What a rush: Water spills over the dam at Beeds Lake State Park in north-central Iowa. Photo: Iowa DNR.
Get away from crowded public pools this summer and escape to a lake with a waterfall. Beads Lake State Park is one of Iowa’s hidden gems, a lesser-known state park just north of Hampton in Franklin County. Visitors can hike or bike the 2-mile trail along the shoreline, admire the scenery, and spot the human-made waterfall at the base of the dam.
The Iowa DNR allows boating, fishing and swimming in the lake, and the stone shelter near the beach houses a dining area, kitchen and restrooms. Visit the Iowa DNR website to learn more and reserve camping spots.