Stephens State Forest

Quick Facts

Stephens State Forest

Iowa

(641) 774-5632

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

Stephens State Forest is located in south-central Iowa and is divided into seven units totaling over 15,000 acres. The forest is dispersed over five counties: Lucas, Clarke, Monroe, Appanoose and Davis.

These units are contiguous and are located southwest of the town of Lucas, Iowa. Most of the recreational development on Stephens State Forest has taken place on the Lucas and Whitebreast units. The Lucas and Whitebreast units each have two ponds that are stocked with bluegill, largemouth bass and catfish. Recreational activities include fishing, picnicking, camping, hunting, hiking, equestrian riding, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, mountain biking and wildlife watching.

The Whitebreast Unit is 3,517 acres in size and has two lakes, three equestrian campgrounds and one group-camp area. This unit is served by an all-weather road. The North Pond in the Whitebreast Unit is currently under construction and is drained. In the spring of 2009, improvements will be made to the dam, entrance road and aquatic habitat. Improvements are expected to be complete by winter of 2009.

The Lucas Unit is 1,267 acres in size and has two small lakes and three campgrounds. This unit is located just southwest of the intersection of Hwy 65 and Hwy 34. This unit is served by an all-weather road.

The Woodburn Unit is 2,098 acres in size and has over six miles of backpacking trails and five pack-in campsites. This unit has an all-weather road along its west side and through the middle of the unit. Parking and trail heads for the backpack trails is on 330th Avenue in Clarke County. These sites are primitive; there is no electricity, no modern restroom facilities, and no water available. There is a picnic table and fire ring at each site.

Map of Stephens State Forest (IA)

Latitude, Longitude: 41.020277, -93.490213

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Activities

  • Boating

    Baoting may not be permitted, contact park for more information.

  • Bicycling

    There are 30 miles of trails that are designated for hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and snowmobiling.

  • Camping

    Campgrounds are located in the Lucas and Whitebreast Units. The 86 campsites are open year-round and will accommodate tents, trailers, and RV's. Of these campsites, 36 are equestrian. All sites are primitive with no electricity but most have running water. Picnic tables, fire rings and pit vault latrines are available. Campgrounds are administered by the State Parks Bureau and a self registration fee is charged. Advance campsite reservations can be booked through the Parks Reservation System online or by calling 1-877-IAPARKS (1-877-427-2757). Half of the campsites are available for self registration on a first-come, first-serve basis. See maps for campground and trail locations.

  • Fishing

    There are four large ponds stocked with bluegill, largemouth bass, and catfish.

  • Hiking

    There are 30 miles of trails that are designated for hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and snowmobiling.

  • Horseback Riding

    There are 30 miles of trails that are designated for hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and snowmobiling.

  • Hunting

    The entire forest (except the campgrounds) is open to public hunting and provides excellent hunting opportunities for many species, especially deer and turkey. Consult DNR regulations for seasons, limits, and other rules.

  • Off Highway Vehicles

    There are 30 miles of trails that are designated for hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and snowmobiling.

  • Picnicking

    There are several picnicking areas located throughout the forest available on a first come, first serve basis.

  • RVing

    Campgrounds are located in the Lucas and Whitebreast Units. The 86 campsites are open year-round and will accommodate tents, trailers, and RV's. Of these campsites, 36 are equestrian. All sites are primitive with no electricity but most have running water. Picnic tables, fire rings and pit vault latrines are available. Campgrounds are administered by the State Parks Bureau and a self registration fee is charged.

  • Winter Sports

    There are 30 miles of trails that are designated for hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and snowmobiling.

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

The forest headquarters is located at North 8th and Mitchell, near the north edge of Chariton, 1 block west of Highway 14.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(641) 774-5632

Campground reservations

(877) 427-2757

Links