Coralville Lake

Quick Facts

Coralville Lake


(319) 338-3543

Map Directions

Things To Do


The Coralville Lake Project is comprised of five campgrounds and offers lake and river fishing, camping, boating, swimming and water-skiing. Several public golf courses are just a short drive from the Project. The environment is wooded. Coralville Lake is located very close to Iowa City/Coralville, which boasts the largest mall in Iowa.

Disc golf is available seasonally at two locations: Sugar Bottom near campground and Turkey Creek near the dam.

Map of Coralville Lake

Latitude, Longitude: 41.720593, -91.536369



  • Boating

    Coralville Lake offers over 5,000 acres of water for pleasure boating and water-skiing. Boat ramps for registered campers are located in West Overlook and Sugar Bottom Campgrounds and Sandy Beach Day Use Areas. Boat ramps for non-campers are located at Mehaffey Bridge, West Overlook Day Use, and Sandy Beach Day Use. The Tailwater East campground has a boat ramp for access to the Iowa River below the dam.

    Registered campers may launch at any of the boat ramps free of charge with their orange permit displayed in the vehicle window.

    There is a daily boat launch fee for non-campers or an annual pass may be purchased. The annual pass is valid for 12 months from the date of purchase and is accepted nation-wide at any Corps of Engineers boat ramp charging a launch fee.

  • Bird Watching

    The lake is a popular place to see shorebirds and migrating birds. For more information, visit

  • Bicycling

    The Sugar Bottom Mountain Bike Trail is an off-road, single-track bike trail system perfectly suited for riders of every skill and level. There are approximately 10 miles of one-way trails that wind through wooded valleys and prairies with beautiful views overlooking Coralville Lake. In order to accommodate all skill levels, the trails are marked according to the level of difficulty.

    Access to the trail is located at the Sugar Bottom Day Use Area. At the trailhead is a bulletin board containing up-to-date information on the trail and a color-coded map to show the areas that will suit your skill level.

    The trail is closed for 24 hours after a significant rainfall to minimize any erosion that could take place.

  • Camping

    Coralville Lake has three campgrounds with just over 500 campsites for your outdoor enjoyment that are managed by the US Army Corps of Engineers. The prices vary depending on the type of campsite selected.

  • Fishing

    Fishing is permitted on all areas of Coralville Lake except at swimming beaches, boat ramps, developed campgrounds, and any area posted "No Fishing". Fish cleaning stations are located in the Sugar Bottom Campground, Tailwater West Campground, Tailwater East Campground, Sandy Beach Campground, and at the West Overlook Campground dump station.

  • Hiking

    Cedar Valley Nature Trail

    This trail is located along the entrance road to the Sugar Bottom Recreation Area. The trail will lead hikers through timber, into ravines along the lake and across several bridges. Wildlife is abundant and wild flowers are a popular attraction. Indian Cave Trail is home to an Indian cave, a home of native Americans from as long ago as 10,000 years. With two trailheads along the road and an access point from the campground, the hiker can choose the length of hike by starting at any point. This trail is a scenic delight.Squire Point & Woodpecker Trail

    These two trails connect to form a network of trails totaling five miles. The Woodpecker Nature Trail entrance is located by the Linder Point Recreation Area in the Dam Complex area off of Dubuque Street. The Squire Point Trail is located north of the dam off of Dubuque Street. These two multi-use trail systems wind through mixed hardwoods and various types of wildflowers, which afford spectacular views of Coralville Lake from its limestone outcrops. Two bridges along the trail overlook a shallow stream and tree lined coves.

    This trail system is one of the most popular year round trails at Coralville Lake. Hikers and joggers use this trail extensively as a form of recreation and exercise. Whether you have a hour or a weekend, these trails can be enjoyed any time of the year. The area is constantly changing with the seasons, making each visit special.

    The Woodpecker Nature Trail is a self-guided trail system. At the beginning of this trail is a brochure available to follow along on some of the marked stops of the trail. See map for the stop locations on the trail. For a description of the trail stops go to Woodpecker Trail Stops. The 3/4 mile section of the trial is host to numerous field trips during the spring and fall seasons. Walking time is approximately 40 minutes for the average hiker. Tailwater Riverwalk is CLOSED WHILE REPAIRS ARE BEING COMPLETED. Veterans Trail

    The Veterans Trail is a barrier free access trail constructed to accommodate wheelchair users, people with walking disabilities as well as the able-bodied user. The asphalt and boardwalk trail meanders through mature oak, hickory, and maple trees. Features included on the 1/4 mile looped trail are a bird observation area, various rest areas and an 80-foot bridge. Each year on Memorial Day, a dedication ceremony is held to honor local Johnson County military veterans. After the 2010 dedication, 140 local Johnson County veterans will have been honored.

  • Historic Sites

    The Coralville Lake Visitor Center features exhibits on the history and natural resources of the Coralville Lake area. On display visitors will find a replica of an eagle's nest, actual fossil specimens from the Devonian Fossil Gorge (removed for preservation), and other exhibits depicting the local plant and animal life of the area.

  • Horseback Riding

    There are trails in the northern part of the park that are open to horses. Before heading out, contact the Army Corps of Engineers at (319) 338-3543 ext. 6300 to make sure the tails are open and available.

  • Hunting

    Hunting is allowed only during State of Iowa appointed hunting seasons. All areas of Coralville Lake are subject to the rules and regulations of the Sate of Iowa. Hunting regulations are located at the Iowa Department of Natural Resource website.

  • Off Highway Vehicles

    Lake View Off Highway Vehicle Area located adjacent to Coralville Lake is managed by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Take I-80 to Exit 246. Drive North on Hwy 1 to Solon, Iowa. Take Hwy 382 (also called Main Street) West to County Road W6E. W6E will veer North, follow to 140th Street and turn West. The loading and unloading area is at the corner of Ely Road and 140th Street.

  • Picnicking

    Picnic shelters are available at various locations around Coralville Lake. Many of these shelters are available for advanced reservations. Shelters have electrical outlets, pedestal grills, running water, rest rooms, and playground equipment are located nearby.

  • RVing

    Coralville Lake has three campgrounds with just over 500 campsites for your outdoor enjoyment that are managed by the US Army Corps of Engineers. The prices vary depending on the type of campsite selected.

  • Water Sports

    Swimming beaches are located on Coralville Lake at the Sugar Bottom Day Use, Sandy Beach Day Use, and West Overlook Day Use recreation areas. These beaches are all open to the public for swimming. The Sugar Bottom Day Use beach, which is located by the mountain bike trail is free. Sugar Bottom Campground has a beach for registered campers.

    Alcohol is not allowed on any of the swimming beaches at Coralville Lake.

  • Winter Sports

    Snowmobile trails run through various areas of Coralville Lake and connect with an extensive system of trails throughout Johnson County. Trail signs are posted during the winter season.



5 mi N of Iowa City. From I-80, take Dubuque St. N.

Phone Numbers


(319) 338-3543