Minne Estema State Park

A historic river park, owned by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and 

managed by Benton County Conservation is located eight miles north of Vinton 

along the Cedar River. 

Once home to a popular resort and river-boat stop, this hidden gem now offers 

camping, an open air shelter, pit restroom, shoreline fishing, and high water river 

access. This area is open to hunting September 15 - May 15.




History of Minne Estema State Park:

Minne Estema, which means "sleeping waters", was originally developed to be a 

resort along the Cedar River. In 1901, George R. Knapp built a cottage for his 

family and eventually built a second cottage and a hotel resort that included 15

rooms to accommodate relatives and friends. Stables were also built to accommodate 

horses and carriages of the guests. For the guests’ use, there was a steam launch 

called the “White Plume”, sail boats, row boats and canoes, along with a sandy beach 

for swimming. The ship “Export” would stop at Minne Estema going to and from 

Waterloo and Cedar Rapids. A weeklong stay including room and board cost $5.00 

and a one day stay was $1.00. Guests spending Sunday at the resort were served 

dinner for 50 cents. 




5261 24th Ave. Drive
Vinton, Iowa 52349

Accessible by gravel only.

Park Map

Link to DNR topographical map (PDF) of: Minne Estema and Perkinson Wildlife Management Area


  • 76 acres
  • Campsites (10 electric; 2 non-electric)
  • Pit toilet
  • Boat ramp (During high water only)
  • Fishing
  • Shelter
  • Hunting access, excluding campground, September 15 - May 15

Operating Hours & Seasons

Park Hours: 6 am - 10 pm

Camping: April 15 - October 31 

Closed to Camping: November 1 - April 15 

Open for Hunting: September 15 - May 15, excluding campground