Stone State Park

Quick Facts

Stone State Park

Iowa

(712) 255-4698

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

Visitors are attracted to the rugged topography of Stone Park, which is typical of the Loess Hills of western Iowa. The park offers many scenic vistas of wooded valleys, dry prairie ridges, the Big Sioux River, and the neighboring states of South Dakota and Nebraska. The 220 mile-long Loess Hills Scenic Byway passes through the park.

A delight for those who enjoy wildlife and birds, this "Urban Wildlife Sanctuary" is home to wild turkeys, whip-poor-wills, scarlet tanagers, indigo buntings and bluebirds. Rare butterflies, the Pawnee skipper and the Olympia white, are found on the prairie ridges.

A visit to Stone Park would not be complete without a visit to the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center. The center features a variety of interpretive displays, including a "walk-under" prairie, a 400-gallon aquarium of native fish, and natural history dioramas. A children's discovery area provides opportunity to handle furs, antlers, fossils, and other artifacts. Two miles of hiking trails exist around the nature center. The hours are: Tues. - Saturday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., Sunday, 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. Closed Mondays and Holidays. The center is managed by the Woodbury County Conservation Board.

Map of Stone (IA)

Latitude, Longitude: 42.557465, -96.466671

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Activities

  • Bicycling

    Stone State Park contains 6 miles of equestrian trails, 6 miles of mountain bike and snowmobile trails and 8 miles of hiking and cross-country skiing trails. For the safety of all park visitors, and the protection of the park's resources; bicyclists, snowmobilers, and horseback riders are required to stay on trails designated for their use. Call the park office for the latest trail conditions.

  • Camping

    The campground has 30 camp sites (10 with electric hookup). A large youth group campsite is also available for use by chaperoned organized youth groups. Advance campsite reservations can be made through the park reservation system. Half of the campsites are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

    The camping cabins are heated/air-conditioned with no sanitary facilities but are located near the campground with showers and restroom. The camping cabins have 2 full size futon beds, counter top with microwave, large dorm size refrigerator, dining table with 4 chairs, outside fire pit and outside picnic table. The camping cabins can be reserved online through the park reservation system. The camping cabins may be rented from May 1 to October 15 of each year.

  • Hiking

    Stone State Park contains 6 miles of equestrian trails, 6 miles of mountain bike and snowmobile trails and 8 miles of hiking and cross-country skiing trails. For the safety of all park visitors, and the protection of the park's resources; bicyclists, snowmobilers, and horseback riders are required to stay on trails designated for their use. Call the park office for the latest trail conditions.

  • Historic Sites

    A visit to Stone Park would not be complete without a visit to the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center. The center features a variety of interpretive displays, including a "walk-under" prairie, a 400-gallon aquarium of native fish, and natural history dioramas. A children's discovery area provides opportunity to handle furs, antlers, fossils, and other artifacts. Two miles of hiking trails exist around the nature center. The hours are: Tues. - Saturday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., Sunday, 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. Closed Mondays and Holidays. The center is managed by the Woodbury County Conservation Board.

    Native Americans were the first humans to inhabit the area now known as Stone Park. Although little is known specifically about their activities in Stone Park, the area would certainly have been used during hunting activities, migration and possibly for encampments. The Dakota Sioux were the last Native American group to inhabit what is now northwest Iowa. They inhabited the area when Lewis and Clark ascended the Missouri River in 1804 and passed close to Stone Park.

    In 1885, Daniel Hector Talbot began buying land that would later become Stone Park. Talbot was well known for the various animals he raised, including: elk, bear, bison, wolves, and monkeys. Thomas Jefferson Stone acquired the Talbot farm in 1895. Stone's son, Edgar, began developing the area into a park in 1905. Sioux City acquired the land from the Stone family in 1912 and continued to develop roads, picnic areas, and a zoo. In 1935, the city sold the property to the state of Iowa.

    The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camp was located in the northwestern area of the park from 1935 to 1939. The CCC were responsible for constructing the majority of the park's facilities, including: entrance portals, staff residences, the Calumet shelter, and the rustic Stone lodge. The park was once the home for the Salvation Army, Boy Scout, and Girl Scout camps.

  • Horseback Riding

    Stone State Park contains 6 miles of equestrian trails, 6 miles of mountain bike and snowmobile trails and 8 miles of hiking and cross-country skiing trails. For the safety of all park visitors, and the protection of the park's resources; bicyclists, snowmobilers, and horseback riders are required to stay on trails designated for their use. Call the park office for the latest trail conditions.

  • Off Highway Vehicles

    Stone State Park contains 6 miles of snowmobile trails. For the safety of all park visitors, and the protection of the park's resources; bicyclists, snowmobilers, and horseback riders are required to stay on trails designated for their use. Call the park office for the latest trail conditions.

  • Picnicking

    Stone State Park is a great place for a family picnic. Three open shelters are available and may be reserved online through the park reservation system. Picnic areas are located throughout the park and many offer beautiful views of the Loess Hills and surrounding area. Picnic areas contain tables and grills for use by the public.

    A day-use lodge may be reserved for a fee from May 1 through October 15. Click on the picture to see a larger image of the lodge. The Stone lodge is used for picnics, receptions, and family reunions. The lodge contains a refrigerator, microwave, and modern restrooms. The lodge may reserved online through the park reservation system.

  • RVing

    The campground has 30 camp sites (10 with electric hookup).

  • Winter Sports

    Stone State Park contains 6 miles of equestrian trails, 6 miles of mountain bike and snowmobile trails and 8 miles of hiking and cross-country skiing trails. For the safety of all park visitors, and the protection of the park's resources; bicyclists, snowmobilers, and horseback riders are required to stay on trails designated for their use. Call the park office for the latest trail conditions.

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 park is located in the northwest corner of Sioux City, along Iowa Highway 12, four miles north of Interstate Highway 29. The park consists of 1,292 acres in Woodbury and Plymouth Counties.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(712) 255-4698

Campground reservations

(877) 427-2757

Links