Economic Development & Tourism

Yellow River State Forest
729 State Forest Rd, Harpers Ferry, IA 52146 View Map

563.586.2254 563.586.2090 Website
Rylan Retallick Email
Yellow River State Forest

Yellow River State Forest in northeast Iowa is located in the driftless area that escaped the glaciers during the most recent ice ages. The result was extremely hilly terrain now known as the "Little Switzerland" of Iowa. The Paint Creek Unit has over 25 miles of hiking, bicycling, and equestrian trails. In winter, some trails are open to snowmobiles and cross country skiers. Except for the campgrounds, the entire state forest is open for hunting. Our 176 campsites are open year round and will accommodate tents, trailers, and RV's.

  • Big Paint Creek Campground has 48 sites.
  • Little PaintCreek Campground has 80 sites
  • Equestrian Campground has 40 sites. ($3/per night extra for equestrian sites); and
  • 1 Cabin rental

Iowa state parks has a new cabin available for rent at Yellow River State Forest in Harper's Ferry.

The one-bedroom camping cabin sleeps six people and has two porches, including one that is screened-in. Amenities include a refrigerator, microwave, heating/air conditioning, and a wood fireplace. Camping cabins do not have running water so there is not a bathroom or shower; however, a hydrant outside the cabin provides drinking water. The cabin is located near the park office and is available to rent for two-night minimum stays for $35/night plus taxes. The rental season is April 15 - October 31 and the cabin can be reserved 12 months in advance.

Yellow River Forest in northeast Iowa has 8,500 acres and is a destination for trout fishing, hiking, hunting and more. The park features more than 25 miles of trails perfect for backpackers and equestrians.

Iowa state parks offer more than 90 cabins in 20 state parks and forests, ranging from yurts to modern family cabins that sleep up to 14. Reservations can be made at or by calling 1-877-427-2757.

Visit to reserve your site.

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