Kellogg is three miles west and two miles south of the park. Newton is four miles south and ten miles west on Highway 6 and is the county seat. Grinnell is seven miles east of Rock Creek and is the home of Grinnell College.
Rock Creek is one of central Iowa's major state parks and was officially dedicated on August 24, 1952. The 602-acre Rock Creek lake is the third largest state operated artificial impoundment. Rock Creek State Park truly offers something for everyone.
The park is a haven for many different species of wildlife. At the lake's far north end, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources maintains a game management area open to public hunting. Thousands of ducks migrating to their summer breeding grounds take refuge in the solitude of Rock Creek. The concentrations of teal, bluebills and mallards offer an excellent opportunity for bird watching. In the spring, ducks in their full plumage perform their courtship flights. Even in winter, mallards can often be seen on the south end of the lake where the spillway area is relatively free of ice. A variety of animals including white-tailed deer are often seen by park visitors.
Facilities and Activities
Rock Creek is a popular picnic spot and the open picnic shelter may be reserved online through the park reservation system. A playground is located within the campground. A beautiful open shelter sits next to the lake by the beach.
Rock Creek is one of central Iowa's camping hotspots. The large campground bordering the lake includes electrical hookups and modern rest rooms and showers. Advance campsite reservations can be made through the park reservation system. One fourth of the campsites are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Hiking, horseback riding, cross country skiing and snowmobiling are enjoyed on a system of multi-use trails around the park.
Lake Activities (swimming, boating, fishing)
The beach provides an ideal spot to sunbathe and swim. The lake's 15 miles of shoreline gives anglers a chance to try their hand at catching bass, crappie, bluegill, catfish, saugeye and bullhead. The deepest water is approximately 18 feet and the average depth is about nine feet. The lake is excellent for trolling or casting. It is also great for ice fishing.
Rock Creek is one of central Iowa's most popular boating lakes. Any size boat motor may be operated at a maximum of 5mph. Dock spaces are available for rent at several convenient locations around the lake. The courtesy docks in the campground are first come/first serve.
A park concession store offers boat rentals (pontoons, fishing boats, canoes, kayaks, pedal boats), live bait, tackle, ice, firewood, fishing licenses, camping accessories, convenience store items, and snacks. The number for the concession is 641-236-3876 or 641-485-2445. It is open roughly April 15 thru October 15; open daily (closed on Easter) Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend hours are Sunday 7 AM to 7 PM., Monday through Thursday 7 AM to 8 PM, Friday and Saturday 7 AM to 9 PM.
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