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. We’re also looking to install underwater led dock lights so be sure to keep an eye out for them next time you come fishing!

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, though ccw is not encouraged in these areas. 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 Parks & Shelters

Soper 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 $15 per day. The Beach House reservation fee is $35 per day.


Harrison Park

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 $15 per day.

Brown Robins Park

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 $15 per day.

Sewell Park

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

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

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.


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.

$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

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 Cabins

Five Island Campground offers a lake-side cabins on the south east shores of Five Island Lake. Cabin #1 is a 880 square foot cabin sleeps nine (3 queen beds, 1 single bed and a full size sofa sleeper). Cabin #2 opened in June of 2019. This cabin sleeps four.

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

Five Island Golf Course

The Five Island Golf Course sits on the west shore of beautiful Five Island Lake, adjacent to The Shores at Five Island Community Center. Our scenic 9-hole course is open to both the public with daily green fees and punch cards and members with season passes. Stop in to The Shores to buy a membership, sign up for league, pay for green fees and cart rentals, and to check out our pro shop. Enjoy a fun round of golf, and afterwards swing in to Dockside Lounge at The Shores for food and drinks. We can’t wait to show you our natural scenic landscapes and world-class hospitality.

Course is open mid-April through mid-October, weather permitting

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.

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.

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 $35. 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. Visitors are encouraged to visit Paybyphonebillcasino.uk prior to arriving!

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 rivieratheatre@iowatelecom.net.

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