Viking Lake

Picnicking & Shelters
There are 3 shelters that may be reserved online through park reservation system. The Lower Picnic Shelter has a kitchenette. A long sweep of shady, grassy hillside extends down to the water's edge forming a beautiful picnic area where the Beach Point Shelter is located. The upper road also goes to the Upper Picnic Shelter and overlook with an excellent view of the lake.

Camping
The Viking Lake campground is one of the most popular in southwest Iowa. The spacious, shady campground is located on the lake shore. There are 120 campsites:
  • 94 with electrical hookups
  • 22 full service
  • 9 buddy sites
  • 26 non-electrical
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There are also modern rest rooms and showers and a trailer dump station. A playground is located in the campground. Advance campsite reservations can be made online through the park reservation system. Half of the campsites are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Trails
Hiking trails totaling 6 miles provide visitors an excellent look at the park's natural features. The Bur Oak Nature Trail and its accompanying booklet provide insight on many of the important shrubs, plants and trees found at Viking Lake. The 1 mile trail takes about 1 hour to walk. In winter, snowmobiles may be operated on designated trails.

Lake Activities
The 137-acre lake was constructed in 1957, and is 44 feet at its deepest point with many bays and projecting points on its 4 and a half mile shoreline. Viking Lake is well stocked with Crappies, Blue Gills, Bass, Bullheads and Catfish. A sandy beach is located on the west shore with unsupervised swimming.

A concrete boat ramp is nearby and a docking area is a short distance away in a well protected cove. Rental spaces are available on an annual reservation basis. Any size boat motors may be used on Viking Lake provided they are operated at "no wake" speeds.

Viking Lake is one of the most popular state parks in southwest Iowa due to its accessibility and variety of recreational opportunities. A large portion of the 1,000-acre park has been left in its natural state and has an abundance of wild flowers, plants and wildlife. It is not uncommon to see beavers, turkeys, muskrats, ducks, shore birds and white-tailed deer. Many of the park's hills and valleys were once campsites of Native American tribes and artifacts were uncovered when the dam was being constructed.

Nearby Towns
Stanton is 4 miles from the park. Red Oak, the county seat, is 12 miles away. Villisca is 10 miles from the park and has a golf course.