This picturesque 1,062-acre park is located 3 miles west of Tiffin on Highway 6 is one of Iowa’s premier county parks and one of the nicest you will find anywhere.
A 27-acre lake, which contains catfish, large mouth bass, bluegill, and crappie, provides the angler with many fine hours of fishing enjoyment.
Come and explore the prairies, forests and wetlands, camp or enjoy a swim after an afternoon of fishing, hiking or participating in any of the other activities at F.W. Kent Park.
The Kent Park Family Campground was voted the BEST PLACE TO CAMP in a public opinion poll conducted in 2002 by the Iowa City Press Citizen. Best known for its secluded campsites, the campground features 86 electric (30 & 50 amp service) with pit toilets and shower facilities that include flush toilets. Individual vehicle campsite pads are black topped and feature a picnic table and ground fire ring. Firewood is available for purchase and there is a sanitary dump station nearby.
All sites are $20.00 per night. No reservations are required for campsites; they are all on a first come first serve basis. Campground hosts reside on the site from mid-May through mid-September. Rangers periodically patrol the area. The park closes at 10:30 PM and opens at sunrise. Closing hours are rigidly enforced for your protection.
A wetland wastewater treatment system serves the shower house/restroom. This environmentally friendly system utilizes native plants to naturally process wastewater. It is another extension of the Board's commitment to environmental education. This type of system is applicable to home use in areas not served by municipal sewer systems.
Kent Park Beach is open 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. daily from the first Saturday after Memorial Day through Labor Day. The beach is NOT lifeguard-supervised. Swim at your own risk.
- Conservation Education Center
The Conservation Education Center is utilized year-round for educational programs and workshops. Current programs include prairie hikes, fishing clinics, programs on specific outdoor skills, day camps, weekend workshops, and much more. Youth and adult groups can work with the JCC naturalist to schedule conservation-related programs in this building. Many educational materials are available for checkout by group leaders. Insect nets, aquatic study equipment, binoculars and other materials are available. For further details contact the naturalist at (319) 645-1011.
One half of the building has been converted to a hands-on learning center featuring interactive displays, dioramas, a wildlife viewing area and many other interesting features. It is open to the public.
Over thirteen miles of hiking trails featuring grassed and crushed rock surfaces run through Kent Park's many native communities. The crushed rock trail around the lake provides anglers with access to the entire shoreline. In the winter some of the trails can be used for cross country skiing.
Seven historic country road bridges have been relocated to Kent Park and utilized on the trail around the 27-acre lake.
- Youth Group Camp
The Youth Group Camp is available for organized youth groups for day or overnight use. A large enclosed shelter building and five campsites are available by permit use only. Call (319) 645-2315 for reservations.
Six open shelters are available. Four of those may be reserved. Call (319) 645-2315 for reservations.
Picnic tables and fire grills are also available throughout Kent Park.
A large handicap accessible playground is located immediately adjacent to the Bluebird picnic shelter. All of the equipment in the playground is made of recycled or recyclable materials. It was funded in part with a grant from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Solid Waste Alternatives Program (SWAP). It is both a play area and outdoor classroom that teaches users the value of practicing the Three R's - REDUCE, REUSE and RECYCLE. A playground was added to the F.W. Kent Park campground to provide campers and their children with better access to a playground structure. This playground is located near the shower house at the campground and is accessible throughout the camping season.
- Boat Ramp
The Boat Ramp is available at the lake for fishing, small boating, canoeing, kayaking, and paddleboarding.
Gasoline boat motors and sailboats are not permitted to operate on the lake.
- Park History
- More than one quarter million trees have been planted in Kent Park since 1970.
Originally, much of Kent Park was hill prairie covered with a diverse variety of native grasses and forbs (wildflowers). Extensive efforts have been made to restore and enhance the native prairie with the use of prescribed fire management. Native species have been enhanced or planted throughout the park. Eighty additional acres, on the west side of the park, have been restored to native vegetation. This parcel was planted with a mix of the local ecotype grasses and forb seed which have been harvested from existing prairies in the Park.