Lake Darling State Park, IA

Lake Darling was dedicated in 1950 and named after J.N. "Ding" Darling, a champion of conservation and editorial cartoonist for the Des Moines Register. Through his efforts, the conservation movement was fostered in Iowa. Picnicking/Shelters/Lodge Lake Darling State...
Status: Open year round.   Season Dates
Max reservation window: Fri Oct 31 2014   Later Dates

Book a Campsite at Lake Darling State Park, IA

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Alerts and Important Information
Cabins may be reserved 12 months in advance and are available April-October. Renters must provide their own bedding, pillows, towels, toiletry items, cooking utensils, pots and pans, and dinnerware.
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Lake Darling Lodge Day-use Lodge 200 Accessible
Electric Hookup - no Full Hookup - no
Pets Allowed - no Near Water - no
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Lake Darling Shelters Shelters 100 Accessible
Electric Hookup - no Full Hookup - no
Pets Allowed - no Near Water - no
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Lake Darling Shelters Shelters 75
Electric Hookup - no Full Hookup - no
Pets Allowed - no Near Water - no
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Lake Darling State Park Camping Cabins 4
Pets Allowed
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Lake Darling State Park Camping Cabins 4
Pets Allowed
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Lake Darling State Park Camping Cabins 4
Pets Allowed
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Lake Darling State Park Camping Cabins 4
Pets Allowed
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Lake Darling State Park Camping Cabins 4
Pets Allowed
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** Arrival dates earlier than the online-reservation-window may also be available at the campground.
Photos
Photo: Lake Darling State Park Photo: Lake Darling State Park Photo: Lake Darling State Park Photo: Lake Darling State Park Photo: Lake Darling State Park Photo: Lake Darling State Park
Overview

Description

Lake Darling was dedicated in 1950 and named after J.N. "Ding" Darling, a champion of conservation and editorial cartoonist for the Des Moines Register. Through his efforts, the conservation movement was fostered in Iowa.

Picnicking/Shelters/Lodge

Lake Darling State Park is a great place for a family cookout. A number of scenic picnic areas overlook the lake. Two open picnic shelters are available for reservations.

The new day-use lodge is reservable and is a popular place for reunions, parties and weddings

Cabins

Reservations can be made for five camping cabins which each sleep four and are equipped with a microwave, dorm-size refrigerator, bunk bed, futon and table with chairs. They are located only a short distance from the modern restroom and shower building in the campground. Camping cabins are reserved for a two night minimum stay.

Camping

Lake Darling State Park has a large well equipped campground featuring both electric and non-electric sites with modern shower and restroom facilities. The campground has a playground as well as a conveniently located dump station.

Trails

Hikers find plenty of opportunity at Lake Darling State Park. Several trails are present and hikers will see a variety of plant, animal and bird species. A 13.6 mile trail encircles the entire lake. If you plan to walk the entire trail, please take water and sunscreen. The trail takes you through a variety of habitats, from wetland areas around the fringes of the lake, through successional woodlands and remnants of native prairie to a cemetery dating back to the 1800s. The trail is a combination of grass and crushed rock and is open to hikers, runners, mountain bikers, cross-country skiers and snowmobilers

Lake Activities

The beach at Lake Darling is a fun spot for swimmers and sunbathers, young and old

Lake Darling is a popular boating lake for both power and non-power boats. Any size motor may be operated at "no wake" speeds. Two boat ramps are located around the lake for convenient lake access. Anglers without boats may rent them from the boat house located between the two shelters.

Lake Darling is an angler's delight. Catfish and crappies are the most prevalent catch for most anglers. However, bullheads, bluegills, largemouth bass, and carp are also plentiful.

Nearby Towns

Brighton is three miles east of the park, Richland is five miles west, Washington is fourteen miles northeast on Highway 1, and Fairfield is seventeen miles southwest on Highway 34.

Booking Window

Camping Cabins

Mon Aug 04 2014 - Fri Jul 31 2015

Reservations must be made 4 Days(s) ahead of arrival and can be made up to 12 Month(s) in advance.

Day-use Lodge

Mon Aug 04 2014 - Fri Jul 31 2015

Reservations must be made 4 Days(s) ahead of arrival and can be made up to 12 Month(s) in advance.

Shelters

Mon Aug 04 2014 - Fri Jul 31 2015

Reservations must be made 4 Days(s) ahead of arrival and can be made up to 12 Month(s) in advance.

Season Dates

Season Schedule

Services and Amenities
Within Facility
  • Bicycling
  • Bird Watching
  • Boat Launch Ramp
  • Boating
  • Canoeing
  • Docks, Fishing
  • Dump Station
  • Fish Cleaning Station
  • Fishing
  • HORSESHOE PITS
  • Hiking
  • INTERPRETIVE TRAIL
  • Jogging/Running
  • Kayaking
  • Lake
  • Modern Restroom
  • Mountain Biking
  • PICNIC AREA
  • Paddle Boating
  • Park Office
  • Parking
  • RESTROOMS
  • Showers
  • Swimming - Beach
  • Toilet, Pit/Vault
  • Walking
  • Water Hydrants
  • Wildlife Viewing
Greater Than 1 Mile
  • ATM/CASH MACHINE
  • CHURCH
  • Fuel, Boats
  • Fuel, Vehicles
  • GROCERY STORE
  • RETAIL, DRINKS
  • RETAIL, FIREWOOD
  • RETAIL, ICE
  • RETAIL, SNACKS
  • Town
Within 10 Miles
  • Medical Clinic
Greater Than 10 Miles
  • Golf
  • Hospital
  • Interpretive Center
  • Motel
  • RETAIL, BAIT & TACKLE
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Fees and Cancellation Policies

Facility Rates*
Park Season Site Type Nightly/Daily Rates
General Season
Jul 31 2014 -
Jul 31 2015
Shelters $25.00
Day-use Lodge $100.00-$200.00
Camping Cabins $35.00
($210.00 Weekly**)

*Displayed rates do not reflect discounts, attribute fees (electrical hook-ups / water hook-ups), taxes or incremental charges
**Weekly rates may not be available for all sites
Getting There
GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
41.19167, -91.89556
41°11'30"N, 91°53'44"W

Take Highway 1 and 78 three miles west of Brighton and turn north on Lake Darling Road.
Contact Information

Mailing Address:

Lake Darling State Park
111 Lake Darling Rd
Brighton  IA  52540

Phone Number:

Information:  (319)694-2323
Additional Information