Geode State Park
is a state park
State parks are parks or other protected areas managed at the federated state level within those nations which use "state" as a political subdivision. State parks are typically established by a state to preserve a location on account of its natural beauty, historic interest, or recreational...
Iowa is a state located in the Midwestern United States, an area often referred to as the "American Heartland". It derives its name from the Ioway people, one of the many American Indian tribes that occupied the state at the time of European exploration. Iowa was a part of the French colony of New...
, USA, border Henry County
-2010 census:The 2010 census recorded a population of 20,145 in the county, with a population density of . There were 8,280 housing units, of which 7,666 were occupied.-2000 census:...
and Des Moines County
-2010 census:The 2010 census recorded a population of 40,325 in the county, with a population density of . There were 18,535 housing units, of which 17,003 were occupied.-2000 census:...
It is managed by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is a department/agency of the U.S. state of Iowa charged with maintaining state parks and forests; protecting the environment; and managing energy, fish, wildlife, land resources, and water resources of Iowa.The Mission Statement: To conserve and enhance...
. While it is named for Iowa's state rock, the geode
Geodes are geological secondary sedimentary structures which occur in sedimentary and certain volcanic rocks. Geodes are essentially spherical masses of mineral matter that were deposited sygenetically within the rock formations they are found in. Geodes have a Chalcedony shell containing...
, few can be found in the park. A display of geodes, with their mysterious crystal formations in their hollow cavities, can be seen at the park office. It is illegal to remove geodes from state parks.
The prime attraction of the 1,640-acre park is Lake Geode, a 187-acre lake built in 1950. Over the years, the lake has become well known for excellent fishing for largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie, channel catfish, bullhead, red-eared sunfish.
Geode State Park joined the Iowa park system in 1937. The spot along the Skunk River had long been a local picnicking spot.
Originally local groups raised $4,800 to purchase 143 acres. .Civilian Conservation Corps moved onto the grounds to begin clearing trees, creating roads and building structures. In 1947, civilian construction workers returned and building resumed.
In 1951, the lake, beach and CCC-reminiscent beach house were dedicated. Also opened at the time was an airstrip, making Geode the only park that invited travelers to arrive by private plane. The strip has been closed since.
On Saturday, July 25, 2009, a RAGBRAI
RAGBRAI is an acronym for Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa. It is a non-competitive bicycle ride across Iowa that draws recreational riders from across the United States and overseas. They ride from a community on Iowa's western border to a community on Iowa's eastern border,...
participant, Donald D. Myers from Rolla, Missouri, died from injuries sustained in a crash at the bottom of the hill near Geode Lake dam at Geode State Park. He was the fourth RAGBRAI participant to die while riding a bicycle on RAGBRAI.
Some places in the area have been reported to be infested with Timber Rattlesnakes.
Nearby towns are Burlington, 15 miles (24.1 km) to the east; New London, 6 miles (9.7 km) north; Danville, 6 miles (9.7 km) northeast; Middletown, 6 miles (9.7 km) east; and Lowell, at the park's southeast corner.
The park may be reached from Middletown on Iowa 79 or from Lowell on County Road J-20.