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Camping at Oak Grove Picnic Area Campground

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Location and Access

Oak Grove Picnic Area Campground is located in the Saylorville Lake Park, which is near Polk City, Iowa, just a few miles north-west of Des Moines. This park is a part of the Saylorville Lake project, a reservoir on the Des Moines River managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Access to the campground is fairly straightforward, with signs leading from the main roads surrounding Saylorville Lake. It is important for visitors to check the specific address and driving directions before departure, as GPS can sometimes be unreliable in rural and park areas.

Camping and Picnic Facilities

Oak Grove Picnic Area is primarily designed for day-use with amenities suitable for picnicking and outdoor activities. However, there are multiple camping facility options in the vicinity for those interested in staying overnight, including tent and RV sites with varying levels of amenities.

Facilities typically include:

  • Picnic tables
  • Grills
  • Access to restrooms
  • Playgrounds
  • Nearby parking


Visitors to the Oak Grove Picnic Area and Saylorville Lake Park can enjoy a vast array of outdoor activities, including:

  • Boating: Saylorville Lake is popular for boating, and there are multiple ramps available for launching watercraft.

  • Fishing: Anglers can fish for species such as walleye, crappie, and largemouth bass.

  • Swimming: While Oak Grove may not have a designated swimming area, there are beaches around Saylorville Lake suitable for swimming.

  • Hiking and Biking: There are hiking and biking trails that offer scenic lake views and wildlife watching opportunities.

  • Bird Watching: The area attracts a variety of bird species, making it a good spot for bird enthusiasts.

Reservation and Fees

While Oak Grove Picnic Area may not require reservations for day use, it is recommended to check beforehand, as the area can be popular and might get crowded on weekends and holidays. For camping in Saylorville Lake Park, it is usually advised to make a reservation, especially during peak camping seasons. Reservations can often be made online through the official recreation reservation system (Recreation.gov) or through the park's contact information.

Campsite and picnic area fees vary depending on the facilities and time of year; it is best to refer to current fee schedules and policies for the most up-to-date information.

Rules and Regulations

To ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone, visitors are expected to follow the park's rules:

  • Observe quiet hours
  • Keep pets on a leash and clean up after them
  • Follow fire safety guidelines and restrictions (if any)
  • Dispose of trash appropriately and recycle when possible
  • Abide by posted speed limits and traffic rules within the park
  • Adhere to fishing and boating regulations

Weather and Seasonal Considerations

Before heading to the Oak Grove Picnic Area, consider checking the local weather. Iowa’s climate can exhibit extremes, with hot summers and cold winters. Weather conditions can change rapidly, so it is wise to be prepared with appropriate clothing and gear. Additionally, certain facilities may be seasonal and not available year-round, especially when it comes to camping. Always verify the operating season of campgrounds and picnic areas.

Contact Information

Keeping the contact information for Saylorville Lake Park handy is advised for obtaining recent updates about the campground and picnic area. Contact details can typically be found on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers website or by calling the visitor center.

Location of Oak Grove Picnic Area Campground
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