Lake Manawa State Park in Council Bluffs, Iowa

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The park's 1,529 acres encompass a 772-acre lake. Lake Manawa was formed during a flood in 1881 when a portion of the river channel was cut off by the meandering of the Missouri River. Over the years, the resulting "oxbow" lake, became an outdoor recreation center for visitors. "Manawa" is a Native American term meaning "peace and comfort."

Lake Manawa is the main boating spot in the Omaha/Council Bluffs area. Boat motors of any size may be operated on the lake. It is also a favorite spot for anglers. Good catches of crappies, bluegills, catfish, bass and walleye are expected.

Lake Manawa is a good place for swimmers and sunbathers although some recent visitor reviews were not that great.

Lake Manawa State Park is located 2 1/2 miles south of Interstate 80 (Exit 3) at Council Bluffs, Iowa. It is located 2 1/2 miles west of Interstate 29 (Exit 47).

Places to visit in the park:
- beach
- Dream Playground wooden castle
- Kaplin monument

Photos on Flickr.

Lake Manawa State Park. Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
Canvas can do miracles: Sailboaters offer free taste of liberty. Omaha Herald, 07/2007.
Lake Manawa Sailing Association Iowa.
Lake Manawa Beach: Traveler Reviews
Contact Information: 1100 South Shore Drive, Council Bluffs, IA 51501, ph. 712/366-0220, fax 712/366-0474.
Map of the park (PDF).
Lake Manawa is on Iowa’s impaired waters list, 2010.

Updated: 04/21/2010

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