bike | boat | camp | golf | hunt & fish | parks | swim |

Emmetsburg is a great place to enjoy the great outdoors. From our beautiful Five Island Lake to our well maintained parks and biking trail, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Thanks in large part to our long-term dredging efforts on Five Island Lake, residents and visitors alike can enjoy fishing, boating, and swimming on and in the lake.

Five Island Lake boasts a beach and a camping area as well. Recreation on Five Island Lake is not just limited to the spring and summer months. During the winter months, many residents and visitors enjoy ice skating and ice hockey just off of the beach of the lake as well as snowmobiling across the lake. Just off of Five Island Lake, you will find Five Island Golf, a 9-hole golf course, complete with cart sheds and a clubhouse.

Our beautifully maintained parks are a great place for families to relax and spend time with their families. Children and adults enjoy the basketball courts, volleyball courts, playground equipment, and picnic shelters. Hunters and fishermen enjoy our numerous public hunting spots, lake, and river. Fishing is not just limited to the spring and summer seasons; on any given winter day, you will spot ice fishermen on our lake.

City Recreation Programs

The purpose of all City Recreation programs is to help youth develop skills, fundamentals of the game, rules, etiquette and sportsmanship, and to get kids involve in non-competitive sports. City Recreation programs are also offered for adults.

Contact Information

Youth Programs

Little League

Little League

Ben Gustafson

Summer Golf

Summer Golf

Katie Heddinger

Main Street Community Theatre

Main Street Community Theatre


Flag Football

Flag Football

Mike Dunlap


Emmetsburg Trap Shoot - Hot Shots

Emmestburg Trap Shoot – Hot Shots

Brian Garrels

Swim Team

Swim Team

Travis Fries

Little E-Hawk Wrestling Club

Little E-Hawk Wrestling Club

Scott Wirtz




Available through Emmetsburg City Hall

Adult Programs

Co-ed Volleyball

Co-ed Volleyball

Available through City Hall

Golf - Five Island Golf Course
Gun Club

Gun Club

Located at Sportsman’s
Don Bruch

Women's Volleyball

Sponsored by: Emmetsburg Recreation Department
Director: Mike Dunlap Phone: 852-3383

1. The League is open to any women age 18 years and older who is not attending high school and who resides and/or is employed within the boundaries of Palo Alto County.

2. Entry Fee: $125 per team, plus a $15 participation fee-per player. All fees will be due at the time entry forms are turned in; deadline is September 14, 2016.

3. Rosters: All rosters will be due in City Hall no later than September 14, 2016, Absolutely NO additions or changes may be made after your first game. Each team must have minimum of eight (8) players to join the league. There will be a maximum of twenty (20) players allowed on each roster. Official entry and roster forms are available at City Hall.

4. Team Captains: Each team must have a designated team captain whose responsibilities will include: (a) Submitting your team’s roster and entry fees by deadline date; (b) attend organizational meetings; (c) controlling your team’s actions during league games; (d) keep score and to keep the game under control at all times.

5. Game Times:
Game 1 Courts 1 & 2 6:30 – 6:30 PM Middle School Gym
Game 2 Courts 1 & 2 7:30 – 7:30 PM Middle School Gym
Game 3 Courts 1 & 2 8:30 – 8:30 PM Middle School Gym

7. Serving: A toss of a coin by the team captains will determine who shall get the choice of either the serve or the court.

8. Each member of the team shall serve in turn and may have only one try to get the ball over the net.

9. The server shall stand with both feet in back of the rear boundary line. The serving area –free to move anywhere in back of the boundary line.

10. “Side Out” is declared when a served ball hits the net. If the ball is served, hits the net, and goes over the net, it will be a legal serve.

11. If a player touches the ball or the ball touches a player, she is considered as having played the ball.

12. It is permissible to run out of bounds and play a ball. A ball, which is knocked out of bounds by the opponents, must be allowed to hit the floor or wall outside before being touched or, unless successfully returned, it counts against the player touching it.

13. When the ball touches a boundary line it is considered good.

14. Players are not permitted to scoop or hold the ball. The ball must be clearly batted. No closed fist spiking.

15. A ball touching the body more than once is considered as being dribbled.

16. The losing team gets the first serve of the next game.

17. A ball is kept in play if it hits the net and goes over into the opponent’s court.

18. In playing the ball, it is permissible to use any part of the body above the waist.

19. A ball hit into the net by a team may still be kept in play provided that any player does not touch the net.

20. One person may play the ball twice during a volley, but not twice in succession.

21. The ball must be returned over the net on the THIRD contact.

22. Players may not touch the net or step over the centerline. This loses the ball if the serving side is at fault, and counts as a point for the serving side in case the opponents are at fault. If both sides touch the net simultaneously, the ball is declared dead and is served again. You may never break the plane of the net at any time.(During a serve or a volley)

23. The back line person may not “spike”. She is allowed freedom in moving around the court but may not run up to the net and spike or kills the ball.

