Get lost with your pup in Iowa's beautiful Yellow River State Forest. These woods are renowned for their excellent hiking opportunities, so make sure you hit the trails while you're here! The Paint Creek Unit of the forest offers the most regularly maintained areas to visit and is where many campers choose to stay while in the area.
The facilities here provide 137 campsites and one rentable cabin, though our furry friends are not permitted inside the shelter. Most of the sites can accommodate both tents and RVs, but don't expect to find any hookup options here. As the forest is large, the campground is split into four different areas; Big Paint, Little Paint, Creekside, and Frontier. The latter two specialize in equestrian camping while regular camping can be found at either of the "paint" areas. There is no water available at the campsites, but some can be accessed at the information center not far from Big Paint.
Rates to stay in the park are $6 for a basic site during the off-season, $9 for an equestrian lot, and $15 for a group site. The group sites here are limited to use by organized youth groups only and may not be used for any other type of gathering.
Once you're in the forest, you and your pupper will have access to some of the best hiking around! Miles upon miles of trail stretch through these woods, with paths varying in difficulty to appease any style of outdoor adventurer. Anglers will be happy to note that there is a stocked creek here where you can attempt to catch some trout for dinner as well. Come wintertime, the area is excellent for both cross-country skiing and snowmobiling as the many paths become perfect roads for these activities. You'll be relieved to know that, while the forest itself is a pawpular spot for hunters, hunting isn't allowed near the campgrounds.
Doggos are welcome on all of the campsites in this forest but must stay leashed throughout their time here. Be a good pet parent and always clean up after your pooch -- even when you are out on the trails, dispose of waste correctly so that canines stay welcome at Iowa parks for many years to come.
If you'd like to camp somewhere with endless hiking opportunities, you won't find a better spot than Yellow River State Forest.