Lake Manawa State Park

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1100 S Shore Dr, Council Bluffs, IA 51501, United States

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Introduction of Lake Manawa State Park

Lake Manawa State Park in Council Bluffs, Iowa, is a 1,529-acre outdoor recreation park. The park is called Manawa, which means “peace and comfort,” and it is surrounded by a 753-acre natural lake. Campers can look forward to many hours of outdoor fun here.

The oxbow lake was formed naturally by a flood in 1881 and has since become a source of water-based activity. On the lake, campers can go swimming, boating, tubing, and kayaking, or simply relax on the sandy beach. Rentable boats and water sport equipment are available.

There are 72 campsites available, some of which have electrical hookups. The majority of the campsites are very basic, and you can easily set up your RV camp here. Play a game of volleyball with the kids, pack a picnic to enjoy on the beach, or go hiking and biking along the nature trails. Lake Manawa State Park has plenty to keep you entertained.

Lake Manawa State Park Camping

Lake Manawa State Park has 72 camping units, 37 of which have electricity. While the sites are simple, there are modern showers, restrooms, and a trailer dump station on-site.

A beach, a children’s playground, a sand volleyball court, and a concession selling food and snacks are among the amenities. Boat rentals (tubes, kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards) and picnic shelters are available. In addition, 110 sailboats and other non-motorized boats can be stored. On the lake, there are three boat launch areas.

The campsites can be reserved in advance online, but half of them are only available on a first come, first served basis. The campground welcomes pets.

Evening view Lake Manawa State Park
CC: Social Channel of park

Lake Manawa State Park Activities


Anglers are in their element all year at Lake Manawa State Park. Catch crappies, walleye, bass, bluegills, and catfish to cook over the campfire in the evening. Bait can be purchased at the concession stand. The lake has a fish cleaning station and fishing docks, as well as boat launch areas for those who want to launch a fishing boat.

Winter Hiking

In the off season, the seven miles of hiking trails are open to winter hikers and snowshoers. Lake Manawa State Park is home to a variety of wildlife, which is best seen during the quiet season when there are no crowds to disturb them. Take your binoculars and camera!

Hiking and Biking

Lake Manawa State Park is a popular outdoor recreation destination with seven miles of paved hiking and biking trails. These trails connect to the Council Bluffs trail system, which includes the Wabash Trace Trail and the Bob Kerry Pedestrian Bridge. For those looking for a little more adventure, there are eight miles of unpaved trails perfect for mountain biking on either side of the Missouri River access on the park’s southern side.


In the summer, the natural lake at Lake Manawa State Park is also a popular swimming spot. Swimmers and sunbathers flock to the beach to unwind and eat picnics. The concession stand sells refreshments, and there are picnic areas throughout the park for both day visitors and campers.

Lake Manawa State Park Location

Lake Manawa State Park’s East Entrance is located on East Manawa Drive, off Highway 92. South Shore Drive serves as the West Entrance. There are no driving restrictions within the park, so you should have no trouble getting around.

There are several spots throughout the park where you can set up your RV camp. After that, you can explore the park on foot, by bike, or by boat – there are three boat launch areas on the lake.

Sunset view Lake Manawa State Park
CC: Social Channel of park

Lake Manawa State Park Trails

Looking for the best trails in Lake Manawa State Park for a challenging hike or a family outing? AllTrails has two excellent hiking trails and more. Enjoy hand-curated trail maps, as well as reviews and photos from other nature enthusiasts.

Are you prepared for your next hike or bike ride? Explore one of Lake Manawa State Park’s two easy hiking trails, which are suitable for the whole family. Looking for a more challenging hike? We’ve got you covered with trails ranging in elevation gain from 15 to 34 metres. Whatever your plans for the day are, you can find the ideal trail for your next visit to Lake Manawa State Park.


Parking is available

Public Transport

Public Transport is not available

Lake Manawa State Park Photos

Lake Manawa State Park Map