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Lake Manawa State Park

Lake Manawa State Park
Neighborhood: Council Bluffs
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Sometimes a great tree is enough to put you in a good mood, and Lake Manawa State Park has some really great trees. There’s quite a bit more there, but you could always consider going for Arbor Day.

Just a thought.

Assuming you’re looking for a little more than arbor celebrations (which started in Nebraska City, by the way), you won’t be disappointed. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, $3 will get an adult into the beach, where lifeguards will watch you swim, volleyball players will watch you spike on the many beach courts, and you will be able to watch Omaha’s skyline slowly, slowly changing from across the lake.

Elsewhere, there are boat launches on the north, east, and south sides of the lake for water sports enthusiasts, and a whole mess of walking, hiking, and biking trails, some of which follow the lake’s pretty shoreline. Mountain bikers need not worry: Lake Manawa has both paved trails and something a little more technical, designed especially for the stouter of heart. Campers are not left out either, as 37 of the 72 campsites have electric hookups, and a trailer dump facility, showers, and restrooms are all located nearby.

Lake Manawa PlaygroundLake Manawa Playground

There is also the…drum roll please…Dream Playground! We’re not sure if the name refers to the fact that it’s a child’s dream to go there, an architect’s dream to design it, or the lumber yard’s dream to sell all that wood. The place is super sweet, and the slides accommodate adult-sized butts as well as children’s. One could presumably get lost in a playground that large…

…Oh stop! That’s not nice! I eventually found my way out : )The only mystery: why do all the parking lots look so unused? Come on Omahans, go make a day of it across the River!

(Or at least write in and tell us why such a beautiful park has a ghost town feel in the offseason)

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Lake Manawa State Park
1100 South Shore Drive
Council Bluffs, IA 51501
United States
41° 11' 47.2956" N, 95° 52' 12.2628" W


JC (not verified) says:

March 22, 2013 : 11 years 3 weeks ago

JC's picture

When the playground was first built the parking lost was packed. Now it only seems like the weirdos hang out there and lake manawa is looked down upon by the citizens of council bluffs.

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