Stephens Forest Campgrounds are located inside of Stephens State Forest, which is a 15,000-acre expanse that stretches across five counties. In total, there are three different campgrounds for you to choose from within Stephens State Forest, giving you plenty of “oppawtunity” to experience authentic camping.
Interestingly, the forest is divided into seven separate “units.” Within the seven units, you can find three campgrounds. All three campgrounds are dog-friendly, so don't leave Fido behind! Like most Iowa parks, within these campgrounds, your pup is to remain on a leash at all times and always be tidied up after. They’re also never to roam off-leash or to be left confined anywhere without your supervision.
Inside each of the seven units, you'll find various opportunities for outdoor adventure. It’s within the Lucas, Whitebreast, and Woodburn units that you can find camping. Within the Woodburn unit, you’ll only find five primitive pack-in sites that do not accept reservations. These sites are intended for backpackers passing through and come with limited amenities. The other four units -- Unionville, Cedar Creek, Chariton, and Thousand Acres -- have limited recreational prospects as they’re still being developed.
At Whitebreast and Lucas, you can find ponds for fishing. Anglers will be pleased to learn the ponds are stocked with bluegill, catfish, and largemouth bass. There are also opportunities for hiking, biking, horseback riding, hunting, and wildlife viewing within these two units. These campgrounds can accommodate RV and tent camping. Rates for tent camping begin at $6 in the off-season.
As all the campgrounds are quaint, there are limited amenities available for you and your pup. You can, however, find vault toilets and access to water. Unfortunately, there are no showers or flush toilets, but this makes it the perfect place to "ruff" it with your pooch. There’s also no electricity offered at any of the grounds.
The forest is a popular place for bikers wanting to explore the trails. There's plenty of chances to view the variety of wildlife in the forests as you do so. Be on the lookout for muskrats, deer, fox squirrels, cottontail rabbits, raccoons, and more. Beware, as skunks do frequent the forest, which can cause trouble for your pooch. Coyotes also live here, making the on-leash rule extra important. Hunters will be pleased to learn the area is plentiful in quail, wild turkey, and pheasant. Remember to be cautious while exploring the forest because of the hunters.
Stephens State Forest is home to diverse wildlife and flora awaiting your exploration. Check into any one of Stephens Forest Campgrounds in Iowa for a truly authentic outdoor camping experience with your pup!