Big Sioux Recreation Area

Picnic table along the waters edge.
Fishing Jetty
Big Sioux Recreation Area

This 270 acre area containing 90 acres of surface water was added to the Sioux County Conservation Management plan in 2009. There are many habitats that can be found here from the prairie, forest, and wetland. Located on the south west edge of Hawarden, Iowa it is an easy jaunt to visit. During bird migration season this area can supply hours of bird watching from the many eagles viewed to many other waterfowl looking for a place to rest.

This park also offers overnight camping of 35 sites in two separate camping areas. All sites have electrical and water service, there are a dozen sites with sewer available as well. Sites are primarily gravel pads, with a few having concrete. All sites have fire rings with grill grates and picnic table.

Unique to this area is a swimming beach for those wishing to take a dip in the lake. Swimming is restricted to the marked area only and children under the age of 14 must have parental supervision. There are canoes, kayaks and paddle boards available for rent at this area as well. For the fisherman there are many species that may be found on the end of your line in the lake. Fish that may be found may include: Bluegill, Catfish, Crappie, Largemouth Bass, Perch, Smallmouth Bass, and Walleye.

Entrance fee is required upon entering the park. Annual passes are good for the current calendar year and are $20 per vehicle. Additional passes are available for those of same household for $10 per vehicle. Annual passes are valid at both Sandy Hollow Recreation Area and Big Sioux Recreation Area. Day passes are $5 per vehicle.


Big Sioux Recreation Area
84 w. 10th street
Hawarden, IA 51023

Click here for map.


  • Biking
  • Bird Watching
  • Boat Ramp Access to the lake
  • Boating (lake, no wake)
  • Camping (50, 30, 20 amp)-fee charged
  • Canoe, Kayak, Paddle board Rental
  • Dump station and water refill for campers
  • Fishing/Ice Fishing
  • Hiking Trails- groomed/blaze your own
  • Hunting-primitive weapon only, in marked location
  • Modern Restroom Facilities- open seasonally
  • Open Air Picnic Shelters
  • Picnicking
  • Playground Equipment- Eagle View Campground
  • Winter Activities

Operating Hours & Seasons

Open daily from 7 am- 10:30 pm


Campgrounds and modern restrooms closed late October to mid April.