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Black Hawk Lake

Rated 6th in Iowa lakes by Iowa Outdoor Magazine, Black Hawk Lake is a popular gathering place welcoming approximately 250,000 visitors annually. A 957-acre lake, it is the southernmost glacial lake in the United States.

With 50% of its shoreline accessible to the public, Black Hawk Lake hosts a variety of outdoor activities. The lake offers boating, fishing, camping and just general outdoor fun. On any given day during the summer you will find boaters, skiers and tubers enjoying the water. We have two campgrounds that offer boat ramps, swimming areas and playgrounds.

After starting a $27 million lake renovation project with a fish kill in late 2012, the lake has been restocked and offers anglers a large selection of walleye, bass, muskie, crappie, perch, bluegill, catfish and bullheads. In use all year long, winter activities on the lake include ice fishing, snowmobiling and skating.


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. We have four boat ramp sites for easy public access: Town Bay, Ice House Point, 30 Acres Campground and the Marina. Promoting safe boating, Town Bay has a loaner life jacket shed that offers a free life jacket to anyone that may need an extra jacket before they hit the water. Jackets are available in a variety of sizes and can be used while boating on Black Hawk Lake. Once you are done, all you have to do is return them to the shed.


A hot spot for area campers, Black Hawk Lake has two campgrounds. Camp Crescent is located closest to Lake View on Third Street, adjacent to Town Bay and offers amenities that include cement pads, sand volleyball courts, playground equipment, Crescent Beach, a concession stand and a 19-hole mini-golf course along the shores of Black Hawk Lake. Thirty Acres Campground offers a more serene camping experience. Located on the south side of the lake, it has a more natural, secluded setting. Amenities there include a sand volleyball court, playground equipment and horseshoe pits. The park’s historic shelter house was constructed during the Great Depression by the C.C.C. using native field stone. Both campgrounds have boat ramps and unsupervised, marked swimming areas.

Swimming Areas

Swimming is a popular summer pastime at Black Hawk Lake. There are two larger public beaches with unsupervised, designated swimming areas: Crescent Beach and 30 Acres State Campground. Crescent Beach has a loaner life jacket station for young children that may need a little extra help in the water. Located near the dock along the beach, it works just like the life jacket shed in Town Bay. Just take a jacket from the stand and return it once you are done.