Yellow River State Forest, IA

Yellow River State Forest is a perfect place to explore some of Iowa's best hiking trails. Located in northeast Iowa in Allamakee County, the forest is part of the "driftless area" that escaped the glaciers during the most recent ice age. The forest consists of 8,503 acres of ...
Status: Open year round.   Season Dates
Max reservation window: Fri Oct 24 2014   Later Dates

Book a Campsite at Yellow River State Forest, IA

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Alerts and Important Information
It is in direct violation of the USDA APHIS quarantine for you to bring firewood from quarantined states into Iowa. Any firewood brought in to this park must be used or left at the park.

The entire forest is open to hunting in season except for campgrounds.

Motor vehicle operation is permitted only on roads. ATVs are not permitted anywhere on the forest, trails or roads. Snowmobiles are only allowed on designated routes.

Equestrian riding is only allowed on designated trails, roads and campgrounds. Mountain bikes are allowed on equestrian trails.

Camping is allowed only in designated areas; there is no overflow camping allowed.

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 www.iowaagriculture.gov/animalindustry/horseadmissionregs.asp for more information. This law applies to equestrian camping, day-use and trail riding in any State owned Park or Forest.

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Site# Loop Site type Max # of people Equip length/ Driveway Amenities Online availability
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Big Paint Campground Standard Non-Electric 6 35 Back-In
Electric Hookup - no Full Hookup - no
Pets Allowed Near Water - no
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Big Paint Campground Standard Non-Electric 6 50 Back-In
Electric Hookup - no Full Hookup - no
Pets Allowed Near Water - no
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Big Paint Campground Standard Non-Electric 6 45 Back-In
Electric Hookup - no Full Hookup - no
Pets Allowed Near Water - no
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Big Paint Campground Standard Non-Electric 6 40 Back-In
Electric Hookup - no Full Hookup - no
Pets Allowed Near Water - no
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Big Paint Campground Standard Non-Electric 6 80 Back-In
Electric Hookup - no Full Hookup - no
Pets Allowed Near Water - no
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Big Paint Campground Standard Non-Electric 6 40 Back-In
Electric Hookup - no Full Hookup - no
Pets Allowed Near Water - no
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Big Paint Campground Standard Non-Electric 6 40 Back-In
Electric Hookup - no Full Hookup - no
Pets Allowed Near Water - no
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Big Paint Campground Standard Non-Electric 6 35 Back-In
Electric Hookup - no Full Hookup - no
Pets Allowed Near Water - no
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Big Paint Campground Standard Non-Electric 6 25 Back-In
Electric Hookup - no Full Hookup - no
Pets Allowed Near Water - no
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Big Paint Campground Standard Non-Electric 6 45 Back-In
Electric Hookup - no Full Hookup - no
Pets Allowed Near Water - no
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Big Paint Campground Standard Non-Electric 6 30 Back-In
Electric Hookup - no Full Hookup - no
Pets Allowed Near Water - no
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Big Paint Campground Standard Non-Electric 6 35 Back-In
Electric Hookup - no Full Hookup - no
Pets Allowed Near Water - no
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Big Paint Campground Standard Non-Electric 6 55 Back-In
Electric Hookup - no Full Hookup - no
Pets Allowed Near Water - no
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Big Paint Campground Standard Non-Electric 6 70 Back-In
Electric Hookup - no Full Hookup - no
Pets Allowed Near Water - no
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Big Paint Campground Standard Non-Electric 6 75 Back-In
Electric Hookup - no Full Hookup - no
Pets Allowed Near Water - no
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Big Paint Campground Standard Non-Electric 6 50 Back-In
Electric Hookup - no Full Hookup - no
Pets Allowed Near Water - no
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Big Paint Campground Standard Non-Electric 6 50 Back-In
Electric Hookup - no Full Hookup - no
Pets Allowed Near Water - no
Enter Date
Big Paint Campground Standard Non-Electric 6 75 Back-In
Electric Hookup - no Full Hookup - no
Pets Allowed Near Water - no
Enter Date
Big Paint Campground Standard Non-Electric 6 35 Back-In
Electric Hookup - no Full Hookup - no
Pets Allowed Near Water - no
Enter Date
Big Paint Campground Standard Non-Electric 6 55 Back-In
Electric Hookup - no Full Hookup - no
Pets Allowed Near Water - no
Enter Date
Big Paint Campground Standard Non-Electric 6 50 Back-In
Electric Hookup - no Full Hookup - no
Pets Allowed Near Water - no
Enter Date
Big Paint Campground Standard Non-Electric 6 35 Back-In
Electric Hookup - no Full Hookup - no
Pets Allowed Near Water - no
Enter Date
Big Paint Campground Standard Non-Electric 6 40 Back-In
Electric Hookup - no Full Hookup - no
Pets Allowed Near Water - no
Enter Date
Big Paint Campground Standard Non-Electric 6 50 Back-In
Electric Hookup - no Full Hookup - no
Pets Allowed Near Water - no
Enter Date
Big Paint Campground Standard Non-Electric 6 65 Back-In
Electric Hookup - no Full Hookup - no
Pets Allowed Near Water - no
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Footnotes: (applicable only where specifically marked above)
** Arrival dates earlier than the online-reservation-window may also be available at the campground.
*** Some sites may be available only from the campground on a first-come-first-served basis.
Photos
Photo: Yellow River State Forest Photo: Yellow River State Forest Photo: Yellow River State Forest Photo: Yellow River State Forest Photo: Yellow River State Forest Photo: Yellow River State Forest
Overview

Description

Yellow River State Forest is a perfect place to explore some of Iowa's best hiking trails. Located in northeast Iowa in Allamakee County, the forest is part of the "driftless area" that escaped the glaciers during the most recent ice age. The forest consists of 8,503 acres of hardwood and coniferous forest and is comprised of 6 units.

