There are so many great places to hike, fish, ski, and enjoy nature in Siouxland! Here are some of the best state parks within 1 hour of Sioux City, and why you might love them. Know of a park I should add to the list? Send me an email or leave a comment to tell me which one!
State & County Parks in Iowa
Brown's Lake & Bigelow Park
- 600 acre lake with a 36 acre park
- Includes a swim beach, fishing dock, play structure, electric and non-electric campsites, a showerhouse, and more!
- Read more about Brown's Lake and Bigelow Park from the Woodbury County Parks
Hillview Recreation Area
- 275 acre park with a 3.3 acre pond
- Includes hiking, equestrian, and snowmobile trails, a tubing hill in winter, a disc golf course, and campsites and camping cabins to stay in!
- Read more about Hillview Recreation Area from Plymouth County Conservation
Five Ridge Prairie
- 964 Acres
- Features hiking trails with impressive views of the northern tip of the loess hills, and a cabin
- Read more about visiting Five Ridge Prairie with Kids
Lewis & Clark State Park
- 176 acre park on the banks of the 250 acre Blue Lake
- Includes a full-size reproduction of the keelboat used on the Lewis & Clark Expedition as well as a nature center, playground, and camping sites
- Read more about Lewis & Clark State Park from the Iowa DNR
- About 1600 acres
- Includes hiking trails, fishing dock, scenic overlooks, a playground, camping cabins, campsites, and a large lodge for special events.
- Park adjoins the lands of the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center and the hiking trails connect; I recommend visiting both!
- Read more about Visiting Stone Park with Kids
State & County Parks in Nebraska
- 219 acre lake surrounded by 520 acres of park
- Known for great fishing and for its multi-use trails great for horse riding, hiking, and biking!
- The equestrian campground even includes 14 corrals!
- Read more about Danish Alps State Recreation Area from the Nebraska parks
Ponca State Park
- Over 2,100 acres of park land
- Ponca State Park sits along the Nebraska side of the Missouri River and offers riverside fun like fishing, boating, and birdwatching.
- The park also features archery and shooting sport ranges, an outdoor swimming pool, a golf course, hiking trails, and more.
- In late summer, the park hosts the Missouri River Outdoor Expo!
- Campgrounds and camping cabins are available.
- Read more about Ponca State Park from Nebraska Parks
- 1500 acres of parkland between the Missouri and Big Sioux rivers
- Includes a nature center, reproductions & restored historical buildings, hiking and cross-country skiing trails, archery range, playground, and a working education farm!
- Read more about visiting Adams Homestead & Nature Preserve.
Spirit Mound State Historic Prairie
- 320 acres of land
- Important site for local Native American tribes, and visited by the Corps of Discovery on their famed Lewis & Clark Expedition.
- Extensive efforts have been undertaken in the 21st century to restore native prairie
- Now includes restrooms at the trailhead and interpretive signs along a hiking trail to the top of the mound
- Find out more at the Spirit Mound website
Union Grove State Park
- 110 acres
- Includes trail for hiking, biking, and equestrian use
- Find out more on the Union Grove page of the South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks website