Lake Red Rock and Observational Tower in Knoxville

Place/Event: Lake Red Rock
Location: 1105 Co Hwy T15, Knoxville, IA 50138
Cost: Free
Grade/age range: Prek-12
Group size: large or small
Hands-on: Yes
Stroller friendly: Yes depending on location
Bathrooms: Yes
Food: No
Water: Yes

Ok, So when planning a trip to the Lake Red Rock area, keep in mind that not all trail heads or locations will have water or bathrooms.

ALWAYS stop at the Lake Red Rock Office and Visitor Center! It’s a great place to get information, trail maps and there are always neat exhibits to see. Red Rock has a unique history of Lost Towns.

But the real reason I wanted to go to Lake Red Rock was because a long time ago I saw this news article about the Observation Tower! It was over 10 years ago but I held on to that clipping, hoping someday to be able to go!


How I first learned about Red Rock

ok , so the KEY TO THE TOWER is to bring quarters! It cost $.50 each and it’s an automatic money thing and a turn style that you can’t get through except one-at-a-time. SO bring enough quarters for everyone!

Lake Red Rock tower with kiddos

my little climbers

Lake Red Rock view from tower

From tower looking east

Lake Red Rock Eagles

looking south from the tower

Lake Red Rock Eagles and Bridge

looking more west from the tower

The eagles were amazing to watch fly!

We hiked a trail that was adjacent to the parking lot west of the tower. It was a fun little hike with a couple small bridges and as you walked along, you would occasionally get glimpses of the lake.

Lake Red Rock bridge at bottom of dam

along the bottom of the dam

We camped at Lake Red Rock and explored other areas. The bottom of the dam is very fun but does look similar to other dams like SaylorVille Lake.


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