Hickory Grove Park

Camping at Hickory Grove
Camping at Hickory Grove

Story County's Largest Park!

Hickory Grove Park is the largest and most popular of the conservation board's parks. This 445-acre multiple-use recreational area southwest of Colo contains a 98-acre lake stocked with largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie, channel catfish, and grass carp.

 ***** NOTICE:  Lake restoration work in progress. 

The interior portion of Hickory Grove Park and the east game area will be closed for 2019. This includes the entire lake, beach and swimming area, concessions, open shelter houses on the north side of the lake, Oriole Ridge Lodge, and all trails. No fishing or boating is allowed. Park visitors must obey signage and/or barricades during this actice construction period. 

Camping will be allowed at Breezy Bay and the primitive campground between Thursday, May 23 – Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019 ONLY.  Campers are restricted to the immediate campground only. 

Snow Bunting Lodge will be available for rent between May 23 – September 3, 2019 ONLY.  Activites are restricted to the immediate area.

Check our website at www.storycountyconservation.org for updates on the lake restoration project.


Public Hunting Brochure


Public Fishing Brochure


SCC Rules and Regulations


Located within central Iowa’s “Golden Triangle”, Hickory Grove Park is a 45-minute drive from Des Moines, Iowa’s capital, and 15 minutes from Ames, the location of Iowa State University. 

Hickory Grove Park lies southwest of Colo, Iowa between 670th and 690th avenues and between 250th and 255th streets.  The park is approximately twelve miles east of the intersection of U.S. Interstate 35 and U.S. Highway 30 and two miles west of the intersection of U.S. Highway 30 and U.S. Highway 65. 


  • 43 modern camping sites with electricity at Breezy Bay Campground within Hickory Grove Park; $17 per night per site - some sites are reservable - reservations are only available online - Camping Reservations
  • Shower house with flush toilets and hot water in Breezy Bay campground
  • Primitive campground on the south side of the lake; $12 per night per site - all sites are reservable - reservation are only available online - Camping Reservations
  • Concession stand with pedal boat and canoe rentals (open Memorial Day - Labor Day on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays from 12pm - 8pm).
  • Sand beach (no lifeguards on duty--swimming is at your own risk. There are no swimming fees charged.)
  • An alcohol free area exists on and around the beach from the north boat ramp (not including the ramp area) to and including the Supervised Youth Camping Area. No alcohol of any kind or size may be possessed or consumed .
  • Picnic sites with tables and grills
  • Two enclosed lodges with fireplaces, electrical outlets, outside grills, and water nearby (available by reservation; fee charged Oriole Ridge Lodge or Snow Bunting Lodge)
  • Five open picnic shelters (first-come, first-served)
  • Hiking trails
  • Boat ramps (electric motors only)
  • Fishing jetties
  • Fish cleaning station
  • Public hunting is allowed only in the two game management areas on the south side of the park (see map. No target practice is allowed. Only non-toxic ammunition is allowed.
  • Archery Range (no fee; first-come, first-served; no firearms; must bring own targets)
  • Winter activities including ice fishing, cross-county skiing, and snowmobiling

Operating Hours & Seasons

Park hours are 5:00 a.m.- 10:30 p.m. daily.


The area is open year round.  Campgrounds are closed November 1 - March 31.
  • Water and modern restrooms/shower facilities may be closed to prevent freezing

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