Lake Rathbun Boating

category : Boating
Thanks to the Corps of Engineers for great information.


Whether power boating or sailing, Rathbun Lake, also known as Iowa's Ocean, has something to offer for all.

Power boaters on Rathbun Lake will enjoy the large main body of the lake on calm days for water skiing on its glass like surface. If the wind blows too hard, the Buck Creek, Honey Creek and South Fork arms of the lake offer protection from rough water.

Sail boaters can find plenty of room to maneuver on Rathbun Lake's nine-mile fetch of open water on the main body of the lake. The size of the lake combined with the prevailing winds make Rathbun Lake one of the best sailing lakes in Iowa.

Marinas at both ends of the lake - Buck Creek Marina on the east end and South Fork on the west - provide fuel mooring facilities and other supplies.

Day use fees are required for launching at Corps managed boat ramps. A daily fee of $3.00 is charged to launch at ramps. In lieu of the daily permit an annual pass may be purchased for $30.00. This pass is good at any Corps of Engineers facility nationwide.

Boaters should be aware that hazardous boating areas do occur on Rathbun Lake. For locations of the hazardous boating please refer to the lake map.

Remembering to follow safety rules while boating may be easier now at Rathbun Lake. Four of the main boat ramps have 4' x 8' billboards for posting safety messages, thanks to a Grassroots Grant and the collaborative effort of the Rathbun Lake Association, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the BoatUS Foundation.

Boat Ramps

Boat Ramps are available for usage at all eight parks. The Corps of Engineers has ten boat ramps. A day use pass is required at Corps of Engineers managed boat ramps. Honey Creek State Park has two boat ramps.

Handicapped Docks and Loading Facilities

A loading facility is available at the Corps of Engineers Island View Park Dedication Site boat ramp. This facility provides a three level loading ramp, which provides easier and better boating access to everyone.

A handicapped accessible fishing dock is available at the Island View Dedication Site boat ramp located closest to the main dam.

Address: 8 miles N.E. of Centerville Iowa
Phone: 641-647-2406

Come visit us in Rathbun Reservoir, Iowa