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Iowa State Parks

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USA Parks
Northwest Region
Mini Wakan State Park
Eastern Goldfinch ©
Eastern Goldfinch ©
Eastern Goldfinch
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24490 100th St
Spirit lake, Iowa   51360

Phone: 712-337-3211
Reservations: 877-427-2757
Email: park email button icon
The "lakes area" of northwest Iowa offers a tremendous array of outdoor recreation opportunities, year-round. The unique setting of beautiful and clear Lakes East and West Okoboji, Big Spirit Lake and other water bodies truly provides wonderful opportunities for outdoor recreation. The focal point for state parks and recreation areas in this region is beautiful Gull Point State Park, established in 1933. Gull Point provides a pleasing, shaded setting on West Okoboji Lake and offers a well-rounded variety of outdoor recreation facilities.
History of the Area
Located on the shores of Big Spirit Lake, Mini Wakan State Park was established in 1923. The area's history includes use by Native American tribes such as the Dakota Sioux for hunting and fishing grounds.

European settlers arrived in the mid-19th century, transforming land usage to agriculture and settlement. Prior to becoming a park, much of this region was privately owned farmland or undeveloped wilderness.

The name "Mini Wakan" comes from Dakota language meaning "Great Spirit," reflecting spiritual significance attached to natural features like springs nearby. Historical artifacts suggest indigenous presence long before European contact.

As conservation efforts took hold early in the 20th century, public appreciation for outdoor recreation grew leading to its designation as a state park aimed at preserving nature while providing leisure space.

Over time facilities have been added including picnic areas, trails and boat access points enhancing visitor experience without compromising ecological integrity. Efforts are made continually towards balancing human activity with environmental stewardship within these boundaries.
The Gull Point campground is one of the most popular in the lakes area. The campground is well shaded and features paved roads, playground equipment, modern restroom and shower facilities, as well as a sanitary dump station. There are a total of 112 campsites, 60 with electrical hookups. 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.
Gull Point's beach provides a fine place for young and old to sunbathe and splash in the crystal clear water. West Okoboji and the many other lakes are some of the prime fishing spots in Iowa. Anglers will find challenging sport pursuing a variety of game fish, including walleye, northern pike, smallmouth bass, white bass, perch, bluegills, crappies, catfish and bullheads.
The park offers a variety of boating options. There is access to the Big Spirit Lake, which is known for its fishing opportunities and scenic views. The lake has several boat ramps available for public use, making it easy to launch your own watercraft. Motorized boats are allowed on the lake as well as non-motorized ones like canoes or kayaks.
Enjoy fishing in a serene environment with options for shore and boat fishing. Species include Walleye, Northern Pike, and Smallmouth Bass. There's also an abundance of Yellow Perch and Bluegill to catch from the dock or your own watercraft.

Gull Point is a great place for a family picnic. Several open shelters are available and may be reserved for a fee through the park manager.

The Gull Point lodge, built during the 1930's by the Civilian Conservation Corp, is the largest such facility in the state. It features kitchen facilities and will seat 140 people. The lodge is a wonderful setting for group activities such as wedding receptions and family reunions. The lodge is available on a reservation basis through the park manager.
The western portion of Gull Point State Park is a hiker's delight, with a fine self-guided interpretative trail. On the 1.3 mile trail, visitors can identify a variety of natural features by using the trail brochure. This area of the park is an excellent place to observe a wide variety of wildlife from songbirds to white-tailed deer. In the winter, the area is open for cross-country skiing.

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Area Campgrounds
CenLa RV Park
3400 Highway 71
Spirit Lake, IA
Cutty's Okoboji Resort Club
1528 Highway 86
Spirit Lake, IA
Nearby Hotels

- Reach Spirit Lake city which is located in Dickinson County of Iowa.
- From Spirit Lake, drive north on Highway 276 for approximately four miles.
- Turn right onto Mini Wakan Road: this road leads directly to the park entrance.

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Iowa State Parks