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Shimek Forest Campground, IA

Status: Open year round.   Season Dates
Max reservation window: Mon Dec 22 2014   Later Dates
37 site(s) found
ALL (37)

Description

Shimek State Forest is located in Lee and Van Buren Counties in southeast Iowa near the town of Farmington. Although the forest's original and most important function is to serve as an example of forest management for Iowas citizens, recreational opportunities abound in the forest. Visitors come from a wide area to hunt, fish, hike, ride the equestrian trails, mountain bike, camp, picnic, study nature and enjoy the outdoors.

Visitors can expect to find oak-hickory forests and bottomland hardwood timber forests but will also find several areas where native prairie plants can be found and about 1,000 acres which have been planted to conifers. In this extremely varied habitat wildlife is abundant. Bring your camera or spotting scope!

The forest is managed by the Iowa DNR Forestry Bureau and is comprised of five separate units with a total of 9,148 acres. The forest headquarters is located about one mile northeast of Farmington on county road J56. The four lakes in the Farmington and Donnellson Units are stocked with bass, channel catfish and panfish. There are no designated swimming areas. The entire forest is open to hiking and hunting (except in the camping areas).

The Croton Unit, named for the small community of Croton, is comprised of three detached parcels acquired from the U.S. Forest Service. Croton is the site of the northern most battle of the Civil War.

The Donnellson Unit is named for the town of Donnellson and contains the White Oak nonmodern campground with 11 sites available on a first come, first serve basis only. A boat ramp and a walk-in campsite are located in the unit at Shagbark Lake. The Donnellson Unit has a nature trail, two picnic areas and 6.2 miles of hiking trails.

The Farmington Unit is named after the nearby town and contains Bitternut Lake nonmodern campground with 8 sites available on a first come, first serve basis only and a boat ramp. The Farmington Unit also has Black Oak Lake with a handicapped accessible picnic area, fishing dock, parking area and restrooms. There is walk-in fishing access at White Oak Lake and the Farmington Unit has 18.9 miles of hiking trails.

The Keosauqua Unit is named after the community of Keosauqua and features 7.7 miles of hiking trails.

The Lick Creek Unit is named for the small stream that flows through the unit. There are 25 miles of equestrian trails in the Lick Creek Unit. A day-use area, next to the upper campground, is provided for those who are not camping. There are two equestrian campgrounds in the unit, one with 11sites and the other with 24 sites. Reservations may be made for campsites in the Lick Creek Unit.

Facilities:

Camping
The Lick Creek Unit contains two nonmodern equestrian campgrounds with nonelectric campsites. Facilities include pit toilets, fire rings, picnic tables, gravel parking pads, water hydrants, hitching rails and shade for horses. There are also stalls for overnight stabling.

The White Oak Campground located in the Donnellson Unit and the Bitternut Lake Campground in the Farmington Unit are not available for reservations. All camping is on a first-come, first-serve basis. Both campground are small (11 sites or less) and nonmodern.

Nearby Attractions:

The forest headquarters located in the Farmington Unit is 1.5 miles from Farmington, 25 miles from Fort Madison, 32 miles from Keokuk and 18 miles from Keosauqua.

Services & Amenities:

Within Facility
  • Bird Watching
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Hunting
  • Mountain Biking
  • PICNICKING
  • Toilet, Pit/Vault
  • Trash Dumpster
  • WILDFLOWER VIEWING
  • Walking
  • Water Hydrants
  • Wildlife Viewing
Greater Than 1 Mile
  • ATM/CASH MACHINE
  • CHURCH
  • Fuel, Vehicles
  • GROCERY STORE
  • Horse Rentals
  • RETAIL, DRINKS
  • RETAIL, FIREWOOD
  • RETAIL, SNACKS
Within 10 Miles
  • Antiquing
  • Motel
  • Town
Greater Than 10 Miles
  • Golfing
  • Hospital
  • RETAIL, BAIT & TACKLE
Alerts and Important Information
Motor vehicle operation is only on public roads. ATVs are not permitted anywhere in the forests, trails, or roads. Snowmobiles are allowed only on designated routes. Confine vehicles to the main roads. Drive carefully.

Horse riding is allowed only on designated trails, roads, and campgrounds. Mountain bikes are allowed on designated horse trails.

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):
40.61, -91.68194
40°36'36"N, 91°40'55"W

To find the Lick Creek equestrian campgrounds. From Farmington: Travel 4 miles east on Hwy 2 until the Lick Creek Unit road. Turn south go 1 mile. From Donnellson: Travel 6 miles west on Hwy 2 until the Lick Creek Unit road. Turn south go 1 mile.

Contact Information:

Mailing Address:

Shimek Forest Campground
33653 Route J6
Farmington  IA  52626

Phone Number:

Information:  (319) 878-3811