Top 10 Things to do Outside in Okoboji

Being outside and active is a great way to stay mentally and physically healthy during this unprecedented time! Here are ten suggestions of how to do that in Okoboji this summer!

1. Bike, Walk or Run Paved Trails

Bike ride

With over 40 miles of miles of dedicated paved trails and an additional 50+ miles of signed road routes that wind around our lakes and through our communities there are lots of places to see and explore. You could bring your bikes or enjoy a leisurely walk stopping to take in fabulous views of lakes, prairies, and wildlife.  The "spine" of the system is a 14-mile trail through the heart of the Iowa Great Lakes region, connecting to the spine trail are several other shorter trails to explore including the opens in a new windowKenue Park Trail opens in a new windowArnolds Park City Trail and the  opens in a new windowSpirit Lake City Trail.  The trail also loops around the East and West sides of Big Spirit Lake where it joins the  opens in a new windowLoon Lake trail at Mini-Wakan State Park.


2. Nature Hike

Gull Point Trail

 If you are looking for a hike off the paved path check out the abundant nature trail hikes at Kettleson Hogsback Wildlife Area on the west side of Spirit Lake.  opens in a new windowThe Interpretive Trail at Gull Point  is a hidden gem and a beautiful hike any season of the year. To find the parking area and trail head turn left at the entrance to Gull Point State Park.   opens in a new windowHorseshoe Bend recreation area south of Milford is a wonderful and quiet place to hike and enjoy nature. You can do an easy hike along the riverbed or challenge yourself with some great hills.

Gull Point Trail

3. Kayak


Want some exercise and a peaceful way to see the lake? Try out a kayak, which you can rent from:  Okoboji Boat Works, opens in a new windowTriggs Bay Resort, opens in a new windowExtreme WatersportsBoat Okoboji Rentals or Make-A-Wake Watersports.  Early mornings and evenings are great times to Kayak the main lakes but on windy days or days when there is more traffic you will want to paddle the canals, or try small lakes like Marble Lake, Hottes Lake, Little Spirit Lake or Center Lake.  Also, watch the opens in a new windowDickinson County Nature Center site for group kayak tours.



4. SUP: Stand Up Paddle Board

Paddle Board

There is no better time than this summer to find a peaceful morning or evening to try a Stand-Up paddle board.  You can bring your own or rent one at opens in a new windowOkoboji Boat Works, opens in a new windowTriggs Bay Resort, opens in a new windowExtreme Watersports opens in a new windowBoat Okoboji Rentals or Make-A-Wake Watersports.  If you are feeling really brave you should give paddle board yoga a try. The opens in a new windowStudio Yoga and Barre in Spirit Lake has a satellite studio at Okoboji Boat works with paddle board yoga classes,  which is way more fun and easier than you may think! It is also a great small group or bachelorette party idea.  Keep on eye on their Facebook page for West Okoboji Sunset paddles as well.

sup yoga

5. Fish

Family Fish

Okoboji Fishing is sure to please everyone from the experienced angler, to the novice, to someone wanting to fish for the first time.  Just find a public dock, shoreline or step it up a notch and hire one of our many experienced opens in a new windowfishing guides who will have you catching fish as soon as the bait hits the water.  You can purchase an Iowa fishing license for a day, a week or a year, at opens in a new windowThe Hook-Up at Oak Hill Outdoor, or one of our local bait shops.   opens in a new windowRent a boat or bring your own, there is nothing better than a day fishing Lake Okoboji!



6. Golf

Golf Brooks

Golfing opportunities in Okoboji are exceptional and diverse with a course for everyone.   opens in a new windowBrooks Golf Course features 27 unique holes through parkland, prairie and wetlands.  It is a beautifully maintained course accommodating all skill levels.  With lush green rolling hills and an abundance of stately trees,  opens in a new windowEmerald Hills is sure to please golfers of all abilities. The friendly staff at Emerald Hills will greet you and treat you like family.  opens in a new windowOkoboji View golf course combines a great golf experience though 18 holes with the added benefit of  opens in a new windowPub 19 Bar and Grill, serving some of the best Pizza in the area.  Over the past three years Okoboji View has undergone a major renovation, with 12 acres of wetlands and reformatted holes.  Hopefully you will have plenty of time to play all three courses b/c it is so hard to choose just one!  If you have even more time to golf be sure to drive 15 miles south to  opens in a new windowSpencer Golf and Country Club for one of the most well-manicured courses in the region.  Tee times are recommended for all courses.


7) Beach


Okoboji has a great variety of  opens in a new windowpublic beaches to enjoy the sun, sand and blue water! The kids will love building sand castles, jumping off docks, and floating on a tube in the lake!   opens in a new windowTerrace Park Beach opened new restrooms last season and is an Okoboji favorite.   opens in a new windowOrleans Beach in Spirit Lake also has great playground equipment and the Spillway Drive-in, a locally owned ice cream and sandwich stop! Of course  opens in a new windowArnolds Park Beach is a favorite and in the center of it all!


8) Yoga

Queen Yoga

Whether you are looking to for all over body strengthening, relaxation or restoration of body, soul, and mind Yoga is a great practice for all ages!  We have many great studios in the area but in the summer there is nothing better than Yoga in the sun with the sound of waves on the shore.  opens in a new windowYoga Okoboji offers lakeside classes on the wooden pier in Arnolds Park (June - August) on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7 am. You can pay per class or purchase a punch card for the summer, bring your own mat or borrow one from the instructor.  On Saturday's opens in a new windowThe Farmer's Market in the Park offers a free Yoga class from opens in a new windowThe Studio Yoga and Barre on the State Pier at 9 am. Also, don't forget paddle board Yoga by The Studio Yoga and Barre at Okoboji boat works.


9)  Boat



While in Okoboji you will want to enjoy the lake and there are a variety of ways to do it!  You can take a ride on the opens in a new windowQueen II or book a public cruise through opens in a new windowOkoboji Boat Works.  Maybe you want to opens in a new windowrent a boat or personal watercraft at one of our many great marina's or boat rental locations, you can be your own driver or hire one for the day. Make sure you rent a tube or Maui mat for all day fun in the sun.



10) Parks

Playground at park

If you are looking for a great family and friends destination to cool off, splash and play then the FREE opens in a new windowMemorial Park Splash Pad in Spirit Lake is the place to go.  Overlooking East Lake there are two shelters, playground equipment and picnic tables. Pickle Ball Courts are NOW OPEN  opens in a new windowSpeier Park as well as by Spirit Lake High School.  Bring your lunch and enjoy a day at Memorial park. opens in a new windowFlorence Park in Milford or one of the many other great opens in a new windowparks around the area.  If you're looking for a pool to spend the day at, visit the opens in a new windowBoji Bay Swimming Pools in Milford!


It's summer! It's Okoboji! It's Beautiful!  So get outside and soak it all up!  For more information please call us at 712-332-2209 with any questions or to request a free visitors guide