Storm Lake, Iowa, USA

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Storm Lake visitor and community guide

Lake Locations: USA - Midwest - Iowa - Northwest -

Storm Lake is located in Buena Vista County in northern Iowa. At 3,097 acres, the lake is one of the largest natural lakes in the state. On the northern shore of the lake is the town of Storm Lake, a thriving community of around 10,000 people and the home of Buena Vista University. Although the town is small, Storm Lake prides itself on its active downtown and its outdoor recreational opportunities including the lake itself, several city parks, and a lakeside resort-style development.

Fishing and boating are, of course, popular activities on Storm Lake. The lake is especially known for its walleye, but there are also large populations of channel catfish, crappie, and white bass. Northern pike, tiger muskie, largemouth bass, perch, bluegill, and bluehead can also be found in Storm Lake, but in smaller numbers. Fishing tournaments are held at the lake year-round, with ice fishing being common in the winter months. The lake has good shore access for anglers, as well as public boat ramps. Because the lake has no restrictions on boats, Storm Lake is also a popular destination for water skiing and jet skiing. Sailboats are equally at home on Storm Lake, and sailboat regattas are a common sight during the summer months.

The city of Storm Lake maintains 100 acres of park land surrounding the lake. There are several public parks to enjoy, offering tennis courts; softball, soccer, and baseball fields; picnic areas; and playgrounds. Many of the parks are connected by the Lake Trail, a five mile path that provides a perfect place for hiking, biking, roller blading, and nature watching. Much of the trail stretches along the shoreline of Storm Lake, offering scenic water views.

Storm Lake also provides facilities for swimming and camping. Lakeside Beach, at the east end of the lake, and Casino Beach, at the west end of the lake, are favorite destinations in the summer, providing visitors with a place to cool off when the weather is hot. Camping is available at two lakeside campgrounds: Sunrise Campground, which is maintained by the city, and Lakeside Marina and Campground. Both campgrounds offer RV access with electrical hook-ups, and campers can enjoy bedding down just steps away from the sparkling waters of Storm Lake.

The city of Storm Lake has been busy developing its newest attraction, a community and economic development project called Project Awaysis. The centerpiece of the project is a resort-style hotel, owned by the city, with an indoor/outdoor waterpark and restaurant. The project also includes a lighthouse with an observation deck, a family playground, and a skate park. In conjunction with this project, the city is also redesigning the municipal golf course, Sunrise Pointe, as well as upgrading the marina at Casino Beach and the Sunrise Campground. The city hopes that these projects will not only increase the quality of life for its residents, but also attract more visitors to the shores of Storm Lake.

The combination of its scenic appeal and new community developments means that Storm Lake has a lot to offer visitors. Whether you enjoy fishing and boating the lake’s waters, or strolling the city’s lakeside trails, you’ll find plenty to love in Storm Lake. With its mix of carefully preserved nature areas and modern amenities, Storm Lake promises a relaxing getaway in a resort-like setting.

Custom Storm Lake house decor

Read our full review of these personalized lake house signs.

Things to do at Storm Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Fishing Tournaments
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Jet Skiing
  • Water Skiing
  • Golf
  • Tennis
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • City Park
  • Playground
  • Casino Gambling

Fish species found at Storm Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Catfish
  • Channel Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Muskellunge
  • Northern Pike
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Sunfish
  • Tiger Muskellunge
  • Walleye
  • White Bass

Best hotels and vacation rentals at Storm Lake

The Storm Lake map shown above is a simple and stress-free way to search for trip accommodations. But if you want to take a deeper dive to find the ideal waterfront home, cabin, condo, hotel or resort, visit our favorite lodging partners by clicking the buttons below.

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Storm Lake photo gallery

New photos coming soon!

Storm Lake statistics & helpful links


Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

Surface Area: 3,097 acres

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,401 feet

Average Depth: 7 feet

Maximum Depth: 20 feet

Lake Area-Population: 10,076

Drainage Area: 22 sq. miles

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