Union County offers an array of outdoor recreational opportunities unmatched in south central Iowa.  Five lakes and 6,090 acres of publicly owned woodland and prairie…all conveniently located within a 20 mile radius.  Come and Enjoy!!! 

 Notice to Cabin Users and Campers

Three Mile Lake is scheduled to be drawn down 12’ starting shortly after Labor Day of 2023 for in-lake work on the sediment control basin, the placement of rip rap along the lake’s shoreline, and fish habitat work.  The lake will still be accessible via the middle lane at the main boat ramp.  Surface area of the lake will reduce.  Construction is expected to be complete by the spring of 2025.

Scheduling on this project is tentative and may change.  Please visit this website for updates. 

Parks and Wildlife Areas

The Union County Conservation manages 9 different parks and wildlife areas:

Three Mile Recreation Area

This 2,675 acre recreation area encompasses an 880 acre lake and is open to public hunting.  There are 2 campgrounds, 9 cabins, 1 lodge, and 4 shelter houses available to rent.  

Campsites are not reservable and are on a first come-first served basis.   

The Lodge is able to be reserved by calling the office at 641-347-5100. 

Cabins and shelter houses can be reserved on-line by going to:  Cabin and Shelter Reservations 

For more information, locations, or maps of Three Mile Lake Recreation Area, go to Three Mile Recreation Area  or call the office at 641-347-5100.  

Additional Recreational Opportunities

Also located in Union County and managed by the State of Iowa are: 

  • Green Valley State Park – This 360 acre lake and 990 acre state park has 14 miles of hiking trails, modern campground with 145 sites, and 3 cabins.  For more information about Green Valley State Park go to: Green Valley State Park 
  • Mitchell Marsh – This 144 acre area consisting of half marsh and half upland is open to public hunting.  For more information or hunting boundaries go to: Mitchell Marsh Wildlife Management Area 
  • Summit Lake – This 250 acre lake is open to fishing and portions of it open to hunting.  For more information or lake maps go to:  Summit Lake or Summit Lake Wildlife Management Area 
  • Twelve Mile Lake – This 660 acre lake is surrounded by 850 acres of land open to public hunting.  For more information, lake maps, or hunting boundaries go to: Twelve Mile Lake or Twelve Mile Lake Wildlife Management Area 
  • Iowa Habitat and Access Program (IHAP) Areas – Union County is also home to 3 IHAP Areas.  An IHAP area is a privately owned piece of land that is open to public hunting through the IHAP program.  For more information on these areas go to: Iowa Habitat and Access Program 

For maps of these areas go to: Union IHAP 1Union IHAP 2Union IHAP 3 


Other Useful Links: Union County Tourism