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Pammel State Park

Cabins Cabins at Pammel State Park
There are two 24’ diameter Yurt style cabins. Yurt cabins are soft-sided structures that are commonly found in the western United States and are of a unique design to provide comfort in a more versatile setting. Our Yurt cabins sleep 8 people and are air-conditioned & heated. Each cabin has a small kitchenette that includes an electric stove/oven, microwave, refrigerator, counter space and cabinets. Other furnishings include two sets of bunk beds (double-bed on bottom, single-bed on top), a sleeper sofa and a kitchen table and chairs. An exterior deck is attached to each cabin, along with a hooded BBQ grill, ground-fire ring and water hydrant. Cabin renters must use the bathrooms in campgrounds.
Camping Camping at Pammel State Park
Pammel Park campgrounds have 36 designated modern sites providing electrical and water hookups. There are also 5 tent-only sites. Modern bathrooms and showers are also provided along with play equipment. Dump station provided.
Canoeing & Kayaking Canoeing & Kayaking at Pammel State Park
Canoe/Kayak accesses are available at the Middle River Ford. Some campers put in at the ford and canoe the “horse-shoe” section of the river and take out at the bridge by the main entrance (30 minutes). 
Fishing Fishing at Pammel State Park
River Fishing in Middle River: Catfish (Channel, Blue and Flathead) is excellent, especially below the ford following heavy flows.
Geocaching Geocaching at Pammel State Park
Geocache ​boxes are located along the Backbone Trail and the Lodge Trail. Coordinates are available on our website at
Historic Visits Historic Visits at Pammel State Park
Harmon Tunnel: The only highway tunnel in Iowa , greets all visitors entering the park. The tunnel pierces the base of the limestone backbone and provides access to the remainder of the park facilities. Historical Note: In 1858 the tunnel was originally dug by William Harmon and his sons as a small chute to carry water diverted from Middle River to power a saw mill that was eventually converted to a grist mill. The mill was abandoned in 1904 and the tunnel expanded in size to allow vehicle traffic in 1925. The tunnel has since been expanded and reinforced to accommodate modern vehicles.

Middle River & Limestone Backbone: Middle River makes a great horse-shoe loop in the park. The dividing wall is called the backbone which is a natural limestone ridge over 100 feet high. When standing atop the backbone directly over the tunnel, you can see Middle River flow in all four directions. The geology of the backbone is as extensive as the plant life and well worth exploring.

Middle River Ford: Built in the 1920’s, the ford is the only means of vehicle access (within the park) to the west side of the park. During normal river flow levels, vehicles can safely cross the ford which maintains a depth of 2” to 4”. The ford has provided countless hours of recreation for many generations of park visitors who love to wade, splash and fish in and around the structure. The ford is closed during high water flows and icy conditions during winter months.
Picnicking Picnicking at Pammel State Park
Three separate picnic areas are located near the main entrance of the park, as well as around the Lodge and north of the campground on the backbone. A small one-table shelter is located near the ford.
Trails & Hiking Trails & Hiking at Pammel State Park
Nearly 5 miles of trails wind through Pammel’s woodlands exploring the many diverse ecosystems created by the river, geology and plant life. Three separate trail systems are located in the park. The Backbone Trail has trail heads at both ends of the tunnel as well as atop the backbone near the Backbone Shelter. The Lodge Trail has trail heads near the bathrooms and play equipment. The Interpretive Trail begins on the north side of the park road directly across from the Lodge.