Activities and Amenities
Rathbun Lake is situated in the gently rolling hills of the Chariton River Valley in southeast Iowa. The campground consists of open grassy areas dotted with trees. Shade is limited.
Bald eagles, white-tailed deer, Canada geese, wild turkey and other wildlife can be found at Rathbun Lake.
The 11,000-acre lake provides a variety of fishing opportunities for any angler. Crappie, channel catfish, walleye and largemouth bass are most common.
Whether power boating or sailing, Rathbun Lake, also known as Iowa's Ocean, has something to offer everyone. The prevailing winds make it one of the best sailing lakes in Iowa.
This fee-free campground offers 31 non-electric sites. Amenities include flush and pit toilets, showers, drinking water, a dump station and boat ramp. A marina and bait shop are nearby.
The Rathbun Fish Hatchery is located near the main dam, and offers self-guided tours Monday through Friday year-round. Hundreds of thousands of catfish and walleye are produced here each year.
Southern Iowa's only Off Highway Vehicle Park is located nearby on the south bank of the South Fork Chariton River and encompasses nearly 125 acres in an abandoned rock quarry.