Just an hour from Iowa’s largest city (Des Moines) and an easy drive from several other Midwest cities including Omaha, Nebraska and Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, you’ll find a true oasis: Rathbun Lake.
The lake –– the biggest in the state –– offers year-round recreation and picturesque beauty for every type of outdoor enthusiast and nature lover. And on its shores lies Honey Creek State Park, an 800-plus-acre park where visitors can enjoy the water, fishing, hiking, biking, hunting, birding, camping, and more.
With so much to explore including several Honey Creek State Park RV campgrounds, it’s time to start planning your trip!
Honey Creek State Park Facts
Before you start planning your trip, it’s best to know some Honey Creek State Park facts!
- Honey Creek State Park sits along the shores of Iowa's largest lake, Rathbun Lake.
- The state park itself is on a peninsula on the lake, offering excellent views from almost everywhere in the park.
- The park is home to several wildlife species, including deer and turkeys, as well as large populations of channel catfish, walleye, and crappie.
- The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) publishes a helpful annual guide to state parks and forests.
Now that you’re familiar with some facts about the park, it’s time to take a closer look at where to stay while RV camping in Honey Creek State Park.
Best Honey Creek State Park RV Parks and Campgrounds
Whether you want to enjoy RV camping in Honey Creek State Park or you’d prefer to be slightly closer to a town, there are plenty of campgrounds to choose from.
Honey Creek State Park Campground
Amenities: Want to experience RV campgrounds in Honey Creek State Park? You can! RV campsites, including several with full hookups, are available year-round. The well-shaded sites are pet-friendly and include a fire ring and grill, plus many have views of Rathbun Lake. There are also central showers and bathrooms, as well as a paved biking path around camp.
Capacity: 151 RV sites
More Information: Honey Creek State Park
Honey Creek Resort
Amenities: As far as RV camping in Honey Creek State Park goes, it doesn’t get much better than Honey Creek Resort! At this small but immaculate park, the deluxe sites are all arranged around the lake and they all include full hookups. RV park guests enjoy resort amenities, including loaner bicycles and kayaks, access to an indoor waterpark, an on-site restaurant, and a fitness center.
Capacity: 20 RV sites
More Information: Honey Creek Resort
Prairie Ridge Park Campground
Amenities: Perched high on a ridge overlooking Rathbun Lake, Prairie Ridge offers off-the-beaten-path RV camping near Honey Creek State Park. The views, lake sunsets, and easy access to beaches, boating, and hiking trails are reasons enough to visit and will keep you plenty busy. Prairie Ridge also has its own boat ramp, plus several fish cleaning stations. When you’re relaxing at camp, you’ll enjoy spacious, quiet sites, and a playground.
Capacity: 55 RV sites
More Information: Prairie Ridge
Island View Park
Amenities: Located on the south side of Rathbun Lake, Island View Park provides RV camping near Honey Creek State Park but with a bit less hustle and bustle. All sites have electricity and some have full hookups, and there are several places throughout the park to get potable water. The large campground also offers multiple playgrounds, flush toilets, shower houses, a dump station, horseshoe pits, and a dedicated marina and boat ramp.
Capacity: 187 RV sites
More Information: Island View Park
Amenities: Another one of the best RV parks near Honey Creek State Park is Bridgeview Park. The park offers electric-only hookup sites (many with views of the lake!) with fire rings and central shower houses with flush toilets and potable water. There’s also a private boat ramp, playground, horseshoe pits, and a dump station on-site.
Capacity: 107 RV sites
More Information: Bridgeview Park
Best Time To Visit Honey Creek State Park for RV Camping
Moravia has some of the mildest weather in Iowa, making it easy to enjoy the many things to do in Honey Creek State Park no matter the season.
Although it’s common for winter high temperatures to not exceed the teens, there are still plenty of things to enjoy in Honey Creek State Park. And thankfully, even though it’s cold, it’s often sunny and clear. Multi-use trails are perfect for exploring on cross-country skis or snowshoes, and there are lots of opportunities to spot wildlife.
You may have heard various sayings about spring showers, but this season is actually the driest here. It’s also the least crowded, making it perhaps the best time to visit Honey Creek State Park. Enjoy the trails, whether it’s on skis, a bike, or on foot! Have a picnic, observe wildlife, or watch as the park’s plant life comes alive with color.
Summer is the peak season in Honey Creek State Park. It’s understandable, with the area enjoying warm, sunny days in the 80s Fahrenheit and typically only a handful of rainy days. While other places in Iowa are generally very humid in the summer, Moravia is fortunate enough to have very little humidity. Everything centers around the water in the summer, whether you’re boating, tubing, jet skiing, fishing, or swimming in Rathbun Lake.
Autumn brings cooler temperatures (and fewer bugs!), plus far fewer crowds than the summer months. This is an excellent time to explore Honey Creek State Park by hiking or biking. Enjoying the lake in a kayak, canoe, or on a paddleboard is also especially pleasant this time of year. Wildlife such as deer and turkeys are out and about and migrating birds make their journeys in the fall, so this is a wonderful time to simply be out in the park.
Things To Do in Honey Creek State Park
At any time of year, Honey Creek State Park offers several fun activities for everyone.
- Go fishing. Rathbun Lake is widely known as one of the best spots in the state for catching crappie and walleye. Various Honey Creek State Park RV campgrounds have dedicated spots to fish along the shore, you can fish from the large pier, or you can take a boat.
- Get on the water. Whether you’re on a boat, jet ski, water skis, or in a kayak or inner tube, enjoying Rathbun Lake is a must. In the summer, Honey Creek Resort rents pontoon boats.
- Take a hike (or bike!). Honey Creek State Park has five miles of multi-use trails. Most are short and easy-to-moderate.
- Visit the Rathbun Fish Hatchery. Just a few miles from the state park, this hatchery offers educational and interactive visits for people of all ages. The hatchery is open Monday through Friday year-round.
- Visit Rathbun OHV Park. Also near Honey Creek State Park, the Rathbun OHV Park offers fun off the beaten path — literally. Off-roaders of all experience levels can enjoy the extensive trails here, from beginner to advanced.
Tips for Visiting Honey Creek State Park
- If you’re planning to fish, make sure you get an Iowa fishing license. People under age 16 do not need a fishing license.
- Campsites and day-use picnic shelters must be reserved in advance.
- While the park as a whole closes each night between 10:30 pm and 4:00 am, the north boat ramp is designated for 24-hour fishing access.
- There are no fishing equipment or boat rentals, including kayaks or canoes, available at Honey Creek State Park, so come prepared with your own.
- Ticks can be problematic, particularly during the winter. Dress in long, lightweight layers (even in the summer), wear bug spray, and shake your clothes out thoroughly before going inside or back into camp each evening.
RV Rental for Honey Creek State Park
With so many great campsites nearby, an RV rental for Honey Creek State Park is one of the best ways to enjoy it. Cruise America offers several RV models, plus many convenient pickup locations such as Omaha, Nebraska, and St. Paul, Minnesota.
Contact Cruise America today and start planning your Iowa adventure!