Rivers on both sides surround the state of Iowa. The state boasts of some of the most beautiful lakes in the nation known for their depth, length and widespread area. Some of them are natural while others are manmade. But they have one thing in common. When it comes to recreational activities, all lakes compete equally in the area whether they date back to the last ice age or if they were recently made during the last century. Some of the best lakes to enjoy in Iowa include:
1. West Okoboji Lake
This natural lake located in the northwestern portion of the state stretches over an area of 1557 hectares and is one of the best boating lakes in Iowa. Apart from that, sailing, swimming, water skiing and picnicking are some of the top activities that attract in a lot of individuals to the place.
2. Backbone Lake
This lake offers a widespread list of choices when it comes to outdoor recreational activities, both for water lovers and land lovers. Some of the best options to do in the area include jet boating, fishing, kayaking, sailing, swimming, and canoeing. Trail walking, climbing challenges, sunbathing and hiking are some of the best activities for those who hate getting wet.
3. Big Creek Lake
This 833-acre lake is located around 11 miles away from the Des Moines in the northern direction. It attracts a lot of visitors from all around the globe for the multiple options of recreational sports that they can enjoy here. It is one of the best boating lakes in Iowa though it is also famous for sailing, power boating, swimming and water sports such as canoeing and kayaking. Skiing and wakeboarding also add on to the list of activities to enjoy this lake.
4. Big Spirit Lake
This is a remnant from the last ice age that stretches over an area of over 2300 hectare. Fishing is the most attractive activity on this lake apart from boating and kiteboarding. Apart from that, there is a wide range of offer for land lovers as well who just want to enjoy the shore. That includes hiking, picnicking and bird watching.
5. Rathbun Lake
It is one of the largest lakes in the states that were originally built to control floods and offer recreational activities to the visitors. There are eight parks that add on to the shoreline of the lake. Boating and fishing are the main water activities to take part in this lake while camping, hunting and picnicking are the options that can be enjoyed on the shores. It has numerous ramps for boat launches, public docks and a massive resort run by the state that houses indoor water park and a golf course of its own.
6. Black Hawk Lake
It is situated in the southeastern extreme of the Lake View Town and stretches over a water surface area of 387 hectares. The lake is one of the most famous recreational spots in the entire state that offers a wide list of activities including boating, swimming, and kayaking. It is one of the most prominent choices among the fishermen as well.
7. Carter Lake
It is one of the best boating lakes in Iowa that is located in the southwestern part of the state. It was a natural lake that was formed due to the changing course of the Missouri River back in the year 1877. Today, it ranks quite high in the list of recreational destination and offers a wide array of activities including wakeboarding, swimming, and waterskiing.
8. Lake Manawa
This lake is located close to the borders of the Council Bluffs city and Nebraska, making it a popular destination for visitors coming from both the places. It was the natural outcome after the 1881 flooding of the Missouri River. Today, boating, skiing, and wakeboarding are the top activities that attract a lot of crowds. Canoe and paddle-boat are some of the options that the Manawa State Park offers the visitors with apart from the beach, launch ramp for boats and beautiful picnic spots.
9. Clear Lake
It belongs to the list of 34 natural lakes that resulted from the meltdown and movement of glaciers, thus dating back to over 14000 years in the past. It is a paradise for boaters and has also earned quite a name among sailors as well. This 1500 hectare lake also offers options for skiing and wakeboarding apart from canoeing, kayaking, and other options.
10. Lake Red Rock
The building of the Red Rock Dam led to the formation of this reservoir back in 1969 along the Des Moines River. It is roughly around 88 km away from the Des Moines City in the southeasterly direction that offers many recreational activities such as boating, camping, and hiking. Numerous boat ramps and trails surround the lake from all sides along with numerous parks and beaches.