Mailing Address:Fort Defiance State Park
3661 174th St
Estherville IA 51334
Fort Defiance State Park's 221 acres of rugged woodland provide a beautiful contrast to the surrounding, gently rolling farmlands. The parks trails, picnic areas and scenic overlooks provide a great place to relax. Its lush cover of vegetation includes hawthorn, plum, locust and many species of the state tree, the oak. In the spring, the slopes are speckled with trillium, bloodroot, hepatica and violets. A small native prairie with native grasses and flowers, including the endangered prairie bush clover, thrives on a secluded knoll. Several restored prairie areas are also found within the boundaries of the park.
Several trails take you around the park and through the hills, prairies, and woodlands that make up Fort Defiance. The trail system includes 6.24 miles of multi-use trails. Equestrian use is allowed on 5.05 miles of the trails. During winter months the park is a popular place for cross country skiing with 2.13 miles of groomed trails and 0.59 miles of non-groomed trail on the newly constructed Whitetail Ridge Interpretive Trail. Fort Defiance is located just Â½ mile west of the West Fork of the Des Moines River with boat ramp access to the Emmet County Water Trail.
A day-use lodge, constructed in the style of an old army outpost, is an excellent place for group gatherings such as reunions and wedding receptions. The lodge may be reserved online. An open shelter is available on a first-come, first-served basis at no cost.
Fort Defiance Statbr Park has a 16-site non-modern campground. No showers or flush toilets are present. However, electrical hookups are available at eight sites. All camping permits are obtained through self-registration at the campground. Reservations are not accepted for this campground.
Estherville is one mile northeast on Hwy 9. Spirit Lake is thirteen miles northwest. Milford is nineteen miles southwest and Okoboji is eighteen miles west.