24. Twenty one points wins the game provided there is a two-point lead.

25. Games will be played the best three (3) out of five (5) games. Games 1-4 will be scored to 21, game 5 will go to 15 all games are rally scoring.

26. Eight players will be allowed on the court at one time and a minimum of 6 players must be on the floor. Any type of rotating system will be allowed as long as each player serves.

27. Forfeits: All games will start at 6:30pm, you may start a game with 5 players but must have 6 players at 6:45pm or it will be a forfeit.(Unless both Captains agree to let the other team play with 5 players)

28. Anyone arguing with the officials or Recreation Staff will be asked to leave the game and may be suspended for remainder of season.

29. No kids will be allowed in the gym or in any hallways around the gym. Kids are allowed if with an adult not playing VB.

30. The walls and basketball hoops in both gyms are out of bounds. You cannot play the ball off of either the walls or basketball hoops!

31. There will not be any two handed spiking.

32. The primary goal of the programs offered by the City of Emmetsburg’s Recreation Department is to provide recreational and wellness opportunities to our citizens in a healthy and wholesome environment. We will not tolerate misconduct that prevents us from achieving our primary goal. Any misconduct during scheduled games may result in a dismissal from the league.

General Programs


The Five Island Trail (F.I.T) starts just around the bend and across the street from the Five Island Golf Course and ends on the far east side of Rockport, a development complex in Emmetsburg.  In its infancy stages, the bike trail is continuously being added on to and residents will tell you to begin where you would like and end when you are tired.  The trail accommodates walkers, joggers, runners, and bicyclists alike.


Five Island Lake provides for some great boating
adventures for residents and visitors alike.  Public docks and boat ramps are located at:

  • Sewell Park (Multi Slip Boat Dock)-801 North Huron Street
  • T-Dock-402 Lake Street
  • North Boat Ramp and Dock – 35439 North Huron Street
  • Trestle Boat Ramp and Dock-77 Lakeshore Drive
  • Kearney State Park Boat Ramp and Dock-16 North Lawler Street

Kearney State Park

Kearney State Park is located along the west shore of Five Island Lake and offers 16 electrical camping sites and 10 tent camping sites (no electrical hook-ups).  There is a public boat dock located at Kearney State Park as well as playground equipment, a bathhouse, a fish cleaning station, and public access to the lake for fishing.  Five Island Golf and the beautiful Shores at Five Island Community Center is just a short walk from the campground.  Kearney State Park is managed by the City of Emmetsburg, however, camping spots are on a first come, first serve basis and the city does not take reservations.  For more information, please contact Emmetsburg City Hall at 712-852-4030.  Although it is a State Park, it is not included in the Iowa Online Reservation System.

You may read about County Managed State Parks: Click Here

$15 for electrical camping | $10 for tent camping (non electrical)

Wild Rose Casino and Resort RV Park

Wild Rose Casino and Resort offers a RV Park that overlooks a 12.5 acre lake behind the casino.  The RV Park has 110 and 220 hookups, a bathhouse, a water fill station, and a dump station.  For reservations, call 1-877-720-ROSE (7673).

Five Island Campground — offers a lake-side campground on the south east shores of Five Island Lake.
It includes 21 campsites. Each site has electrical (30 & 50 amp breakers), water and sewer.
Camping fees-$25.00 per night. No reservations. Payable at drop box.

Five Island Campground – Cabin offers a lake-side cabin on the south east shores of Five Island Lake. The 880 square foot cabin sleeps nine (3 queen beds, 1 single bed and a full size sofa sleeper).  The cabin is $100/night Sunday through Thursday.   The cabin rate is $150/night Friday and Saturday and you must rent it for both days.

For more information or to make a reservation contact City Hall at 712-852-4030.

Hunting & Fishing
  • Basswood Recreation Area
    Located one mile west of Emmetsburg along the West Fork of the Des Moines River.  Basswood is a great fishing and hunting area.
  • Sportsman Recreation Area
    Sportsman Recreation Area is located 2.25 miles north of Cylinder, a neighboring town of Emmetsburg.  This area provides excellent fishing and upland bird hunting.  It is also popular for its trap shooting range.
  • Kearney State Park
    Located at First Island, Kearney State Park offers a great place to fish.  There is a fish cleaning station located at this park.

Soper Park

Soper Park is located on the 800 block of Broadway, just south of Five Island Lake in Emmetsburg.  This beautiful and well maintained park is perfect for large community gatherings as well as small family reunions.  There is a basketball court and a sand volleyball net at this park.  The Beach House and its proximity to Five Island Lake makes it handy for swimming on the lake’s sandy beach in the summer or ice skating in the winter.  The modern playground equipment is enjoyed by kids of all ages.

The shelter and/or the Beach House at Soper Park can be reserved by calling City Hall at 712-852-4030.  The shelter reservation fee is $25 per day, including deposit.  The Beach House reservation fee is $50 per day, including deposit.


Harrison Park

Harrison Park is located along Highway 18 & 4 West, between Harrison and State Streets in Emmetsburg.  This park is perfect for organizations and families to hold picnics and gatherings at.  This park boasts modern playground equipment, a sand volleyball net, gazebo, restrooms and shelter.

