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Lake Manawa State Park is one of the most popular outdoor recreation facilities in the Omaha/Council Bluffs metropolitan area. The park's 1,529 acres encompass a beautiful 753 acre natural lake. Lake Manawa was formed during a flood in 1881 when a portion of the river channel was cut off by the meandering of the great Missouri River. Over the years, the resulting "oxbow" lake became a major outdoor recreation center for millions of visitors. "Manawa" is a Native American term meaning "peace and comfort".
Lake Manawa provides ample opportunity for a hike, leisurely walk or bike ride on a total of seven miles of paved trails. These trails connect to the trail system that runs throughout Council Bluffs including the Wabash Trace Trail and the Bob Kerry Pedestrian Bridge. A nature trail with a paved surface offers opportunity to walkers and the mobility-impaired. There are also eight miles of unpaved trails perfectly suited for mountain biking located on either side of the Missouri River access on the south side of the park.

Lake Activities
Lake Manawa is the premier boating spot in the Omaha/Council Bluffs area. Boat motors of any size may be operated on the lake. Modern boat ramps are located on the north, south and west sides of the lake. Paddleboats and canoes are available for rent at the beach area from the concession operator. A Missouri River boat ramp also provides boaters access to the river.
Lake Manawa is also a favorite spot for anglers of all ages. Good catches of crappies, bluegills and catfish may be had throughout the year. Excellent populations of good size bass and walleye can be expected.
Lake Manawa is a great place for swimmers and sunbathers, young and old. A modern beach facility provides opportunities for swimming, as well as refreshments.
Lake Manawa provides many locations for family picnics. Five open picnic shelters (one of which includes a kitchenette) are located around the lake and may be reserved online. Another open shelter, Shelter 3, is located near the beach and concessions. Shelter 3 can be rented from the concessionaire by calling (712) 366-4802 during the summer recreation season.
Nearby Attractions
Lake Manawa hosts Winter-Fest Ice Fishing Derby (January), Fourth of July Fireworks over the lake and Black Squirrel Triathlon (August).

The park is also a short driving distance of any major attraction or event in the Omaha/Council Bluffs area, including the NCAA College World Series (June), Western Trails Historic Center, Durham Museum, Union Pacific Railroad Museum, Strategic Air and Space Command Museum and the Henry-Doorly Zoo.

Nearby Towns
Council Bluffs and Omaha. Lake Manawa State Park is located two and one-half miles south of Interstate 80 (Exit 3) at Council Bluffs, Iowa. It is located two and one-half miles west of Interstate 29 (Exit 47).

Open Memorial Day weekend thru Labor Day weekend, 7 days a week, 11 AM - 7 PM daily.

Firewood for sale; Sand volleyball; A good variety of food and snacks, and floaties for sale. Rentals include tubes, kayaks, canoes and paddle boards.

Information also available on the Lake Manawa Beach Facebook page.

Lake Manawa Sailing Association 712-256-3832 (facility); 402-660-2720 (President of the Association)

Open Friday before Memorial Day through Labor Day, 7 days a week, noon to 8:00 pm Monday thru Friday and 9:00 am to 9:00 pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Dry storage for approximately 110 sailboats and other non-motorized boats. Wet-slips for 10 boats. Locker and sail storage. A ramp for launching sailboats and docks for tying-up. Beach and picnic shelter, recreational facilities for members and the public. Additional information is available at website: sailmanawa.com

The life guarded beach requires an admission fee. Shelter 3 can only be rented through the park concessionaire by calling (712) 366-4802 during the summer recreation season (Memorial Day to Labor Day). In the off-season please call the park office for the concessionaire's contact information.

Lake Manawa State Park camping trips are easy to plan with ReserveAmerica. Lake Manawa State Park campground reservations can be made online. Click one of the links below to see available campsites at Lake Manawa State Park or day pass availability.