Activities

 
Boating Boating at 4th Pumping Plant Recreation Area
The 4th Pumping Plant has access to both the Mississippi River and the lake. 
Cabins Cabins at Big Hollow Recreation Area

Big Hollow offers a two bedroom ​off-grid cabin (no running water, solar powered lights) with open living/dining room area and covered porch. One bedroom with a queen size bed and one with two double beds. Living area has couch, coffee table, four-person dining table with chairs, and concrete countertop in one corner. A portable restroom, campfire ring, upright charcoal grill, picnic table, sitting benches, and serving station are provided outside. The serving station has a concrete countertop, sink and a cistern pump connected to a rain barrel for non-potable water needs. -

See more: Here

Camping Camping at 4th Pumping Plant Recreation Area

46 total campsites, 22 have electricity. All sites are on grass pads, allowing you more flexibility for group camping.

All sites include:

  • Fire ring
  • Picnic table
  • 50 / 30 / (2) 20 amp outlets

The park itself includes:

  • Central water supply
  • Dump station
  • Playground equipment
  • Pit restroom
  • Shelter house
  • Boat ramp, dock & fish cleaning station.
  • Firewood available for purchase

You can also access the Mississippi river from this park.

Camping Camping at Big Hollow Recreation Area

Big Hollow offers 48 campsites within the park, each only a short distance from the lake. The 32 sites within the RV campground offer oversized gravel pads large enough to accommodate the largest campers on the market. Ample space between each site allows for privacy and solitude while enjoying the park. 

RV Campground
There are 32 ​full hook-up sites within the RV campground. Each site offers ample room for a camper, truck and extra vehicle or boat trailer. Nearby overflow parking areas accommodate additional vehicles for family members or guests. The nightly rate for full hook-up sites is $20 for walk-up, $25 for reservations.

Primitive Campground
For those wanting to "rough it" a little more, 16 primitive campsites are carved right into the mature oak-hickory forest at Big Hollow. Ample space between the sites helps maintain the solitude of each site. For those really wanting to get away from it all, some sites can only be reached via a short hike down an access trail.The nightly rate for a non-electric (primitive) site is $10.

Group Campsite
The Group Camping Area is available to scout groups and other organizations for reservation. The Group Camping Area can be reserved by reserving the Hickory Shelter House.

Park & Campground Development
Big Hollow is still undergoing development. Future plans for the area include a shower house & playground in 2018, followed by four lakefront rental cabins featuring wireless internet, indoor plumbing, & electricity and a concession stand at or near the beach. The continued development of Big Hollow will only progress as funding allows. Since most of the funding for the project must come from grants and private donations, YOU can help make the planned developments a reality. 

Canoeing & Kayaking Canoeing & Kayaking at Big Hollow Recreation Area

DMCC Environmental Education staff will be on Big Hollow Lake once a month from June thru October. Get out on the water for some paddling fun as we explore the lake. We will see birds, fish, and fall colors. A limited number of boats are available and space is limited. Registration for each event is required in advance. These events are free and open to all ages. To register call Starr’s Cave Nature Center: (319) 753-5808 two weeks prior to the event.

Dates for the Paddle in the Park can be found on the Starr's Cave Nature Center's Facebook page. 

Fishing Fishing at Big Hollow Recreation Area

Only a few years ago, the area that is now the lake was forest and trails; today, most of the trees still stand, their canopies rising above the water, making the lake a fish and wildlife haven like no other around. The lake features excellent bluegill, crappie, channel cat, and bass fishing opportunity either by boat or from the shore.

Download a topographic map of the lake with GPS locations of fish structures (PDF) 

For anglers looking for a quieter setting, Big Hollow Recreation Area offers numerous other small ponds within its borders, all of which offer great fishing opportunities throughout the year. 

Fishing Tournaments
If you are planning a fishing event at Big Hollow, you must apply for a permit with the DNR. We also require that groups contact the DMCC Administration Office at (319) 753-8260 so that scheduling conflicts may be avoided. 

Fishing Fishing at 4th Pumping Plant Recreation Area
The 4th Pumping Plant offers both lake and Mississippi River fishing opportunities with boat ramps available. The lake has a dock and fish cleaning station.
Hunting Hunting at Big Hollow Recreation Area
Big Hollow is open to public hunting and features quality deer, turkey, upland and small game hunting. The open lands are actively managed for upland game and the diversity of forest types on the property offer a variety of habitats for various woodland species. The extensive trail system throughout the area gives hunters access to parts far from main roads.
Other Activities Other Activities at Big Hollow Recreation Area

Observatory:
From spring through fall, the Witte Observatory near the park's entrance hosts public viewings the first and third Fridays of every month. The Observatory is operated by the Southeast Iowa Astronomy Club through a cooperative agreement with Des Moines County Conservation.

Model Airplane Field: 
The Burlington Model Airplane Club maintains the Polson Flying Field at Big Hollow for use by radio controlled airplane enthusiasts who are members of the Academy of Model Aeronautics. Find out more by visiting the club's website.

Shooting
Big Hollow Recreation Area is home to a 25, 50, 100, and 300 meter outdoor shooting range. Each of the ranges have a ten person covered firing line with wood and concrete benches. Membership is required to use the range and may be obtained by simply attending a short safety course offered several times throughout the year by DMCC staff. 

During the summer, the Flint River Bowhunters Club maintains a 3-D Archery course just outside the shooting range. Public shoots are hosted there once a month. Visit their website for more information.

Swimming Swimming at Big Hollow Recreation Area
The alcohol-free beach is a great family attraction during the summer months. It is situated just east of the boat ramp and is a short walk from the RV campground.
Trails & Hiking Trails & Hiking at Big Hollow Recreation Area

Big Hollow offers more than 10 miles of trails to explore through forest, prairie and along the lake. ​Some of the trails are equestrian accessible. Big Hollow also serves as the north terminal point of the multi-use Flint River Trail. 

Download Big Hollow Trail Map (PDF) or launch the GIS-based mapping application to find out more about the trails at Big Hollow.