America’s heartland is known for its wide-open spaces. When you travel to the Midwest, it's easy to get off track due to the many various stops you can make along the way. Iowa, especially, is filled with potential for making several of those stops on your journey. It’s even worth a visit all on its own!
While in Iowa, one of those stops can be Elinor Bedell State Park. Tucked away on the shores of East Lake Okoboji in the northern part of the state, Elinor Bedell State Park is a small oasis to which you can escape from your everyday worries. To see what sort of getaway Elinor Bedell State Park can be for you, keep reading and start planning your visit!
Elinor Bedell State Park Facts
While RV camping in Elinor Bedell State Park might not have been on your radar before, it is now. Here are a few Elinor Bedell State Park facts to introduce you to this northern Iowa oasis.
- Elinor Bedell State Park is one of Iowa’s newest parks. It was established in 1998.
- It rests on 80 acres of land donated by former Iowa congressman Berkley Bedell and his wife, Elinor.
- Elinor Bedell State Park is said to be one of the last remaining open spaces on the Iowa Great Lakes.
- Popular activities at Elinor Bedell State Park include swimming, fishing, hiking, and birdwatching.
Now that you know some facts about the state park, let’s move on to where to stay in Elinor Bedell State Park.
Best Elinor Bedell State Park RV Parks and Campgrounds
The site isn’t very big at all, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find options for RV camping near Elinor Bedell State Park. Read on to discover RV campgrounds in Elinor Bedell State Park and nearby, since you’re likely going to be staying at one of them some time in the future!
Elinor Bedell State Park Campground
Amenities: You can count on full hookups and a rural ambience if you choose to go RV camping in Elinor Bedell State Park. The RV campgrounds in Elinor Bedell State Park are few in number, but they’re equipped with bathrooms, showers, picnic tables, and fire pits. That’s practically everything you need for an overnight stay — and you can stay up to 14 days.
Capacity: 8 RV sites
More Information: Elinor Bedell State Park Campground
CenLa RV Park
Amenities: For over 40 years, CenLa RV Park has hosted campers visiting Central Lake (for which the campground is named). Not all of the sites have full hookups, but many do, and there’s plenty to enjoy at one of the more spacious RV parks near Elinor Bedell State Park. Fire up one of the grills for a meal, huddle by the campfires on a chilly night, or get some exercise on their basketball courts or volleyball grounds.
Capacity: 150 RV sites
More Information: CenLa RV Park
Jackson KOA Journey
Amenities: Located in southern Minnesota, a short drive from Elinor Bedell State Park, this is an RV camping area with all the amenities you can think of. Super fast Wi-Fi, propane for sale, a mini-golf course, and a KampK9 for pets are just some of what await you at Jackson KOA Journey. For an experience going RV camping near Elinor Bedell State Park, Jackson KOA Journey is a great option.
Capacity: 78 RV sites
More Information: Jackson KOA Journey
Fieldstone RV Park
Amenities: Fieldstone RV Park caters to those from near and far who come to enjoy the scenery of the Iowa Great Lakes. Full hookups are available at all campsites, and there are also laundry facilities and bathrooms. When you stay at this Elinor Bedell State Park RV camping locale, you’re close to boat ramps, public parks, golf courses, and amusement parks. It’s a great option for those looking to spend some time in the area.
Capacity: 200 RV sites
More Information: Fieldstone RV Park
Amenities: Camp Boji is one of the RV parks near Elinor Bedell State Park that is seasonal, so only consider it if you’re planning on spending a decent amount of time in northern Iowa. It’s seasonal/monthly nature and full hookups, and pet-friendly policies make Camp Boji a suitable base camp for families or retirees looking to explore northern Iowa, southern Minnesota, and more.
Capacity: 48 RV sites
More Information: Camp Boji
Best Time To Visit Elinor Bedell State Park for RV Camping
It’s location in northern Iowa means that visitors to Elinor Bedell State Park often prefer one season over another. To discover what the best time to visit Elinor Bedell State Park might be for you, have a look at what you can expect when visiting during different seasons.
