Outdoor enthusiasts living in the Iowa area will definitely not want to miss Black Hawk State Park. This beautiful and scenic park lies just off the southeastern tip of Sac County’s town of Lake View. A little known fact is that Black Hawk Lake was originally formed by glaciers thousands of years ago. The lake area is over 950 acres and is adjacent to Black Hawk State Park. The park provides many services to those living within the town of Lake View, as well as those visiting the area. Numerous outdoor recreation opportunities are also available for those vacationing close to the park.
An interesting History
Black Hawk Lake, as well as the state park itself, have a long and intriguing history dating back to 1828. This was the year president John Quincy Adams made a formal declaration that all land east of the Mississippi must be made available to settlers moving westward to live. Naturally, this forced some of Indian tribes further west. Chief Black Hawk, from whom the lake got its name, as well as over 2,000 of his tribe refused to leave the area, which resulted in the famous “Black Hawk War.” Another interesting, but obscure fact, is that future President Abraham Lincoln fought in this war where he commanded a detachment of Illinois soldiers. In the summer of 1832, at Bad Ax River in Wisconsin, the Indians were defeated.
The legacy of Chief Black Hawk still lives on in areas such as Black Hawk State Park, as is evidenced by its name. The park was created in 1935, and many of the park’s structures were constructed by members of the Civilian Conservation Corps.
Picnicking and Cookouts
Black Hawk State Park offers numerous picnicking areas that are clean and well cared for. They are enjoyed by vacationers, and locals alike. Many people travel to the park each summer to enjoy cookouts, family reunions, and church or civic group gatherings. There are many areas of the park which offer sheltered picnicking, and most of these sites overlook the lake. They are also available for private rental and may be reserved through the park manager for a reasonable fee.
The Black Hawk State Park campground caters to a great number of families and individuals each year. The camping area is quite large and is capable of accommodating almost 200 camping units. There are 70 campsites which feature electrical hookup, rest room facilities, and modern showers.
A Frisbee golf course is situated in close proximity to the campsites for those who wish to participate in some fun-filled exercise. The area also boasts two volleyball courts, as well as a spacious playground for children of all ages. Swing-sets, jungle gyms, and merry go rounds can be enjoyed by young and old alike.
Boating and Fishing
Fishing is a favorite activity on Black Hawk Lake. Sunfish, bluegills, walleyes, crappies, channel catfish, and several types of bass offer a fishing challenge to anglers of all ages. Boat ramps are provided on the lake by the Iowa Department of Natural. Three of which are situated within the Park. Swimming is allowed, however, there are no lifeguards on duty, so one must swim at his or her own risk.
The Severson Nature Trails offer guests an opportunity to learn about various trees and shrubs which grow in the park. Hikers on the trail frequently see a variety of animals in their natural habitat, including waterfowl, songbirds, and deer. One can participate in hiking adventures year round, and during the summer season, guided tours are frequently available.
Many hotels in the area offer special rates for those who wish to center their vacation around Black Hawk State Park, and upon request, such rates can be acquired. Season passes to the park are also available, but prices are subject to change, so one should inquire about rates in the park’s office.
Those who desire further information about the park can visit www.iowadnr.gov/parks/state_park_list/black_hawk.html