Lacey-Keosauqua State Park '' © Angela Cremer
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USA Parks
Southeast Region
Lacey-Keosauqua State Park
P.O. Box 398
Keosauqua, Iowa   52565

Phone: 319-293-3502
Reservations: 319-293-3502
Lacey-Keosauqua State Park
© angeline35

Lacey-Keosauqua State Park
© angeline35

Lacey-Keosauqua State Park

Lacey-Keosauqua State Park is one of the largest and most picturesque of Iowa state parks and recreation areas. The park's 1,653 acres of hills, bluffs and valleys wind along the Des Moines River in Van Buren County.

During the middle of the 19th century, the great Mormon trek westward across Iowa occurred. Ely Ford, now the site of a beautiful picnic area, was a river crossing point. It is now a component of the Mormon Pioneer Trail.

Originally, the park was named "Big Bend," but when it was dedicated in 1921, a more colorful name was sought. For the next five years, it was called Keosauqua, a Native American term meaning "the stream bearing a floating mass of snow, slush, or ice." In 1926, the name was changed to Lacey-Keosauqua in honor of Major John Fletcher Lacey who fought in the Civil War, was elected to Iowa House of Representatives in 1868, and by 1888, was a member of Congress. Major Lacey campaigned for conservation legislation long before Teddy Roosevelt and was instrumental in the establishment of a state park system in Iowa.
 Hiking Trailyes
 Swimming Beachyes
BoatingLaunch Rampsyes
 Electric Sitesyes
 Full Hookup Sitesyes
Lacey-Keosauqua's beautiful, shaded campground features 113 campsites (45 with electrical hook-ups), modern rest rooms, shower facilities, and a trailer dump station. Starting February 13, 2006 advance campsite reservations can be booked through the park reservation system. Half of the campsites are still available for self-registration on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Lacey-Keosauqua State Park offers 6 family cabins. The cabins can be reserved for a fee through the Internet at or by calling toll-free 1-877-IAPARKS. For more background information on the the park reservation system click here. Cabins provide all of the comforts of home while bringing visitors a great outdoor experience. All cabins include modern facilities.

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Lacey-Keosauqua is a wonderful place for a family cook-out. It is one of the prettiest parks where you can get together and enjoy a meal in the outdoors. Three open picnic shelters are available and may be reserved for a fee through the park manager. The picnic shelter near the east entrance of the park is accessible to the mobility impaired.
The park's hiking trails wind among the valleys and cliffs along the Des Moines River. On the trails, it is often possible to see many types of wildlife including deer, raccoons, opossums, gray squirrels, red foxes, and numerous species of bird life. The variety of plants, trees and shrubs; many of them more than 200 years old; make hiking at the park an exciting and educational experience.
Area Attractions
A Forest Crafts Festival is held at Lacey Keosauqua State Park the second weekend of October. The festival features woodcraft demonstrations and sales, forest and wildlife management demonstrations and buckskinners. Nearby Keosauqua has a parade, carnival and other related events.
Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
August 20 Great get-a-way by Maria
We always enjoy camping at Lake Lacey. The hiking trails are well kept and beautiful! We love how it is so close to historic towns and to Keosauqua. Ice cream is not far! Definetly, our favorite place to camp!
May 30 Kinda cool but muddy
We got there and it was really muddy and some of the ravines are steep. but exclent place to camp with guinea pigs and dogs...
July 22 Home Sweet Home by Donna
I grew up in Lacey State Park and it will always be home to me. I lived just up the road to the entrance from the Keosauqua bridge side. My father sold our acreage in the 1960s to the State, which made me very sad, but I have all the memories to cherish. It is a beautiful park with multiudes of history. The lake is wonderful and in years past was extremely full of swimmers. The picnic areas, shelters, etc., will always hold special memories for me. The manner in which this park was built by hard labor of the CCC is phenominal.
July 12 Great place to grow up!!! by james
I had the honor of being able to live there part of my youth. My Dad worked there as an Asst. Ranger. I one day hope to visit there again and see if I can remember all the trails.
June 24 Childhood paradise by lori
We have been staying in the cabins at Lacey since I was a baby, and all of our large family rent the 6 cabins each summer for the last 30 plus years. We are now bringing our parents, and own kids. We love it, grew up here, and spent many memories on the trails, in the lake, and at the cabins. It is our childhood paradise, home away from home.

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USA Parks
Southeast Region
Lacey-Keosauqua State Park
© 2015