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Lewis and Clark State Park
Onawa, Iowa
by
Norman W. Hildrum

Lewis and Clark State Park is 41 miles south of Sioux City, Iowa, just off Interstate 29. The park itself is adjacent to Blue Lake which is an "oxbow lake" formed by the meanderings of the Missouri River. The park is named for Captain Meriwether Lewis and Captain William Clark who were commissioned by President Thomas Jefferson in 1804 to head an expedition into lands purchased from France (Louisiana Lewis and Clark State Park Campground - Photo by Norman W. HildrumPurchase).

With 26 men and supplies, Lewis and Clark led their expedition up the Missouri River from St. Louis by keelboat. On August 10, 1804, the expedition passed the site where the state park now lies. They spent time exploring the area and making observations on its geography, plants, and animals. The park is part of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail established by the National Park Service.

There are 81 closely spaced campsites with electrical hookups. (most are along the lakeshore). Flush toilets, showers, and a trailer dump station are available. There are two boat ramps and no restrictions are placed on motor size. The 250 acres of Blue Lake offers good fishing. Anglers will find a variety of fish including bass, northern, crappies, bluegill, and catfish. There are four miles of hiking trails. The park contains a large variety of trees, shrubs, and wildlife. There are deer, rabbits, squirrels and a wide variety of bird species. A self-guided nature trail provides the opportunity to learn more about the natural communities of the park. The park also contains a full-sized replica of Lewis and Clark's keelboat used to navigate the Missouri River. Our cost was $7.00 per night (10-99) which included electricity (the shower building was closed)


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