Picnicking/Shelters Lake Macbride State Park is a great place for a family picnic or get-together. Four open picnic shelters are available and may be reserved online through the park reservation system. Two day-use lodges are also available and great for family reunions. The lodges may also be reserved online through the park reservation system. Camping Lake Macbride State Park has two campgrounds. The modern campground in the northern unit of the park has 38 sites with electrical hookups with 10 of those having full hook ups, a shower and restroom and a trailer dump station. The non-modern campground in the southern park unit has 60 campsites and a non-flush restroom. This campground is located in a beautiful shaded setting near the lake. Both campgrounds have a playground nearby. Advance campsite reservations can be booked through the park reservation system. Half of the campsites are still available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Trails Multi-use trails wind for miles around the lake. All park trails offer opportunities for the sights and sounds of Iowa at its best. Bird watchers will thrill to the sight of nearly every songbird native to the region. During the spring and fall, shorebirds, waterfowl and ospreys are frequent visitors. During winter months, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling are popular. Lake Macbride offers a five-mile scenic multi-use trail located along the lake from Solon to near the entrance to the park. This trail is very popular with bicyclists. Volkssport Trails & Events. Six permanent Volkssport trails have been established for seasonal use within state parks and recreation areas. Lake Activities (Swimming, boating, fishing) Lake Macbride offers swimming as well as refreshments at the beautiful beach area. The Macbride beach is a great place for young and old to cool off on a hot summer day. Swimming is restricted to the designated beach area only. Lake Macbride is an angler's delight! Good catches of walleyes, channel catfish, crappies and bluegill await the angler in the 812-acre artificial lake. Walleyes, channel catfish and muskies are stocked annually. Lake Macbride may be the only lake in Iowa in which the prized Kentucky spotted bass can be caught. Good lake access is available for both shoreline and boat fishing. There are seven boat ramps on the lake and one on Coralville Lake. Pontoons, motorboats, canoes and paddle boats are available for rent near the beach. The boat rental number is 319/624-2315. A 10 horsepower motor limit is in effect on Lake Macbride from Memorial Day through Labor Day. At other times there is an unrestricted horsepower motor limit operated at a no-wake speed. Any size motor may be used on Coralville Lake. Pontoon docking spaces are available for rental, as are dry-storage spots for boats. Lake Macbride State Park's 2,180 acres offer much to the outdoor enthusiast: fishing, picnicking, swimming, hiking, camping, boating and lots more. The park is located in two units. The northern unit lies at the end of County Road F-16, 4 miles west of Solon. Here you will find a modern campground, boat ramps, beach and boat rental, picnic areas and the park office. The southern unit is located off County Road F-28 (Fifth Street in Solon), 3 miles west of Solon. The southern unit offers a non-modern campground, boat ramps, picnic areas, and a prairie.
My favorite trail in Johnson Co. It contains 7.1 mls of trails, in a peninsula bordered by Co.Rd. F-22. All levels of hiking, from easy(Bluebird), moderate(Blue Stem, Hawk Ravine & Field Campus). The Osprey trail is rugged and connects to the MacBride Spillway. Owned by Corps & Iowa, it is managed by the U of Iowa. Their managers, Robert & Bob love it as much as I and our work there shows it. Two nice campgrounds and real bathroom/running water. Great cross-country skiing in winter, sailing club and Raptor Center. Check out the bird blind, nice rest after hiking.
The Raptor Project is a must see if you are hiking this area. There are several raptors housed on permanent display in outdoor cages for public viewing. No admission but I always leave a few bucks in the donation bin for this worthy cause. There is a short 1/4 mile walk in from the parking area, or it can also be reached via the hiking trails that criss-cross the vicinity if you started from another trailhead. Bald Eagle, Golden Eagle, Hawks, Owls, and Vultures can all be seen up close. There is also a prairie restoration area, butterfly garden and trails leading to the shore of the lake. There is also a well stocked bird feeding station with bird blind for observation. Many of the common woodland species can be seen from the blind including, nuthatches, Cardinals, Wrens, woodpeckers, finches, sparrows, Titmouse, and Blue Jays.