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Camping at Wilson Island State Recreation Area

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Location and Access

Wilson Island State Recreation Area is located in the western part of Iowa, near the town of Missouri Valley. It lies alongside the Missouri River and offers a natural retreat with plenty of outdoor activities. Access to the area is typically straightforward via local roads, and the nearby Interstate allows for easy navigation.

Camping Facilities

The park offers various camping facilities, including sites for both tents and RVs. Some key features of these sites may include:

  • Electric hookups
  • Modern restrooms
  • Shower facilities
  • Picnic tables
  • Fire rings

Campers should check in advance for site availability and whether reservations are required or recommended. It’s also a good idea to look into the specifics of the camping sites as some may be more primitive, while others offer more amenities.


Wilson Island State Recreation Area provides numerous activities catering to outdoor enthusiasts. Some favorite activities include:

  • Hiking: There are trails for both novice and experienced hikers.
  • Fishing: The Missouri River is a prime spot for fishing, and you may catch species like catfish or bass.
  • Bird Watching: The area is a haven for birdwatchers, with multiple species visible throughout the year.
  • Picnicking: Designated picnic areas are available for day visitors.
  • Boating: The proximity to the river allows for boating activities. Ensure to check rules regarding boating and permits.

Seasonal Considerations

Camping availability and services can vary by season. Some parts of the park may be inaccessible during the cooler months or during flooding, which can occur in the spring due to snowmelt and rain. It's advised to check with the park directly or the state’s Department of Natural Resources for current conditions and any seasonal restrictions.

Park Rules and Regulations

Adhering to park rules is crucial for ensuring safety and preserving the natural habitat. Here are some typical regulations:

  • Fire Safety: Only start fires in designated areas and fire rings to prevent wildfires.
  • Trash: Leave-no-trace principles apply; pack out what you pack in.
  • Wildlife: Feeding or disturbing wildlife is prohibited.
  • Pets: Pets are often allowed but must be kept on a leash and supervised.
  • Quiet Hours: These are usually enforced to ensure a peaceful experience for all campers.

Safety Precautions

While camping, it's important to take safety precautions such as:

  • Being aware of local wildlife and how to safely coexist
  • Preparing for the possibility of severe weather, particularly if camping near the river
  • Understanding the risks of camping in a floodplain

Reservation and Contact Information

Before heading to Wilson Island State Recreation Area, campers should make reservations if required and obtain any needed permits. Campsite reservations for Iowa state parks can typically be made through the Iowa Department of Natural Resources’ online reservation system or by phone. Contact information for the park itself (phone numbers, email addresses, etc.) should be sought from the most current resources available as details may change over time.

By planning ahead and respecting the area’s natural beauty and regulations, visitors to Wilson Island State Recreation Area can enjoy a memorable outdoor experience.

Map of Campgrounds in Wilson Island State Recreation Area
Campgrounds in Wilson Island State Recreation Area
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