Otter Creek Lake & Park

Enjoy beautiful sunsets over Otter Creek Lake
Enjoy beautiful sunsets over Otter Creek Lake
Tama County Nature Center at Otter Creek Lake and Park
Tent camping section at Otter Creek Lake & Park
RV Camping at Otter Creek Lake and Park

Great kids fishing at Otter Creek Lake
Wow Mom- What kind of bird is that?
Many different activities occur at Otter Creek Lake and Park
The Nature Center is a popular site for weddings

Lake Restoration Project Update at Otter Creek Lake & Park 5/13/2022: Due to a delay with the Otter Creek Lake Restoration Project, have temporarily opened the park for camping and foot traffic. Please read the information provided below before camping at Otter Creek Lake & Park.

Campground opening includes; Camping at the North & South Campgrounds, Camper’s Hill Campgrounds, and the Beach Front Campgrounds. All units (including tents) are $20 per site, per night. You may pay for multiple nights. If asked to leave early, you will not be refunded. We are NOT accepting any payments for Camping Coupon Books for the 2022 camping season ONLY. We WILL resume Camping Coupon Books following the Lake Restoration in 2023. While Camping at Otter Creek Lake & Park, you are an AT-WILL CAMPER. Due to the lake restoration delay, you will be given 24 hour notice to leave your camping spot once construction beings. Otherwise, your camper will be towed at owner’s expense. Access to our Dump Station is closed at this time.

Foot traffic opening includes; access to the Exhibit inside the Nature Center during business hours, picnic shelters, walking trails located on the east and north of the park, and public restrooms. Due to safety concerns, the west side of the park is currently closed. This closure includes; access to the dam, boat launch, lake bed, and west-side walking trails.

We are currently not taking any reservations for the Nature Center at this time. We will start accepting Nature Center reservations for 2023 starting on August 1st, 2022.

For questions regarding Otter Creek Lake & Park, call us by phone at: 641-484-2231.

We also encourage you to check out other camping opportunities Tama County has to offer by visiting T.F. Clark's Park in Traer, Iowa.

Click Here! To view current areas that are open and closed at Otter Creek Lake & Park. 

Click Here! To view and download the Public Information Sheet that was provided during the Public Meeting held on 4/13/2021 via Zoom.

Click Here! To view the 2015 Otter Creek Watershed Plan.

Click Here! To view the map of the improvements that will be made to Otter Creek Lake during the Lake Restoration Project. 

Click Here! To view the map of the overall watershed improvements for the Lake Restoration Project. 


Otter Creek Lake & Park is the largest and most heavily used facility managed by the Conservation Board.

The original park property, purchased during the late 1960’s, measured 277 acres and currently houses a multi-use recreation facility accommodating camping, fishing, picnicking, hiking, playground activities, swimming, boating, and nature observation. Otter Creek Lake and Park has seen an expansion project,  the Hansen Addition, starting in 2007. Additional property immediately adjacent to the park to its east, north and partially down its west side has been added bringing the current park acreage to 529 acres.

The park also serves as the headquarters for the office and maintenance operations of the Conservation Board and the home of the Tama County Nature Center.
The park serves as host site for many activities such as the N.R.C.S. Conservation Field Day, scouting day camps, school field trips, and youth fishing seminars. It will be the host site for ongoing environmental education activities as construction is completed on the Nature Center and on-site environmental education curriculum is developed.


This 529 acre park is located 6 miles northeast of Toledo in Secs. 30 & 31, Carroll Township,

Tama County Conservation Board
2283 Park Road
Toledo,  IA  52342
Phone:  (641) 484-2231
Fax: Same


Existing facilities include:

  • Seventy (70) acre lake hosting quality fishing, boating, and swimming.
  • Two open air shelters with approx. capacity of 72 persons each.
  • Electric camp section with 65 unit capacity.
  • Tent section with 18 sites, 45 tent capacity
  • Swimming beach offered at no charge
  • Picnicking. Tables to entertain up to 400 persons
  • Concrete boat ramp providing safe and convenient access to lake
  • Fish cleaning station located next to boat ramp
  • Sanitary dump station for trailer units using campground
  • Modern showerhouse (for campers)
  • Six vault latrines scattered throughout park
  • Two acre native prairie (never tilled by man)
  • Headquarters for maintenance operations
  • Two play areas with assorted play equipment including swings, jungle gyms, spring toys, slides.
  • 3.0 mile loop scenic hiking trail around lake
  • Handicap access provides safe and easy access to beach play area.
  • Tama County Nature Center, still under construction, houses main office, nearing completion, 5,600 sq. ft. on main floor, 2,600 sq. ft. in basement, handicap accessible building. The Nature Center is popular for social events including weddings, receptions, family reunions, and workshops.
  • Visitors kiosk with vending machine is located directly south of the concrete boat landing.

Operating Hours & Seasons

Otter Creek Park is a year round facility for certain activities. Operating hours are 4 a.m. to 10:30 p.m..