Pammel State Park- Winterset, Iowa


Pammel State Park- Winterset, Iowa one of the first State Parks to be established in Iowa and was originally dedicated in 1928.

Pammel is noted for its natural woodland beauty highlighted by it’s signature limestone ridge “backbone”. Some of the oldest recorded Oak trees anywhere in the State grow from the craggy surfaces of the “backbone”. All this natural beauty is graced with the meandering flow of Middle River. This is a 350 acre park.

Middle River Ford: The only means of access (within the park) to the west side of the park is by crossing the shallow water ford in Middle River. During normal flow levels vehicles can safely cross the ford which maintains a depth of 2” to 4”. The ford is closed during high water flows.

Campgrounds: There are two camping loops providing electrical and water service for 36 sites as well as a modern bathroom and shower facility and play equipment. There are also five "tent only" sites.

Yurt Cabins:

2-24 foot diameter Yurt cabins.
Sleeps 6. Air Conditioning/Heated.
Kitchenette. Electric stove, microwave, refrigerator and counter space.
Dining table and chairs.
Attached deck.

Lodge: Built in the 1920’s from oak logs harvested from the site, the Lodge with a large limestone fireplace offers a rustic and historic setting.

Trails: Nearly 5 miles of trails wind through the Pammel’s woodlands exploring the many diverse ecosystems created by the river, geology and plant life.

Harmon Tunnel: The only highway tunnel in Iowa , greets all visitors entering the park. The tunnel pierces the base of the limestone backbone and provides access to the remainder of the park facilities. Historical Note: In 1858 the tunnel was originally dug by William Harmon and his sons as a small chute to carry water diverted from Middle River to power a saw mill that was eventually converted to a grist mill. The mill was abandoned in 1904 and the tunnel expanded in size to allow vehicle traffic in 1925. The tunnel has since been expanded and reinforced to accommodate modern vehicles.

Location: Pammel Park is located 4 miles southwest of Winterset, Iowa. 50273
Directions: From Winterset travel west on State Highway 92 for 1 mile, turn south on State Highway 322 for 3 miles.

Phone: 515-462-3536


  1. SimplyStar says:

    The park of my childhood, I was born in 1930 in Winterset and this park was the place my family visited so many times. The ford was a thrill and so wa the tunnel.

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