With average daily highs below freezing, winter is the best time to visit Elinor Bedell State Park if you want to avoid large crowds. December’s daily highs are usually in the high 20s Fahrenheit, with overnight lows dipping into the high teens. It isn’t just the cold that you can expect in winter. December, January, and February are routinely some of the wettest months of the year, with most of that precipitation falling in the form of snow.
If you’re keen on hiking snow-covered trails before heading back to one of the RV parks near Elinor Bedell State Park, then winter at this state park is for you.
Keep in mind that, in winter, options for RV camping near Elinor Bedell State Park will be limited due to seasonal limitations, as will the amenities of those that are open. If you have an RV rental, Elinor Bedell State Park Campground is an option, but there still may not be spaces.
Average daily highs rise from the low 40s Fahrenheit in March to the high 60s in May. And it is in May when the crowds really begin to gather. Peak season is considered to be from the start of May through mid-October, so if you’re not from Iowa, prepare to start meeting many Iowans if you visit in spring. The weather isn’t quite right for swimming just yet, but anglers will perhaps have an easier time trying to catch some catfish, bluegills, and perch.
Summertime highs at Elinor Bedell State Park average between 77 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, which is not so hot when you think about it. It is the combination of those temperatures and the high humidity — between 77% to 80% — that makes Elinor Bedell State Park a popular destination for Iowans who want to take a dip in East Okoboji Lake.
If you’re planning on visiting in the summer, make your reservations at Elinor Bedell State Park RV campgrounds as early as possible… months in advance, if you can!
Daily average highs at Elinor Bedell State Park fall dramatically over the course of the fall months. September’s highs in the mid-70s are a distant dream by the time daily highs are in the low 40s in November. Fall is a beautiful time to visit, but keep in mind that many Elinor Bedell State Park RV parks will be getting ready to close up or limit operations as the weather cools and winter approaches.
Things To Do in Elinor Bedell State Park
Given its relatively limited space, you’d be forgiven for wondering about things to do in Elinor Bedell State Park. Whether you own an RV or are in need of RV rental, Elinor Bedell State Park offers many things for you to do before you return to your mobile home away from home.
Fishing. Anglers will be able to cast a line any time of year at Elinor Bedell State Park. For those visiting in winter, there is no experience quite like ice fishing for walleye at Elinor Bedell State Park.
Swimming. Visit during the warmer summer months to have a dip in East Okoboji Lake. Enjoying the lake is one of the most popular things to do in this beautiful location.
Birding. More than 400 different species of birds call Iowa home, and like many Iowans, they love to visit Elinor Bedell State Park. Keep your binoculars out for good views of chickadees and nuthatches.
Geocaching. Elinor Bedell State Park’s 80 acres host four geocaching points, and you can explore the area and come to appreciate it as you look for them.
Hiking/Biking. There are miles and miles of hiking trails for you and your family to enjoy at Elinor Bedell State Park. If you are more into riding than walking, many of those trails welcome those who want to discover northern Iowa’s trails on two wheels.
Tips for Visiting Elinor Bedell State Park
Some Elinor Bedell State Park facts could prove useful for those who are interested in the more practical details of a visit. The following tips are for those detail-oriented planners who don’t want to leave anything to chance!
- Camping rates for peak season (May 1 through October 15) are $26 per night for full hookups.
- Off-peak season (October 16 through April 30) rates are $18 per night.
- At the end of peak season, water, hydrants, and restrooms are shut off and closed for winterization.
- You can reserve a picnic shelter overlooking East Lake Okoboji that has restrooms and a kitchenette.
- If you want to fish in East Lake Okoboji, you will need an Iowa fishing license.
RV Rental for Elinor Bedell State Park
Now that you have learned practically all that you need to know about Elinor Bedell State Park, it's time to actually get on your way. With an RV rental, Elinor Bedell State Park is quite accessible, and even if you don't yet have an RV reserved, there is hope. Cruise America has an incredible selection of RVs waiting to be rented to ferry you, your family, and friends to Iowa or anywhere else in the country.
Visit the Cruise America website today to see what vehicles are available, and how you can make a reservation. Don't delay, because places like Elinor Bedell State Park are waiting!