Minne Estema Park

Fishing boat at Minne Estema
Fishing boat at Minne Estema
Minne Estema Access
Boat Launch
Cedar River

Shelter Pavilion
Quiet campground
Remote Camping

Minne Estema Park:

A historic river park, owned by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and managed by Benton County Conservation Board, located 8 miles north of Vinton, IA on the Cedar River.  Once home to a thriving summertime getaway, Minne Estema no longer offers river-boat rides but is a beautiful location for your next camping trip.  With river access and secluded campsites, you are sure to love Minne Estema!

Park History:

Minne Estema Recreation Area is one of BCCB’s smaller gems of Benton County offering 11 campsites, a shelter house, and a boat ramp to access the Cedar River. Located north of Vinton, IA in northern Benton County, Minne Estema was originally developed to be a resort along the Cedar River. There is also Native American history associated with this area, therefore it was given the name Minne Estema, meaning “sleeping waters”. 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, one day was $1.00. Guests spending Sunday at the resort were served dinner for 50 cents.  


Minne Estema Park
5261 24th Ave. Drive
Vinton, Iowa 52349

Find us in East-Central Iowa:

From Cedar Rapids: ~36 miles NW
From Des Moines: ~60 miles E
From I-380 (Urbana): ~10 miles W
I-80: ~49 miles N

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


Minne Estema (River Park):

  • 63 acre park (rolling hills, tree-lined trails, and prairie and wetland restoration projects in progress)
  • 12 Campsites (10 with electric; 2 without electric)
  • Pit toilet
  • Drinking water
  • Boat ramp (motor and canoe)
  • Fishing (shoreline and river access)
  • Shelter/Pavilion
  • Picnic areas
  • Playground
  • Hiking
+ Park managed and patrolled by Ranger Layla Hagen 319-560-9802