Sunday ยท April 7, 2024
Explore Nature's Playground at Brushy Creek Recreation Area, Iowa
Author: Admin
Brushy Creek Recreation Area Horse Camp in Iowa | Top Horse Trails

Brushy Creek Recreation Area stands out as one of Iowa's premier outdoor destinations, offering a sprawling 6,500 acres of public recreation land. This vast area features a diverse landscape of native prairie, grassland, timber, riparian zones, and the centerpiece: a 690-acre lake, the deepest artificial permanent pool lake in Iowa. Whether you're an avid adventurer or a nature enthusiast, Brushy Creek has something for everyone.

A Haven for Outdoor Enthusiasts

With its extensive network of trails totaling approximately 35 miles, Brushy Creek is a paradise for trail enthusiasts. Whether you prefer horseback riding, hiking, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, or mountain biking, there's a trail activity for every season and interest. The 12-mile gravel trail circling Brushy Creek Lake is a highlight, offering picturesque views and a chance to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the area.

Year-Round Adventure and Education

Brushy Creek offers more than just outdoor recreation; it's also a place of learning and exploration. In the summer, join one of the park's interpreters for nature-related programs and hikes, gaining insights into the local flora and fauna. Springtime brings exciting events like geocaching and fishing derbies for kids, creating memorable experiences for the whole family. Event details can be found at the campground kiosks, ensuring you never miss out on the fun.

Plan Your Visit

Whether you're seeking a weekend getaway or a longer adventure, Brushy Creek Recreation Area is the perfect destination. Campsites are available, allowing you to immerse yourself in nature's beauty and enjoy the tranquility of the outdoors. With its diverse habitats, scenic trails, and recreational opportunities, Brushy Creek offers a unique outdoor experience that will leave you refreshed and rejuvenated.



Visitors from the North

From Hwy 20 go south on P73, for West Entrance go east on Lake View Dr.; for South Entrance continue on P73 and go east on D46.

Visitors from the South

Get on D46- the South Campground and South Day Use Area are located off of this road. For all other facilities go north on Brushy Creek Rd. which curves and becomes Lakeview Dr.

Trap Shooting Range can be reached by taking 250th from County Rd P73, then turning right onto Taylor Ave.


Brushy Creek Recreation Area offers the following facilities and amenities:

  • Modern camp facilities
  • Modern shower
  • Restroom
  • Electric and non-electric sites
  • Horse wash area
  • Shade is available at some campsites
  • Hitch rail
  • a 100 ft by 200 ft arena
  • Hydrants with potable water are available
  • Picnic tables
  • Grills
  • Playground


Equestrian Camping

Equestrian users can enjoy one of the most modern camp facilities in the Midwest. The north equestrian campground has a modern shower and restroom, electric and non-electric sites, a horse wash area, shade is available at some campsites, a substantial hitch rail at every site (users are required to tie animals to rails), and a 100 ft by 200 ft arena. Water hydrants with potable water are available, as are picnic tables, grills, and a playground.

The south equestrian campground has a modern shower and restroom, electric and non-electric sites along with some full hookup sites (water and sewer), a playground, a horse wash area, ample shade, and a hitch rail at every site.


Cost Details:

  • Equestrian - Standard Non-Electric - $16.00
  • Equestrian - Standard Full Hookup - $22.00 to $24.00
  • Equestrian - Standard Electric - $16.00 to $24.00
  • Equestrian - Buddy - $32.00 to $48.00



  • State regulations require horses, mules, and donkeys being transported interstate (from one state to another) must have a current Certification of Veterinary Inspection (health certificate) and a negative Coggin's test (EIA). This paperwork must accompany the animal into the State of Iowa. Please refer to for more information.
  • This law applies to equestrian camping, day use, and trail riding in any State Park or Forest.
  • Contact Details: (515)543-8298


If you want to discover and explore other campsites and horse trails, here are some of them that you may visit:

SHAWNEE NATIONAL FOREST - Pounds Hollow Lake and Thacker Hollow Loop




Brushy Creek Recreation Area does require reservations for overnight accommodations. Please visit their page here on Top Horse Trails - Brushy Creek Recreation Area for more information.