Black Hawk Lake, a 957-acre lake under the jurisdiction of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, is the southernmost glacial lake in the United States. It was formed by movement of huge masses of ice 14,000 years ago.
The lake offers a wide variety of activities, from camping, boating, fishing and swimming in the summer to skating, snowmobiling, and ice fishing in the winter. Fifty percent of the shoreline is accessible to the public. Black Hawk Lake hosts around 250,000 visitors annually.
The recently formed Black Hawk Lake Protective Association (BHLPA) is a strong unified voice for preserving and protecting valuable natural resources. With a mission to engage area homeowners, farmers, landowners, businesses and users of Black Hawk Lake to advocate and promote the general welfare of Black Hawk Lake and the surrounding environment, the BHLPA is the "voice of the lake."
The non-profit organization works with federal, state and local authorities to protect Black Hawk Lake's ecology with respect to water quality and its natural populations of fish, waterfowl and other wildlife. Membership is open to all who are interested. Visit their website to learn more.
Black Hawk Lake is a premier destination for recreational boaters. During any given day during the summer season, the waters of Black Hawk are well-populated with boaters, skiers and tubers. There are four boat ramp sites for public access: Town Bay, Ice House Point, 30 Acres Campground and the Marina.
Swimming is also a popular summer pastime. There are two beaches with designated swimming areas: Crescent Beach and the 30 Acres Campground. Crescent Beach is staffed with lifeguards from 1-6 p.m. daily during the summer months. There are many public parks with sand beaches, including Sac Beach on the northeast portion of the lake and Denison Beach on the north side.
Black Hawk Lake is also a regular destination for area anglers. Channel catfish, walleye and yellow bass are abundant in many areas of the lake. Watch for the crowd fishing off the West Stone Pier - that means the perch and blue gills are are biting! In addition to the Stone Piers, other popular fishing locations include Ice House Point and the handicap-accessible dock in Town Bay. Another local fishing hole is Lake Arrowhead, with public access entrances just south of Lake View.
Another popular local fishing hold is Lake Arrowhead. South of Lake View are several abandoned gravel pits that have been transformed into park lands and Lake Arrowhead is the largest of these pits. These pits offer excellent fishing, but boats with electric trolling motors only are allowed on Arrowhead. Both Lake Arrowhead and Black Hawk Lake are popular spots for ice fishing during the winter months.