This 297-acre park includes a 25-acre lake (newly renovated) as well as a 7-acre pond. Around five miles of hiking trails transverse the woodlands, restored prairie, and wetland habitat. A playground area, swimming beach, and sand volleyball court are near the enclosed pavilion which is a popular family reunion location. Two rental cabins are available for staying overnight along with several camping sites.
While the park is open through the night to campers, visitors should leave by 10:30 p.m. Quiet hours are from 9 p.m. to 8 a.m. Generators are not permitted to run during quiet time.
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Park Hours4:30am to 10:30pm
Location12515 Central Park Rd.
Center Junction, IA 52212
Map · Central Park
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you take reservations for campsites?
We do not take reservations for our campsites. Campers simply register at the campground kiosk centers upon arrival.
When is Central Park Campground open?
Water and electricity are turned on from April 15 through October 15 — weather dependent. Primitive camping is available year-round.
What are the park hours?
Park hours are 4:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. (Visitors should leave the park by 10:30 p.m.) Quiet time begins at 9 p.m. and goes through 8 a.m.
How do I register for a campsite?
Once at our park, you select any open campsite and set up your tent or wheeled camping unit depending on the type of site selected. Sites that include two or three utility services per site (Sites #1-25) are required to have a wheeled camping unit set up on site. A tent or wheeled camping unit is permitted on all other sites. See the Central Park Map for site locations.
You must register at the information kiosks located in the camping areas within one hour of set up. Complete the provided registration slip, enclose your payment, and deposit in the registration payment box. Place the other half of your registration slip in the post at your campsite.
How long can you stay at one site?
The maximum length of consecutive days at one site allowed is 14 days. Campers are then required to vacate that campsite for a minimum of 48 hours.
How many tents are allowed on each primitive campsite?
One additional small tent is allowed with a wheeled camping unit site or primitive site at no extra cost. One additional tent may be placed on a registered primitive campsite for a fee of $4.
Are boat motors allowed on Central Park Lake?
You can have a motor on your boat but you are not allowed to use gas motors on the lake. Simply tilt your motor up out of the water. Trolling motors are allowed.
Are pets allowed on the beach?
No. Pets are not permitted in the swimming area.
Are pets allowed in the park?
Pets are allowed on a leash or chain not to exceed 6 feet, except where otherwise noted. Visitors are responsible for cleaning up after their animals and keeping noise to a minimum.
Does Central Park have WIFI?
Central Park now has WIFI available in the modern camping area from April 15 through October 15. Free WIFI is also available in and near the Nature Center building — the password is located at the Nature Center outdoor bulletin board.
How do I reserve the enclosed pavilion or cabins at Central Park?
All reservations must be made by calling the Jones County Conservation Administrative Office at (563) 487-3541 ext. 1 after the first of the calendar year.
Do I need an Iowa Fishing License to fish at Central Park?
Yes. Please visit the Iowa DNR website to learn more about specific requirements.
When is the Central Park Nature Center open?
The Central Park Nature Center is open during normal business hours Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. when staff are present. Check for availability or call to schedule an appointment by calling (563) 487-3541 Ext. 1. The center is also open Saturdays and Sundays from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Watch for COVID updates and restrictions on our website.