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Clear Lake State Park

2730 South Lakeview Drive
Clear Lake, IA 50428
1 Review
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Clear Lake State Park a smallish 55-acre tract, is located about two miles from downtown on the southeastern side of the lake. The park has 215 campsites, 95 of them are electric sites. No water is available at the individual campsites. Fresh water is available at water stations located throughout the park and there is an RV dump station as well. There's a nice sandy beach and swimming area. The lake, however, is very green, due in large part to the agricultural fertilizer run-off over the years. The water will turn the lining of your swimming suit green. (A quick rinse or wash of your suit will get it clean.) The park's nicest feature is a roomy, wooded picnic area near the beach. It would be a great spot for a family cookout or a great place to stop for a long lunch if you're just passing through. We arrived on a Thursday afternoon at the campground. There is a simple self-registration and payment system at the entrance to the campground. No advance reservations are taken. We found a site near a big tree that offered some nice morning shade. We paid $12 per night for our electric site (07/00). Non-electric sites are $9. Thursday night was okay, not great, just okay, as the park was not too crowded. Even on Thursday night, the shower and restroom facilities seemed inadequate for the number of campers and campsites. On Friday night we went out for a drive and dinner at about 5 p.m. (a fabulous fish-fry at Rich's Muskie Lounge in nearby Ventura, Iowa) and returned about 9 p.m. We were shocked! The campground was absolutely packed! Have you seen Henry Fonda in The Grapes of Wrath? Can you say "shanty-town?!" Clear Lake State Park has small-sized campsites to begin with. Many pull-through sites are only 5 or 6 paces apart. But packed into many of theses spaces were an RV, 2 tents, an SUV, and a boat trailer! Many folks also had a screen house or an awning that was only inches away from their neighbor! My parents took our family camping to a campground for the first time in 1966. And in the subsequent years I have never seen a campground so crowded (excluding the film footage I've seen of Woodstock.) I guess it's a testament to the charm of the town of Clear Lake and environs that brings so many people there. That can be the only possible reason campers would endure such uncomfortable conditions. (Or insert your favorite Iowa joke here.) On Friday night, from about from about 10 p.m. to midnight, the restrooms had people lined up like it was half-time at a football game. This is not a place that campers will put on their list of desired destinations. But oddly enough, I think it might not be too bad for a night during the off-season (spring or fall) for a RV-er who is just passing through northern Iowa. I went through the park in October a couple of years ago, and it actually seemed quite lovely when it was not so crowded. But in the summer, no way. From the Clear Lake exit, it's only about 25 miles to Minnesota. Make a run for the border.


Received from David J for visit in Jul 2000

Site Number: None
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