupervised beach which is popular for swimmers of all ages.


McIntosh Woods State Park is a popular spot for picnickers. The grassy and shaded picnic areas are a fine place for a family cookout. An open picnic shelter has been built near the boat ramp and can be reserved online.

McIntosh Woods' shaded campground, complete with electric and non-electric campsites, is a favorite for many and is heavily used by boaters and fishermen. A modern restroom and shower building are present, as well as a playground.

A yurt is a traditional dwelling of the nomadic people of central Asia. They were found from Anatolia to Mongolia and, in Iowa, exclusively at McIntosh Woods State Park. Visitors to McIntosh Woods may stay in one of two yurts available for rent. The two yurts are unique and extremely popular for overnight accommodations on the lakefront.

Nearby Attractions:

Ventura Access, located one mile west of the park, is a satellite with an open shelter to rent, a basketball court, restrooms, two-lane boat ramp and a universally accessible fishing dock.

Another satellite area, referred to as the Harbor Inn, is located south of Ventura. It has an open shelter, restroom and shoreline fishing off a jetty.

Just south of the fishing jetty is an area referred to as Ventura Cove, which provides a paved multi-use trail that winds through this wooded area.

Across the lake from the natural sandbar at McIntosh Woods is another wonderful undeveloped public area referred to as Lone Tree Point/Farmer's Beach. This wildlife refuge provides excellent outdoor opportunities, whether you would like to shoreline fish, hike, ski, snowshoe or stargaze. Clear Lake State Park is located on the southeast portion of the lake.

Nearby Towns
McIntosh Woods State Park is located between the cities of Clear Lake and Ventura. Mason City is ten miles to the east of Clear Lake and Garner is seven miles west.

Services & Amenities:

Within Facility
  • Bird Watching
  • Boat Launch Ramp
  • Boating
  • Dock, Boat
  • Docks, Fishing
  • Dump Station
  • Fish Cleaning Station
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Jet Skiing
  • Kayaking
  • Lake
  • Modern Restroom
  • Motel
  • Park Office
  • Parking
  • Playground
  • Sail Boating
  • Showers
  • Swimming - Beach
  • Telephone
  • Trash Dumpster
  • Walking
  • Water Hydrants
  • Wildlife Viewing
Within 10 Miles
  • Antiquing
  • Bicycling
  • Fish Hatchery
  • Fuel, Boats
  • Fuel, Vehicles
  • Golf
  • Hospital
  • Hunting
  • Medical Clinic
  • Museum
  • Rentals, Boat, Motorized
  • Rentals, Jet Skis
  • Swimming - Pool
  • Tennis
  • Town
Greater Than 10 Miles
  • Horseback Riding
  • Trails, Equestrian
  • Winery Tours
Alerts and Important Information
Yurts have no sanitary facilities but are located near a restroom/shower facility. Renters must provide their own bedding, pillows, towels and toiletry items.

Getting There:

GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
43.12722, -93.45194
43°7'38"N, 93°27'7"W

Take Exit 194 off of Interstate 35 and go west on Hwy 18 approximately five miles to McIntosh Rd. Turn south to the park entrance.

Contact Information:

Mailing Address:

McIntosh Woods State Park
1200 East Lake Street
Ventura  IA  50482

Phone Number:

Information:  (641) 829 - 3847