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

When planning a trip to the Lake Red Rock area, keep in mind that not all trail heads or locations will have a water source 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 neat exhibits to see.

Red Rock has a unique history of Lost Towns.

However the real reason I wanted to visit Lake Red Rock was for the Observation Tower.  Over ten years ago I saw a news article about the Observation Tower and I held on to that clipping, hoping someday to go!

How I first learned about Red Rock

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 walk along, you can 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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