Pilot Knob State Park


Brochure InfoPilot Knob State Park was dedicated in 1924 and has drawn many visitors to explore its hidden treasures and historical structures. Camping, fishing, hiking, and bird watching are just a few of the activities Pilot Knob provides. The Civilian Conservation Corps constructed several structures in 1934. The entrance portals, stone shelter, three stone bridges, amphitheater and observation tower are all listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The observation tower is 30 feet tall and was supposed to be 40 feet tall but winter set in and the CCC had to stop construction. Pilot Knob is listed in the Iowa Wildlife Viewing Guide. The park is a wonderful area for bird watching, particularly during migrations. Deer and turkeys are prevalent and readily seen. Turkeys were reintroduced into the area in 1979 and have flourished.Much of the wildlife can be seen while walking the thirteen and one half miles of trail through the park.Brochure Info - RecreationTrails The park has excellent trails for hikers and horseback riders. Equestrians can enjoy the eight miles of trail allowed for horseback riding. Winter activities include cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, hiking and snowmobiling. There are no overnight accommodations for equestrian riders. Lakes Hidden within the 700 acre park and enclosed abrupt banks is the Dead Man's Lake, a four acre floating sphagnum bog, the only one of its kind in Iowa. The bog is home to many unique species, one of which is the carnivorous sundew plant. Adjacent to the bog is a four acre lake. Because of its high acidity only specially adapted species can survive in the lake. Pilot Knob also has a 15 acre lake that has good bass and bluegill fishing. It is a popular spot for ice fishing and ice skating. Electric trolling motors only on the lake. Recreation Area The Pilot Knob Recreation Area, just north of Pilot Knob State Park is available for public hunting, hiking, snowmobiling and other activities.Brochure Info - Facilities and RestrictionsCamping There are electric and non-electric campsites in the campground as well as modern showers, restroom facilities and a trailer dump station. A playground is located near the campground. Two open picnic shelters are available to reserve online.Brochure Info - Nearby AttractionsForest City is four miles away from the park.Key InfoThere is no equestrian campground at this park. Equestrian activities are day-use only. Attention Equestrian Riders: State regulations require horses, mules and donkeys being transported interstate (from one state to another) must have a current Certification of Veterinary Inspection (health certificate) and a negative Coggin's test (EIA). This paperwork must accompany the animal into the State of Iowa. Please refer to for more information. This law applies to equestrian camping, day-use and trail riding in any State owned Park or Forest. Important Information for Daily EntranceDirectionGo 3 miles east of Forest City on Hwy 9. Turn right/south on 205th Ave and go 1 mile to the park entrance.Booking Window Product Info

Campgrounds inside of Pilot Knob State Park

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