Picnicking/Shelters Brushy Creek is a great place for picnics and large gatherings. Picnic areas are located around the park. They offer tables and fire grills. Two open shelters can be reserved online through the park reservation system. Equestrian Camping Equestrian users enjoy one of the most modern camp facilities in the Midwest. The northern equestrian campground has a modern shower and restroom, 125 campsites (50 electrical), horse wash area, ample shade, a substantial hitch rail at every site (users are required to tie animals to rails) and a 100' by 200' arena. Water hydrants with potable water are available, as are picnic tables, grills, and a playground. In the future another shower/toilet building will be constructed. The south campground has a modern shower and restroom with 62 electric, 22 non-electric sites, and 8 full water and sewer hookup sites with the same amenities as the northern campground. Advance campsite reservations can be reserved online through the park reservation system. Half of the campsites are still available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Horses are not to be hitched or tied to trees, shrubs or park facilities in a manner that will cause injury or damage to the plant or facility. Animals may be hitched to trailers for short periods of time for grooming and saddling. Animals must be stabled inside a trailer, at a hitch rail or in stalls or corrals if provided. Portable stall/pens or electric fences are not allowed. Non-Equestrian Camping A non-equestrian campground has 47 sites including 39 electric sites, and 8 with full water and sewer hookups. This location makes the campground very inviting to those using the nearby boatramp and beach. This area is also available for picnicking. Non equestrian campers are also welcome to use any of the equestrian campgrounds. Half of these campsites can be reserved online through the park reservation system. The rest of the campsites are available on a first come/first serve basis.

hiking
29 days ago

This trail is a little hard to follow in a few locations. Just remember, the trail essentially goes around the lake, so if you don't know which way to go, it turns out that taking the option nearest the lake is usually (but not always) going to be the correct way. I got on the wrong trail 2 times during my hike, but within 10 minutes realized I wasn't on the correct trail so quickly backtracked and was okay. Its not that the trail is hard to follow, its that at some intersections there simply are no signs so you don't know which trail to take.

The trail itself is so-so. I liked it because it is hard to find a (hiking) trail longer than, say, 7 miles, in Iowa. The trail itself is just okay in my opinion. My dog got a bloody paw by the end of the hike. Nearly the entire trail is gravel, I think that was why it was tough on her paws. This trail is shared with equestrians, which seems to be very popular at this location judging by the many horses I saw at the part where you need to walk through the equestrian campground. On trail, however, I only saw 5 horses, 1 group of 3 and 1 couple. The vast majority of this hiking trail I was alone, except when I came across areas near parking lots, where many fisherman can be found.

Although this is a loop around the lake, you actually do not see the lake very often. That was okay by me, as it was jam packed with fishing boats anyhow. I did enjoy the hike, but nothing all that special really popped out. I will absolutely be going back to explore some of the other hiking trails at Brushy Creek, and maybe redo this hike as well.

Note: the maps from the Recreation Area itself refers to this trail as the Lake Trail. However, while on the trails, this name is only used in the southern portion south of the dam. For the rest of the trail, the labels/directionals on the trail refer to it as the "All Weather Trail"

Tick Count: 7 on the dog, 3 on me... that was found

hiking
Sunday, May 07, 2017

A very fun and exhilarating hike. Many different types of surfaces from, dirt, grass, sand and short jaunt on a dead end road. Initial mile has a good size hill that is easy going down but at the end of the hike is a bear to go up. there are numerous creek's feeding into the river a few hundred feet away and cross the trail with no bridges. Most are step overs but one or two take some balance as you cross on the rocks...could be difficult after a heavy rain. some great views of the Des Moines River and the tree ridge on the other side. ...take a hammock and a light lunch and relax and enjoy the views.... a great moderate hike with a little something for everyone

trail running
Thursday, April 02, 2015

Very well marked trail. Miles of single track. Its not the mountains but its a good challenge!

hiking
Sunday, April 20, 2014

Brushy Creek State Recreation Area is a 6000 acre park with around 45 miles of multi-use hiking trails near Fort Dodge, Iowa. The multi-use trails are shared with mountain bikers and horseback riders, although I only came across two other people during my time there. The trail around the lake is a 13 mile loop on a gravel surface. The other trails are a mixture of dirt and gravel. In addition to the lake, several trails pass by ponds, Brushy Creek, and the Des Moines River. There are also multiple camping areas. All the trails that I saw were well marked with signs at every intersection and trailhead. The Preserve Trail is highly recommended because it offers a great view of the Brushy Creek Valley. The only downsides for me were the occassional sounds of gunfire from the shooting range and having to be watchful for horse droppings on the trails. Overall a great park with many miles of woodland and prairie hiking trails!

hiking
20 days ago

Saturday, March 11, 2017

hiking
Saturday, September 10, 2011