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Camping at Donnellson Unit: White Oak Campground

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Location and Accessibility

White Oak Campground is part of the Shimek State Forest, which is located in Lee and Van Buren counties in southeastern Iowa. The Donnellson Unit is just one section of the forest where White Oak Campground is situated. Access to the campground is typically via country roads, and the specific unit can be accessed near the town of Donnellson.

Campground Features

The campground includes basic amenities such as:

  • Campsites: The campsites at White Oak Campground can accommodate both tents and RVs, although the size limitations for RVs should be checked in advance.
  • Fire Rings and Picnic Tables: Typically, each campsite comes with a fire ring and a picnic table.
  • Restrooms: There are usually basic restroom facilities available at state forest campgrounds, but they may not include showers. Check if only vault toilets are provided.
  • Drinking Water: Access to potable water should be available, but specifics should be confirmed before visiting.


Visitors to Shimek State Forest and White Oak Campground can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities, such as:

  • Hiking: There are multiple trails for hiking throughout Shimek State Forest.
  • Horseback Riding: Some trails may be designated for horseback riding.
  • Mountain Biking: Cyclists may also find trails suitable for mountain biking.
  • Hunting: In season, hunting is a permitted activity in certain parts of the state forest.

Regulations and Safety

  • Reservations and Fees: Check if the campground operates on a first-come, first-served basis or if reservations are required. Fees for camping should also be confirmed before visiting.
  • Campfire Regulations: Be aware of any current fire restrictions, especially during dry conditions, and always keep fires contained to provided rings or pits.
  • Wildlife: Store food securely to avoid attracting wildlife, and be mindful of the local flora and fauna to ensure a safe trip for all.
  • Leave No Trace: Practice Leave No Trace principles to minimize your impact on the environment during your stay.

Seasonal Availability

  • Shimek State Forest campgrounds, including White Oak Campground, may have seasonal restrictions or road closures depending on the weather, particularly during winter months. Confirm the operational status before planning your trip.

Contact Information

For the most up-to-date information on White Oak Campground in the Donnellson Unit of Shimek Forest Campground, contact:

  • Iowa Department of Natural Resources: They can provide you with detailed information about the campground, current conditions, permits required, and any specific advisories.
  • Local Ranger Station: The ranger station in charge of Shimek State Forest can give you specific details concerning the Donnellson Unit and White Oak Campground.

Note: It is always advisable to check with the managing agency or department for the latest information before heading to the campground, as regulations and conditions can change.

Location of Donnellson Unit: White Oak Campground
Other Campgrounds in Shimek Forest Campground
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