A 234-acre park to experience nature at its finest. Experience nature while walking one of the many trails, visiting the deer pen, sitting at the butterfly garden, fishing, or swimming in the lake!
One of the oldest parks in the county conservation board system, it is also the largest and most popular park belonging to the Howard County Conservation Board. This scenic park includes a 54-acre man-made lake and serves as a multiple use area offering a wide variety of outdoor opportunities. Activities include fishing, picnicking, biking, camping, canoeing and boating (electric engines only), a 150-foot beach for swimming (unsupervised), nature trails, and cross country skiing along with an archery range, softball diamond, and playground equipment.
The park opens each day at 6:00 am and closes at 10:30 pm and is open to camping from May to October. A park ranger resides on the premises year-round and may be reached at 641-985-2127.
- Camping: Learn More
- Picnicking: Several areas are provided with picnic facilities including shelters, tables, fire rings, trash containers, and toilets. Two shelter houses are available: the large shelter is located in the lower campground with the smaller shelter in the upper campground. Reservations are available at no cost, but please note that reservations are not accepted on major holiday weekends. Please contact the park ranger at 641-985-2127 for shelter reservations.
- Fishing: Lake Hendricks experienced a fish kill during the winter of 1995-1996. Fingerling bluegill and catfish were stocked in the fall of 1996. Large mouth bass were stocked in the spring of 1997. The lake is managed for these three species. Introduction of other species can alter the proper balance of fish, and because of this it is illegal for the public to stock any fish in Lake Hendricks.
- Swimming: A large sand beach is located on the west side of the lake. This is the only area where swimming or wading is allowed. The beach is not supervised. Parents are urged to watch children closely. The beach hours are from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
- Hiking/Nature Study: Several hiking trails have been established, including a 0.4 mile self-guided nature trail. Hikers should wear neutral colored clothing and walk quietly in order to view as much wildlife as possible. Also the Wapsi-Great Western Line Trail runs through Lake Hendricks.
- Archery: A field archery range is located at the northeast corner of Lake Hendricks Park and is managed by the Riceville Archer’s Club. Ranger users are to abide by the safety rules and regulations of the course at all times.
The idea for Lake Hendricks Park first began in the autumn of 1951 when K.K. “Buck” Hendricks had asked a couple of friends to accompany him on a walk in “Hendricks Woods”. During their walk, Buck expressed an interest in preserving the area for future generations.
During the period of 1958-60, the Howard County Conservation Board and the Mitchell County Conservation Board began planning the establishment of Lake Hendricks Park. The Army Corps of Engineers assisted with the design and specification of the dam. Local volunteers completed most of the construction of the lake bed.
Today Lake Hendricks Park is Howard County’s largest and most popular park. This 234-acre park is one of the oldest in the county conservation board system and the largest man-made lake in Iowa.