In Fall 2016 a  9 hole disc golf course was added!

The shelter can be reserved by calling City Hall at 712-852-4030.  The shelter reservation fee is $25 per day, including deposit.

Brown Robbins Park

Brown Robbins Park is located along Highway 4, south of the business district in Emmetsburg.  This park includes modern playground equipment, a shelter, restrooms and plenty of green space for family gatherings and for children to play.

The shelter at Brown Robbins Park can be reserved by calling City Hall at 712-852-4030.  The shelter reservation fee is $25 per day, including deposit.

Sewell Park

Sewell Park is Emmetsburg’s newest park, located along the southeast edge of Five Island Lake on Lakeshore Dr and North Huron.  This park is great for picnicking and fishing along the shores.  With plenty of green space, Sewell Park is a great place to relax and enjoy nature and the lake.  There is a public dock located at this park.

Harlan Park

Harlan Park is located at 5th and Des Moines Streets.  This nice, quiet little park has playground equipment and a picnic shelter.  The shelter at this park is first come first serve and, therefore, no reservation fee is required to utilize the shelter.

Basswood Recreation Area

Hwy 4/18 West.  There is a boat ramp for the West Fork of Des Monies River. A picnic area & hiking trails are also located on this property.


Emmetsburg community members and visitors can enjoy swimming at a couple of locations.  The Smith Wellness Center is a great place for indoor swimming.  On a hot summer day, many people can be found swimming at the beach of Five Island Lake.

Smith Wellness Center

The swimming pool at the Smith Wellness Center is heated and has a moveable bulkhead that allows 2 swimming areas. It includes a 3’ area, diving area, a zero-depth entrance ramp, as well as 2 ADA compliant lifts. American Red Cross Swimming Lessons are offered several times a year. There are summer and winter swim team programs. A lifeguard is on duty at all times.  The Smith Wellness Center is located at 3200 College Drive in Emmetsburg.

For membership and day pass prices or for more information, please visit the Smith Wellness Center site: Click Here

Five Island Beach

The beach at Five Island Lake can be accessed by the public at any time.  The beach is located on north edge of Soper Park, just past the Bath House.  The Bath House is conveniently located right off the beach and provides access to public restrooms.  The Beach House can be reserved for gatherings by calling City Hall at 712-852-4030.  The reservation fee is $50, including deposit.  Please note that there is no lifeguard on duty at the beach at any time.


Wild Rose Casino & Resort

The Wild Rose Casino in Emmetsburg is a 16,800 square foot casino with 550 state-of-the-art slot machines, 17 exciting table games, and ticket-in/ticket-out technology.

The casino and resort offers quality gaming and entertainment experiences as well as three dining establishments, Emmet’s Buffet, Dunigans Irish Pub and Restaurant, and the Wild Perk coffee and snack bar.  The resort offers a convention center and ballroom, the hotel offers 70 rooms, and right outside Wild Rose is a RV Travel Park.

For more information, please visit the Wild Rose Casino & Resort website: Click Here

Riviera Theatre

The Emmetsburg Riviera Theatre offers new release movies daily at 7 pm as well as a Sunday Matinee at 2 pm.  The theatre seats approximately 360 people and offers movie tickets and concessions at a very affordable price. During the winter and the summer, the Emmetsburg Riviera Theatre offers free merchant movies once a week.  Theatre rental is also offered for birthday parties, church events, meetings, etc.  To inquire about the current movie being shown or to inquire about theatre rental or free movies, simply view the Emmetsburg Riviera Theatre web site or contact Steve or Greg Hoyman at 712-852-2866 or

For more information, please visit the Riviera Theatre website: Click Here

Emmetsburg Mainstreet Community Theatre

The Emmetsburg Main Street Community Theatre is a non-profit, volunteer organization composed of people who have a common interest in theatre.  The theatre was established in 1977 with its first production in 1978.  The theatre is noted for providing quality theatre productions that rival some professional groups.  The quality of the talent is exceptional for a community our size and the theatre draws its audience and participants from the entire area.  The theatre usually produces a musical and a children’s production each year.  Emmetsburg Main Street Community Theatre operates entirely on volunteers’ time, membership fees, revenues from productions, and occasional grants. Over 4,000 people have been involved in theatre productions over the years.

For more information, please visit the Mainstreet Community Theatre website: Click Here

Palo Alto County Fair

The Palo Alto County Fair traces its beginnings back to August, 1926.  Today, the focus of the Palo Alto County Fair is to exhibit the talents and skills of our 4-H and FFA youth.  The Palo Alto County Fair includes commercial exhibits, evening BBQ’s, local food vendors, and special events, including a kiddie train ride, pedal pull, face painting, evening entertainment, go kart racing, and the Bill Riley Talent competition.  The fair serves 154 4-H members, three FFA chapters, 121 Clover Kids, all in over 190 families.

For more information, please visit the PAC Fair website: Click Here