The City of Arnolds Park is known as the City of Five Lakes for its location at the conjunction of West and East Lake Okoboji, Lake Minnewashta, and Upper and Lower Gar Lakes. Situated in Dickinson County, it is the heart of Iowa’s Great Lakes Region, and welcomes visitors from all over with a variety of resorts, recreational areas, museums, restaurants, nightclubs, and the famous Arnolds Park Amusement Park. The town has undergone several renovation projects in recent years, transforming the Highway 71 corridor, with more exciting projects slated for the near future, as Arnolds Park continues to support the tourism that drives their economy.
The Iowa Great Lakes Trail is an asphalt trail partly built on repurposed rail lines, that runs for 26.2 miles between Orleans and Milford and includes a stop in Arnolds Park. Public transportation is available including bus service from the Dickinson County Regional Transit System that connects Arnolds Park to the surrounding towns and beyond. The average one-way commute for Arnolds Park residents is 15.7 minutes, shorter than the national average of 26.4!
Arnolds Park is a resort town, but it is also a hometown for those who welcome the many visitors to the area. In a splendid example of grassroots community action, one of the groups assisting with the recent renovation projects is nonprofit Team WAVE (Willing Active Volunteers for the Environment) which has been active since 1998 and maintains the extensive plantings along Highway 71, including hundreds of trees, shrubs and over 2000 perennials each year. Arnolds Park is served by the Okoboji Community School District.
Arnold’s Park is the home of the historic Arnolds Park amusement park, which features Legend, an ACE Coaster Landmark that has been carrying riders since 1927 and is believed to be the 13th oldest wooden roller coaster in the US. The town is also the side of the old Roof Garden Ballroom that hosted big name performers such as Jerry Lee Lewis, the Everly Brothers, and even Johnny Cash. The original building was razed in 1987, but a replica has been built that closely resembles the original.
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