Home to our annual Maple Tree Tap event, this picturesque park also features live bison and elk herds with informational kiosks to introduce you to these amazing animals. Explore the park on quiet prairie and river hiking trails, visit the playground, have a picnic at a shelter, book your next family get-together at Olsen Lodge, or stay the night in one of three beautiful campgrounds.
Botna Bend Park is located on the West Nishnabotna River Water Trail and offers access to this meandering river for your canoe, kayak, tube, or fishing adventures.
The enclosed pastures at Botna Bend Park are home to the area’s only bison and elk herds—a tradition at Botna Bend Park since the 1960s.
Herds live at the park year-round, offering a glimpse into the not-so-distant past when these animals freely roamed the state.
Make sure to visit us in late April or May to welcome new elk and bison calves (also called red dogs) to the world!
Please note: Elk and bison are wild animals that are especially protective of their young. For your safety and to avoid stressing the herds, please stay several feet back from fencing if animals are nearby and never reach your hands or fingers through fencing or attempt to touch wildlife. Thank you!
Starting at $20.00More Info
Starting at $20.00
Enjoy quiet small-town camping at Botna Bend Park. Choose from 3 different RV camping areas.
South Campground offers grass sites with 13, 30 amp and 3, 50 amp sites, an open-air picnic shelter, several public use water hydrants, and a vault restroom. This camping area has a great view of the West Nishnabotna River and is near the West Nishnabotna River Water Trail Access.
Middle Campground offers concrete pad sites with 14, 30 amp sites and 11, 50 amp sites, picnic table and fire pit at each site, several public use water hydrants, shower and restroom facilities, and free WIFI. This campground is located near the sand volleyball pit, playground, Olsen Lodge, animal exhibits, archery range entrance, and trails.
North Campground offers grass sites, 15, 30 amp sites, modern restrooms, and public use water hydrant. The campground is near the basketball court, open-air picnic shelter, Kids’ cabin, and play area.More Info
Starting at $10.00More Info
Starting at $10.00
Enjoy quiet tent camping in spacious sites throughout the park. Botna Bend Park offers 4 sites near the Middle Campground and 4 sites near the North Campground. All tent sites have a picnic table, fire pit, and charcoal grill. All tent sites are within walking distance of water hydrants and restroom facilities.More Info
Botna Bend Park Ranger
Botna Bend Park Ranger
Jon was born and raised in Council Bluffs, Iowa and attended Abraham Lincoln High School, graduating in 1993. He then attended Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa where he received a BA in Environmental Science/Biology Option. During college Jon worked two summers at Botna Bend Park as a seasonal intern. After graduating he worked at Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska and the following year was hired as Park Ranger at Botna Bend Park in March of 1998. He then attended the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy and graduated in April of 1999, receiving a certification as a peace officer.
Jon is responsible for management of Botna Bend Park and Old Town Park and the overseas the two public wildlife areas in eastern Pottawattamie County, Farm Creek Public Wildlife Area and Wheeler Grove Conservation Area.
Jon enjoys family time with his wife and two children camping, hiking, canoeing, and traveling and never misses a school function or sporting event. He spends his free time woodworking, taking care of his animals at home, and toiling on his property.
Jon is acting treasurer and board member of Impact Hill, a community resource and recreation center located in the former Riverside High School in Oakland, Iowa.
Assistant Park Ranger
Assistant Park Ranger
Cory Thomas grew up in the Council Bluffs/Omaha area. He attended Thomas Jefferson high school, graduating with the most improved student award. Between attending Iowa Western community college for fire science, Cory worked several summers at Camp Foster where he learned many of the skills that he would use for his career.
Cory spent 2009 to 2012 as a wild land fire fighter, fighting fires in many western and Midwestern states. In 2013 Cory was hired as a full-time Assistant Park Ranger at Botna Bend Park.
Get a full year of free access to all Pottawattamie County parks.Become a member of the Pottawattamie Conservation Foundation