Lacey Keosauqua State Park is located on the forested south side of a great horseshow bend in the Des Moines River. Some of the parks unique features include rugged exposed rocky outcroppings, dense timber, varied terrain in several creek valleys, lake and river access.
Dedicated in 1921, Lacey Keosauqua State Park is Iowa’s second oldest state park. The park is rich in history beginning with Native American’s who lived and died in the area. Their presence is evident through artifacts and burial mounds found in the park.
Mormon’s crossed the Des Moines River here on their journey west in the mid eighteen hundreds. Ely’s Ford is a shallow area where the river flows over hard bedrock. This made an ideal place for wagons and livestock to cross.
The Civilian Conservation Corps (C.C.C.) made an enduring mark on the park as well. Several C.C.C. companies took years to construct most of the infrastructure we see today. In addition to the C.C.C. structures, it’s fun to explore the old quarries in the park where building material were acquired. Be sure to visit the stone gate house and bronze statue dedicated to the C.C.C. at the west park entrance.
There are also six family cabins with modern facilities that can be reserved through the park reservation system.
The picturesque Lake Keosauqua has much to offer visitors. There is a boat ramp on the north end of the lake; however, boat motors are limited to electric. Fishing is good thanks to the Iowa DNR’s installation of stake beds and other fish habitat.
The roped off swimming area at the beach is free to park visitors. There are no lifeguards so be attentive. The historic bathhouse offers restrooms and changing areas as well as a patio space overlooking the beach.
The well-established campground has two main loops with accommodations for tents, camper trailers and large RV’s. There are 76 campsites (45 with 30-amp electrical and 10 with 50-amp electrical and water). Most campsites are shaded with level gravel pads. There are also plenty of pull through sites for larger RV’s. Campers around site #13 may require an additional length of power cord to reach breaker boxes that are positioned further away than normal.
Other accommodations include: a modern shower house with restrooms, pit toilet, dump station, playground, potable water spigots and a separated youth group campsite.
Access Lacey Keosauqua Lake and the swimming beach from the campground via Lake Trail or take a short drive to the bathhouse parking area.