Shimek State Forest encompasses a total area of 9,148 acres of land across the two Iowa counties of Lee and Van Buren. To get to the park, drive about one mile southeast of Farmington City on county road J56. One of the highly appreciated features of this park is the forest. In fact, Shimek State Forest has the largest contiguous standing forest cover in the entire state of Iowa.
Most of the trees in this park are a mix of Hickory, Oak, and approximately a thousand acres of planted Pine. The park is managed by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources which has divided the park into five main units along the Des Moines River. These five units include the Farmington (2,207 acres), Lick Creek (2,866 acres), Donnellson (1,330 acres), Keosauqua (918 acres) unit, and Croton (1,827 acres).
Besides the forest, several other recreational activities can be enjoyed at the park. Some of these activities include hiking, fishing, camping, horseback riding, and hunting. There are several amenities spread throughout the different units within the park. For example, the Donnellson Unit has campsites, a boat ramp, picnic areas, a nature trail and a walk-in-site. Lick Creek Unit has over thirty equestrian campsites, hitching rails, a day-use area and more.
One of the other activities that you can enjoy at the park is spending time with your dog. If you choose to do so, make sure that you follow state park rules to ensure that your stay or visit at the park is enjoyable. Some of the park rules that you will need to be aware of include the following.
First, you should always keep your dog on a leash or in a secured confinement when in the park. The dog's leash should not be more than six feet in length. If you choose to camp at the park, you should know that you are only allowed to have a maximum of two pets/dogs per yurt or cabin.