Weather Related Closures The river ramps are open but the docks have not been put in due to damage and flooding. Biking enthusiasts may venture on the mountain bike trails. Bikers need to use caution. Enter at your own risk. Trail maintenance will continue until trails are in sufficient shape. (updated 9/14/10) Facilities and Activities Picnicking/Shelters Lake Manawa State Park provides many locations for fun family picnics. A number of open picnic shelters are located around the lake. These may be reserved online through the park reservation system. A shelter with a fireplace and kitchen facilities is a recent addition. Camping The campground at Lake Manawa State Park provides space for 72 camping units. Of these, 37 campsites are equipped with electric hookups. Modern shower and rest room facilities are available at the campground, as is a trailer dump station. Advance campsite reservations can be made online through the park reservation system. Half of the campsites are still available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Trails Lake Manawa State Park provides ample opportunity for a hike or a leisurely walk or a bike ride along the shoreline. A nature trail with a paved surface offers opportunity to walkers and for the mobility-impaired. A paved bike trail within the park has been constructed and connects to the Western Trails Center, Council Bluffs trail system, and the Wabash Trace Trail. Lake Activities (Swimming, boating, fishing) 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. Paddle boats and canoes are available for rent at the beach area from the concessionaire. A Missouri River boat ramp also provides boaters acess 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 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 772-acre 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 thousands of visitors. "Manawa" is a Native American term meaning "peace and comfort." Nearby Towns Lake Manawa State Park is located 2 1/2 miles south of Interstate 80 (Exit 3) at Council Bluffs, Iowa. It is located 2 1/2 miles west of Interstate 29 (Exit 47).
Nice trail that can be looped around the lake if you use the road on the north side. The road is not heavily trafficked. Good parking at the trail head on the south side. On the west side the trail connects to the Indian Creek trail and on the east it connects to the Wabash bike trail. It's not as beautiful as other trails in the area. Paved, flat, good for beginners. Driving by the lake to the parking lot I saw 2 blue herons and ducks. My biggest disappointment about this lake trail is that you don't see the lake while on the trail.
There is a mountain bike trail as well.