Lake Keomah State Park is located six miles east of Oskaloosa, off IA 371 and close to the popular William Penn College. The park is also near other cities including Sigourney (20 miles from the park) and Pella (21 miles from the park).
The park is currently comprised of 366 acres of land and the 83-acre Lake Keomah. Lake Keomah was constructed as a result of a joint financial collaboration between the two counties of ‘Keokuk’ and ‘Mahaska’ in Iowa. The name of the lake is a portmanteau derived from the names of the two counties ‘Keokuk’ and ‘Mahaska’ in Iowa. Keokuk was named after the Sauk chief Keokuk, who is thought to be buried in Rand Park while Mahaska was named after chief Mahaska.
Construction within the park including work on the dam was done by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Company 776 that started working on the lake in Oskaloosa on June 3, 1933. A lot more work was done in the park over an extended period of time even though the park was dedicated as a state park in 1934 before a lot of the construction work had been completed by the CCC.
Besides the lake, there are plenty of other useful amenities at the park that include a day-use lodge, modern showers, and restrooms in the campground, group camping area, open picnic shelters, two boat ramps, 65 campsites (41 with electrical hookups), multi-use trails, fishing jetty, and a swimming beach.
Activities that are popular among visitors to the park include camping, fishing, boating (electric motors only), swimming, snowmobiling, ice fishing, and hiking. Furthermore, recreational activities that involve dogs are also quite popular since dogs are lowed into the park at no additional cost.
If you bring your pooch into the park for recreational activities, remember to bring with you a leash and in some cases a secure enclosure so that you can always maintain immediate control of your dog. The leash that you use must be no more than six feet long.