Lake Manawa State Park

Quick Facts

Lake Manawa State Park

Iowa

(712) 366-0220

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

Lake Manawa State Park is one of the most popular outdoor recreation facilities in the Omaha/Council Bluffs metropolitan area. The park's 1,529 acres encompass a beautiful 772-acre lake. Lake Manawa was formed during a flood in 1881 when a portion of the river channel was cut off by the meandering of the great Missouri River. Over the years, the resulting "oxbow" lake, became a major outdoor recreation center for thousands of visitors. "Manawa" is a Native American term meaning "peace and comfort."

Experience the fun of being outdoors for a day or make a weekend of it by camping. Test your luck at fishing or enjoy a swim at the beach. Youngsters can enjoy the day at the dream playground. Mountain bikers can test their skills on a technical mountain bike trail, and bikers and hikers can enjoy the trail system that connects to the Western Trails Center or the Wabash Trace Trail. Escape to the outdoors and enjoy nature within the city of Council Bluffs at Lake Manawa.

Map of Lake Manawa (IA)

Latitude, Longitude: 41.202954, -95.849803

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Activities

  • Boating

    Boat motors of any size may be operated on the lake. Modern boat ramps are located on the north, south and west sides of the lake. Paddle boats and canoes are available for rent at the beach area from the concessionaire. A Missouri River boat ramp also provides boaters access to the river.

  • Bicycling

    A paved bike trail within the park has been constructed and connects to the Western Trails Center, Council Bluffs trail system, and the 63-mile Wabash Trace Trail. The park also has a technical mountain bike trail.

  • Camping

    The campground at Lake Manawa State Park provides space for 72 camping units. Of these, 37 campsites are equipped with electric hookups. Modern shower and rest room facilities are available at the campground, as is a trailer dump station. Advance campsite reservations can be made online through the park reservation system. Half of the campsites are still available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

  • Fishing

    Fishing by river, jetty, and universally accessible pier. Fish species include: bluegill, bullhead, carp, channel catfish, crappie, flathead catfish, largemouth bass, walleye, and wipers.

  • Hiking

    Lake Manawa State Park provides ample opportunity for a hike or a leisurely walk or a bike ride along the shoreline. A nature trail with a paved surface offers opportunity to walkers and for the mobility-impaired. A paved bike trail within the park has been constructed and connects to the Western Trails Center, Council Bluffs trail system, and the Wabash Trace Trail.

  • Off Highway Vehicles

    Please contact park services for more information.

  • Picnicking

    Lake Manawa State Park provides many locations for fun family picnics. A number of open picnic shelters are located around the lake. These may be reserved online through the park reservation system. A shelter with a fireplace and kitchen facilities is a recent addition.

  • RVing

    The campground at Lake Manawa State Park provides space for 72 camping units. Of these, 37 campsites are equipped with electric hookups. Modern shower and rest room facilities are available at the campground, as is a trailer dump station.

  • Water Sports

    A modern beach facility provides opportunities for swimming, as well as refreshments. Boating and fishing are also allowed.

Seasonality/Weather

Iowa summers are known for heat and humidity, with daytime temperatures often near 90°F and sometimes exceeding 100°F. Spring ushers in the beginning of the severe weather season--thunderstorms and tornadoes are common during the spring and summer months. Average winters in the state have been known to drop well below freezing, even falling below 0°F.

Directions

Driving

Lake Manawa State Park is located 2 1/2 miles south of Interstate 80 (Exit 3) at Council Bluffs, Iowa. It is located 2 1/2 miles west of Interstate 29 (Exit 47).

Phone Numbers

Primary

(712) 366-0220

Campground reservations

(877) 427-2757

Links