LAKE MACBRIDE STATE PARK
Lake Macbride State Park's 2,180 acres offer much to the outdoor enthusiast: fishing, picnicking, swimming, hiking, camping, boating and lots more. The park is located in two units. The northern unit lies at the end of County Road F-16, 4 miles west of Solon. Here you will find a modern campground, boat ramps, beach and boat rental, picnic areas and the park office. The southern unit is located off County Road F-28 (Fifth Street in Solon), 3 miles west of Solon. The southern unit offers a non-modern campground, boat ramps, picnic areas, a frisbee golf course and a prairie.
An effort to establish the wooded valleys of Mill and Jordan Creeks as a state park was initiated by the Iowa City Chamber of Commerce and J.N. "Ding" Darling, a noted Iowa Conservationist. To raise funds to purchase additional land for the park, lots were sold in the area.
In June, 1937 the park opened to the public. The name for the park was selected from several hundred contest entries. Thomas Macbride had a distinguished 40-year career as professor of botany and president of the University of Iowa. He has been called the "father" of conservation in Iowa. In 1895 he addressed the members of the Iowa Academy of Science on the need to establish a statewide system of "country" or "rural" parks.
The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) constructed a number of facilities at Lake Macbride in the 1930's including the beautiful stone shelter and beach building.
In 1955, the lake was enlarged. A portion of the park borders Coralville Lake, one of Iowa's largest artificial lakes, constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Lake Macbride State Park has two campgrounds. The modern campground in the northern unit of the park has 50 sites with 37 electrical hookups and 13 without, a shower and restroom and a trailer dump station.
The non-modern campground in the southern park unit has 60 campsites and a non-flush restroom. This campground is located in a beautiful shaded setting near the lake. Both campgrounds have a playground nearby. 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.
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Lake Macbride offers swimming as well as refreshments at the beautiful beach area. The Macbride beach is a great place for young and old to cool off on a hot summer day. Swimming is restricted to the designated beach area only.
There are seven boat ramps on the lake and one on Coralville Lake. Pontoons, motorboats, canoes and paddle boats are available for rent near the beach. The boat rental number is 319/624-2315. A 10 horsepower motor limit is in effect on Lake Macbride from May 21 through September 7. At other times there is an unrestricted horsepower motor limit operated at a no-wake speed. Any size motor may be used on Coralville Lake. Pontoon docking spaces are available for rental, as are dry-storage spots for boats.
Lake Macbride is an angler's delight! Good catches of walleyes, channel catfish, crappies and bluegill await the angler in the 812-acre artificial lake. Walleyes, channel catfish and muskies are stocked annually. Lake Macbride may be the only lake in Iowa in which the prized Kentucky spotted bass can be caught. Good lake access is available for both shoreline and boat fishing.