Elk Rock State Park encompasses a total area of 850 acres of land situated in Marion County, Iowa and can be found in close proximity to Knoxville City and Pella City. Knoxville is approximately seven miles south on Highway 14 while Pella is ten miles east on G-28. The park can be found about seven miles north of Knoxville off the IA-14.
Elk Rock State Park has several unique features. Some of the more significant features include the 19,000-acre Lake Red Rock that surrounds the park, making the park one of Iowa’s largest impoundments. Additionally, the park is also unique among bird species like the white pelicans and bald eagles that use the park and lake area as stops during their migration seasons.
The park is also popular due to its unique history as being one of the areas were Native Americans chose to settle about five thousand years ago. The early Caucasian settlers were granted permission by the Fox and Sac Native American tribes to settle in the land in 1842. Remnants of an extinct town called Red Rock, that the early settlers built can be found at the bottom of Lake Red Rock.
In more recent history, the Iowa Conservation Commission leased land from the Corps of Engineers that owned the land and established two parks. The North Elk Rock (now Cordova Park) was established in 1969 while the South Elk Rock now called the Elk Rock State Park was established in 1978.
The Elk Rock State Park includes several amenities that visitors can enjoy including a picnic area with an open picnic shelter, horse stalls, hitching rails and riding arena, equestrian campsites, several ordinary campsites, multi-use trails, playground, and two boat ramps. Activities that are popular at the park include fishing, camping, swimming, boating, mountain biking, hiking, and horseback riding.
Visitors to the park can also bring along their dogs to enjoy recreational activities at no extra cost. That said, it is important to ensure that all state park rules are followed to avoid any inconvenience to other park visitors. Some of the rules that pertain to dogs include the following.
First, dogs must always be on a leash or in a secure confinement at all times. The leash must be no more than six feet in length. Additionally, the dog owner should ensure that their dog is always attended to and that it does not wander aimlessly around the park. For those that choose to camp within the park, there is a two-dog limit per every dog-designated yurt or cabin.