Enjoy fishing and canoeing the beautiful Upper Iowa River, explore the state's largest prairie area, experience history and discover nature!
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This scenic park is located along the Upper Iowa River and provides an excellent camping and picnicking location while offering individuals the opportunity to fish and giving canoeists a starting point for their river trips.
Camping areas are provided with electricity and water. Other facilities include a shelter, boat ramp, and playground equipment. Adding to the park’s beauty is the historical Lidtke Mill and dam site.
Lidtke Park offers campers 30 electric/non-electric camping sites, water, a shelter, a boat ramp, playground equipment, modern restrooms, and the Upper Iowa Canoe Access just across the road. Camping Fees: Please check the self registration board for current rates. Self registration must be completed within one hour of arrival. As with all of our Howard County parks, campsites are on a "first come, first serve" basis. We do not take reservations at this time.
The Upper Iowa River: Canoeing, tubing and fishing the scenic Upper Iowa River are popular recreational activities utilized by visitors to the area, as well as local residents.
The natural beauty found along the twists and turns of the Upper Iowa River is filled with diverse wildlife, limestone bluffs, chimney rocks, forested areas, coldwater springs and more. This unique river was nominated to be one of the First National Wild and Scenic Rivers with the Department of the Interior.
Two popular canoe trips are from Chester to Lime Springs, 7.5 river miles, or from Lime Springs to Kendallville, 28 river miles. There are also many bridges in between where one could enter or exit the river. Please call the Howard County Conservation Board at 563-547-3634 for a copy of the Upper Iowa River Canoe Guide.
A national historic site within walking distance of the campground, Lidtke Mill was built in 1857 as a water wheel driven, timber cutting mill.
After it was sold, the operation was enlarged and wheat was ground night and day. During this time, the mill became famous for its superior quality flour, which was shipped to Eastern and European markets, and its buckwheat flour. The mill was later reopened with the main focus of feed grinding and generating electricity.
The Lidtke Mill Complex is open 2 days a week from Memorial Day - Labor Day. Hours: Saturday and Sunday - 1:00 to 4:00.
Hayden Prairie is one of Iowa's best prairie remnants. This 240-acre prairie, purchased in 1945, was the first prairie to be acquired by the state and was named in honor of Dr. Ada Hayden. In 1966 it was renamed a national registered landmark. Two years later Hayden Prairie was designated as a state preserve by the state of Iowa. For more interesting history on Hayden Prairie click here.
Visited by school children, botanists, researchers, bird watchers, plant and flower hobbyists, and more, Hayden Prairie is open all year round. Although previously hayed and occasionally grazed, this ground has never been plowed.
Hayden Prairie is managed by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. For more information please contact the Iowa Wildlife Biologist - Upper Iowa Unit at (563) 382-4895.
All campers must register.
No more than one camping unit per campsite.
All visitors must be out of the park by 10:30 p.m.
Radios, TV's or other noise making devices shall under no circumstances be used between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m. outside of the camping unit.
Fires can be built only in designated areas.
All campers are expected to keep their campsite clean and in an orderly manner.
All waste and trash will be placed only in receptacles provided for that purpose.
Possession of keg beer is prohibited, unless authorized by the HCCB Director.
All pets in the park must be kept confined or on a leash and kept under control.
The cutting of trees, dead or alive, is absolutely prohibited.