Iowa has lakes, yes we do! As many as Minnesota? Well no, not even close. How about as many as Florida? Um, no. They actually have more than Minnesota. Sorry, guys. So, how about having maybe as many as even Wisconsin? Well, no we do not They actually have as many as Minnesota, fun fact.

But there are lakes in the Hawkeye state. Actually, according to the website How Many Are There, there are actually over 65 lakes in Iowa. There is even a website devoted to the best lakes in the state, and the largest lake in Iowa is Red Rock, which has over 15,000 acres of water.

Of those 65, most have a dirty little secret...

That is dirty! Photo by camilo jimenez on Unsplash
That is dirty! Photo by camilo jimenez on Unsplash

WHOA, no... not that kind of dirty...

So... what is that secret?

Again, the lakes aren't particularly dirty. That isn't the "dirty" secret. They're not dirty lakes. The secret is... about 65% of Iowa's are not naturally occurring lakes. Dun dun dunnnn! They are man-made.

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According to a Radio Iowa story, Iowa's man-made lakes dominate the Iowa lake landscape. So where are these constructed lakes? All over. in fact, Iowa's 34 natural lakes are out in the northwest portion of the state.

Of our natural lakes in Iowa, the deepest is part of the lake system known as the Iowa Great Lakes. These surround the town of Okoboji. And yes, Lake Okoboji is a part of this chain of lakes.

West Okoboji Lake via Google
West Okoboji Lake via Google

Closer to home in Eastern Iowa, the bets known lake is a man-made one. The Coralville Dam which sits on the Iowa River between Cedar Rapids and Iowa City created the popular destination Coralville Lake. This was completed in 1958 and is now a tourist attraction and summer getaway for many in Eastern Iowa.

Iowa's largest man-made lakes

The largest man made lakes in the state of Iowa are:

  • Rathbun Lake (84.98 square km)
  • Saylorville Lake (24 square km)
  • Lost Grove Lake (6.87 square km)

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