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part ofSaylorville Lake, US Army Corps of Engineers
Status: Open through Mon Sep 07 2015   Season Dates


Acorn Valley Campground is located on the 26,000-acre Saylorville Lake Project, which stretches over 50 miles up the Des Moines River Valley.

The lake provides a wide variety of recreational activities, including boating, swimming, fishing, hiking and hunting.

Natural Features:

The mature Bur Oaks at the entrance to Acorn Valley beckons visitors to explore its 26 acres on the fringe of an upland timber stand.

Wildlife is abundant throughout the project. White-tailed deer, turkeys, pheasants, waterfowl and other small game animals roam the lands around the lake.


Anglers enjoy the lake for its abundance of walleye, wiper, largemouth bass, catfish, crappie and northern pike.

The paved Neal Smith Trail winds 24 miles from Des Moines to Big Creek State Park and connects the campgrounds on the east side of the lake. It is designated as a National Recreation Trail and is used for biking, hiking, jogging, walking and in-line skating.


The campground offers 29 family sites with electric hookups and 58 primitive walk-to tent sites. The campground also features a youth group camping area with special restrictions to organized youth. Amenities include flush toilets, showers, drinking water and a dump station.

Nearby facilities include picnic areas with group shelters, boat ramps, a marina and a fishing dock.

Activities and Amenities

Within Facility
  • Accessible Flush Toilets
  • Accessible Showers
  • Drinking Water
  • Dump Station
  • Educational Programs
  • Electric Hookups
  • Entrance Station
  • Fishing
  • Grills
  • Hiking
  • Picnic Area
  • Playground
  • Recycling
  • Showers
  • Trash Collection
Within 10 Miles
  • Baseball Fields
  • Boat Ramp
  • Boating
  • Disc Golf
  • Firewood
  • Fish Cleaning Stations
  • Fishing Dock
  • Golf
  • Horseback Riding Trails
  • Hunting
  • Marina
  • Mountain Biking
  • Picnic Shelters
  • Sailing
  • Shooting Range
  • Swimming
  • Visitor Center
  • Volleyball Courts
  • Water Skiing
  • Wildlife Viewing
Know Before You Go
  • No out-of-state firewood permitted
  • Click here for more information
  • Click here for a virtual tour of the Saylorville Lake area.

  • Don't Move Firewood: Protect your forests from tree-killing pests by buying your firewood locally and burning it on-site. Visit Dontmovefirewood.org for further information.

Getting There:

GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
41.73778, -93.72361
41°44'16"N, 93°43'25"W

From I-35/80 north of Des Moines, Iowa, take exit 131 toward Johnston/Saylorville Lake. Turn north on Merle Hay Road and continue for 2.8 miles. At the four-way stop, turn left on Northwest Beaver Drive and continue for 3.7 miles. Turn right onto Northwest Coryden Drive and follow signs into the campground.

Contact Information:

Mailing Address:

5600 NW 78TH AVE
JOHNSTON  IA  50131-1941

Phone Number:

Information:  (515)276-0429
Discover and reserve camping, lodging, permits, tours and more at America's parks, forests, monuments and other public lands with Recreation.gov. Learn more about us, or about any of our agency partners below:
Bureau of Land Management Federal Highway Administration National Oceanic Atmosphere Administration Smithsonian Institution USDA Forest Service US Army Corps of Engineers US Fish and Wildlife Service National Park Service Bureau of Engraving and Printing Tennessee Valley Authority Bureau of Reclamation National Archives Records Administration