Log In
Join Now

Camping at Rathbun Lake State Park

Scan for Cancellations
All campsites booked in Rathbun Lake State Park? Create a scan and we’ll notify you when somebody cancels.
Scan for Cancellations

Location and Access

Rathbun Lake, also known as Rathbun Reservoir, is a large reservoir in Appanoose County in the state of Iowa, United States. It is one of Iowa's largest lakes and has the nickname "Iowa's Ocean." The lake is located in the southern part of the state, near the city of Centerville.

To access Rathbun Lake State Park, you may use the following address for a GPS unit or online maps to navigate:

Rathbun Lake State Park 24248 State Highway J18, Moravia, IA 52571

Camping Facilities

Rathbun Lake offers an array of camping facilities suitable for various types of campers:

  • Electric Hookups: Campsites with electric hookups are available for RVs and campers requiring power.
  • Tent Camping: For those preferring a rustic experience, facilities cater to traditional tent camping.
  • Group Camping Sites: These are designed for larger groups or gatherings.
  • Cabins: For those who prefer more comfort, cabins may be available for rent.

Amenities often include restrooms, shower houses, playgrounds, picnic areas, and boat ramps. Always check the current status and availability before planning your trip as facilities may vary, and some might be seasonal or require reservations.

Recreational Activities

Recreational opportunities at Rathbun Lake State Park are plentiful:

  • Boating: Rathbun Lake is popular for boating, with several ramps provided for lake access.
  • Fishing: Anglers can enjoy fishing for species like crappie, walleye, bass, and catfish.
  • Hiking Trails: Hiking trails are available for those who want to explore the area on foot.
  • Swimming: There are designated swimming areas for visitors to cool off during warm weather.
  • Wildlife Viewing: The park provides great opportunities for bird-watching and wildlife viewing.
  • Hunting: Designated areas around the lake are open for hunting during state-regulated seasons.

Park Regulations and Safety

Follow these general guidelines to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience:

  • Fire Safety: Only light fires in designated fire rings or grills and never leave them unattended.
  • Wildlife: Do not feed wildlife and maintain a safe distance.
  • Trash: Pack out all trash or dispose of it in provided receptacles to keep the park clean.
  • Alcohol: Check the park's regulations regarding alcohol consumption as it may be restricted or prohibited in certain areas.
  • Quiet Hours: Observe quiet hours typically set from 10:00 PM to 6:00 AM.
  • Pets: If pets are allowed, they should be kept on a leash and under control at all times.

Reservations and Fees

Camping fees at Rathbun Lake State Park vary depending on the type of site and amenities offered. Typically, there is a nightly fee for camping which may be higher for sites with electric hookups or other special facilities.

Reservations for campsites can usually be made online through the Iowa state parks reservation system or via phone. It's advisable to book in advance, especially during peak camping seasons and on weekends.

Contact Information and Regulations

Before heading out, it's wise to contact the park directly or visit the official website for the most current information regarding regulations, alerts, and closures:

  • Iowa Department of Natural Resources: This is the governing body that can provide detailed information about the park and its facilities.

Please note that my knowledge is based on information available up until my last update in April 2023, and it's crucial to verify details with the park's official resources prior to your visit.

Map of Campgrounds in Rathbun Lake State Park
National Parks Badges

Get The Campsite Reservations You Want

Create a scan to get notified once a reservation opens at a campground you're interested in.