The Paint Creek Unit is of primary interest to the recreationist, with well-kept camping areas, equestrian accommodations, fishing, hunting, and over 25 miles of trails for hiking, equestrian riding, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling.

Recreation:

Trails
The entire forest is open to hiking and cross-country skiing. However, the designated hiking trails are maintained only in the Paint Creek Unit and the designated cross-country ski trails are maintained only in the Luster Heights Unit. There are equestrian trails and snowmobile trails in the forest and several scenic overlooks in the Paint Creek Unit that are accessible by horseback, foot or auto.

The trails are open year-round and the degree of difficulty ranges from relatively easy to moderate. There is no charge or registration required for the use of the backpack facilities. There are two camp areas along the trail which are not accessible by vehicle that are large enough to support a large group or several small groups

Fishing
Try your luck at catching dinner in the six miles of trout stream, which is stocked April to October, or in the marsh where bass and panfish may be taken. A trout stamp is required.

Picnicking
There are several picnic areas in the Paint Creek Unit that give you the chance to enjoy a quiet lunch in peaceful surroundings.

Facilities:

Camping
Campers can enjoy spending the night under the stars in one of the campgrounds in the Paint Creek Unit. Reservable campsites can be found in all four campgrounds. The Big Paint and Little Paint campgrounds are nonmodern and have nonelectric campsites and vault toilets. The Little Paint campground also has two sites which are for use only by chaperoned organized youth groups. The Creekside and Frontier equestrian campgrounds are nonmodern and have nonelectric sites with hitching rails and vault toilets. There is no drinking water located in the campgrounds at Yellow River State Forest but it is available at the A-frame information center located on State Forest Road near Big Paint Campground approximately four miles off Highway 76.

Nearby Attractions:

Be sure to take a scenic drive along the Mississippi River on the Great River Road when visiting Yellow River State Forest, which is only 5 miles from the river. Effigy Mounds National Monument is located between Waukon Junction and Marquette and has a visitor center and trails that take you around the figural mounds created by cultures native to the area in the past.

Nearby Towns
Harpers Ferry is 7.5 miles away, Marquette is 13 miles away and Waukon, IA and Prairie du Chien, WI are both 15 miles away.

Booking Window
Sat Jul 26 2014 - Fri Oct 24 2014

Reservations must be made 2 Days(s) ahead of arrival and can be made up to 3 Month(s) in advance.

Season Dates

Season Schedule

Park Season Start End
Peak Thu May 01 2014 Tue Sep 30 2014
Off Peak Wed Oct 01 2014 Fri Oct 31 2014
Walk In Sat Nov 01 2014 Wed Dec 31 2014
Walk In Thu Jan 01 2015 Tue Mar 31 2015
Off Peak Wed Apr 01 2015 Thu Apr 30 2015
Peak Fri May 01 2015 Wed Sep 30 2015
Services and Amenities
Within Facility
  • Bird Watching
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Hunting
  • Mountain Biking
  • PICNICKING
  • River
  • Toilet, Pit/Vault
  • Trash Dumpster
  • Walking
  • Wildlife Viewing
Within 10 Miles
  • ATM/CASH MACHINE
  • CHURCH
  • Fuel, Vehicles
  • RETAIL, FIREWOOD
  • RETAIL, ICE
  • Town
Greater Than 10 Miles
  • GROCERY STORE
  • Hospital
  • Medical Clinic
  • Motel
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Fees and Cancellation Policies

Facility Rates*
Park Season Site Type Nightly/Daily Rates
Peak Season
May 01 2014 -
Sep 30 2014
Youth Group Only $15.00
Standard Non-Electric $9.00
Equestrian $12.00
Off Peak Season
Oct 01 2014 -
Oct 31 2014
Youth Group Only $15.00
Standard Non-Electric $6.00
Equestrian $9.00
Walk In Season
Nov 01 2014 -
Dec 31 2014
Youth Group Only $15.00
Standard Non-Electric $6.00
Equestrian $9.00
Walk In Season
Jan 01 2015 -
Mar 31 2015
Youth Group Only $15.00
Standard Non-Electric $6.00
Equestrian $9.00
Off Peak Season
Apr 01 2015 -
Apr 30 2015
Youth Group Only $15.00
Standard Non-Electric $6.00
Equestrian $9.00
Peak Season
May 01 2015 -
Sep 30 2015
Youth Group Only $15.00
Standard Non-Electric $9.00
Equestrian $12.00

*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):
43.15472, -91.24333
43°9'17"N, 91°14'36"W

The entrance to Yellow River State Forest is located on Hwy 76. The forest is located 15 miles north of Marquette on Hwy. 76. The entrance will be on the right side of the road. This road is called State Forest Road or B25. If traveling from the north the entrance is located 10 miles south of Waukon on Hwy 76. The entrance of the forest from Waukon will be on the left. There is also an alternative entrance located west of Harpers Ferry approximately. 2 miles from town on county road X42, again look for State Forest Road or B25 on the left side of X42. DO NOT TAKE THE DONAHUE ROAD ENTRANCE THIS ROAD IS A LEVEL B ROAD.
Contact Information

Mailing Address:

Yellow River State Forest
729 State Forest Road
Harpers Ferry  IA  52146

Phone Number:

Project Office: (563) 586 - 2254
Additional Information