2021 Season Update: COVID-19 Response
Deer Run Resort will be opening starting Thursday, April 15th, 2021. The camping season this year will be implementing social distancing, hygiene practices, and other public health measures to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 consistent with guidance issued by the Iowa Department of Public Health. Please read our COVID-19 Campground Policies HERE.

 Things To Do

Clayton County Events

Archery-  One of the best 3-D Archery ranges in Iowa is located just five miles south of Elkader on Highway 13 at Osborne Conservation Center.  The range is in a hilly wooded area next to the Volga river with clear easy walking trails and is open to the public from Mid-May to October 1st.

Basketball Courts-  Basketball courts are located at the Elkader City Park; which is within walking distance of Deer Run Resort and there are more just north of Main Street at the Central High School playground area.

Bicycling-  Just outside of Deer Run Resort is the four mile, one way, Pony Hollow Trail. It is an eight mile round trip trail that follows the old St. Paul, Milwaukee and Chicago Railroad bed and travels through the woodlands, hills and valleys of the community. The trail is open to the public year round for bicycling, hiking, horseback riding and snowmobiling.

Churches- There are several churches in Elkader so you won't miss  any services while you are away from home. Please visit: Elkader Area Churches for more information.

Canoeing/Kayaking/Tubing- There are several places to canoe, kayak or tube around Deer Run Resort. You can put  in at the Turkey River right across from Deer Run Resort and float to Motor Mill (six miles), Garber (eighteen miles), or go down the Volga River located next to the Osborne Convention Center. There is a local outfitter that you can rent canoes from at Turkey River Outfitters (563) 245-3802.

Cross Country Skiing- Groomed trails are available five miles south of Elkader at Osborne Convention Center. The Pony Hollow Trail is an eight mile round trip trail that is adjacent to Deer Run Resort.

Downtown Shopping- There are plenty of shops in Elkader within walking distance of Deer Run Resort. There are gift shops, a pharmacy, antique stores, wedding dress shop, jewelry, convenience stores, auto repair shops, hardware, clothes, groceries, electronics, musical instruments, art, movie theater, bakery, deli, and much more.

Dirt Track Racing- There is a lot of dirt tracking racing if you have the need to watch some speed. Check out several of the local tracks for some exciting entertainment. There is Cresco Speedway and Independence Motor Speedway to name a few.

Fishing/Boating- Just East of Elkader is the Mississippi River and you'll find plenty of areas to launch your boat for pleasure cruising up and down the Mississippi or just relax and try your skills at fishing. The Turkey River next to Deer Run Resort has northern pike, carp, red-horse, sheep-head, catfish and smallmouth bass. If you like fishing for trout check out Backbone State Park or the Big Springs Trout Hatchery which is only 15 minutes from Deer Run Resort. Call Gary Siegworth at the Big Springs Trout Hatchery at: 563-245-2446 for more trout fishing information. To find more information about fishing in Iowa and the Iowa fishing regulations contact the Iowa DNR.

Golfing- You can find a great nine hole golf course at the Elkader Golf and Country Club. The course sits in a valley on the edge of Elkader and has a remodeled barn, and a large dance hall/banquet room upstairs. The course is private but is also open to the public. Ph. (563) 245-2230

Hiking/Walking/Backpacking- There are plenty of trails next to Deer Run Resort if you're looking for good exercise. The Elkader Riverwalk sits just west of Deer Run Resort and is a lighted, hard surface, 6' wide cemented walk and is handicap accessible. It's about a 2-1/2 mile round trip that starts at the Elkader City Park next to Deer Run Resort and travels adjacent to the Turkey River to the historic downtown district of Elkader. The Pony Hollow Trail is just south of Deer Run Resort starting at the edge of the Elkader City Park. It follows the old railroad bed and travels through the woodland hills on an eight mile round trip. The trail is open all year for hiking, bicycling, horseback riding and snowmobiling.

Horseback Riding/Local Esquestrian Trails- There are many equestrian trails located at surrounding parks including, Backbone State Park, Volga River Recreation Area and Yellow River Forest, contact the Iowa DNR for more information.

Hunting- Public hunting areas are located at Backbone State Park and the Volga River Recreation Area. For more information about public hunting and hunting regulations contact the Iowa DNR.

Local Museums/Historical Places- Elkader was established in 1846 by Timothy Davis, John Thompson and Chester Sage. The community was named after the Emir Abdel Kader, a young Algerian chieftain who led his people against the French invasion in 1832 and later saved the lives of 12,000 Christians in Damascus. Currently, Elkader is the only city in the United States to have a sister city in Algeria. Elkader has a lot of downtown structures on the National Register of Historic Places: Clayton County Courthouse, Opera House, Keystone Bridge, and the St. Joseph's Catholic Church. Other Unique Properties are the Power Dam,  River Walk - Two miles of paved path along the Turkey River for walking and biking, Public Library, and the Limestone Buildings in and around the community. Also check out the Carter House Museum in Elkader and the George Maier Rural Heritage Museum right next to Deer Run Resort.

Lodge Library- RV Campers are welcome to come and visit the Deer Run Lodge at Deer Run Resort where they can check out some books and magazines or put a puzzle together. It has central air conditioning, heating and is the perfect place to meet up with friends or have a potluck.

Motorcycling- One of the many activities to do in the area include just taking your motorcycle for a cruise around to see all the sites of the beautiful Northeastern Iowa countryside. If you want to see some nice bikes that come through town than visit the "Moto Guzzi Ralley" that is held in July at the Elkader City Park where many bikers come in to camp and visit the area on their Moto Guzzi motorcycles.

Movie Theater- The Elkader Cinema has recently been remodeled and renovated with all new updates and is located right on Main Street Elkader. Check out a great movie while your here . Check them out at The Elkader Cinema or give them a call at 563-245-2666.

Playground Area- A place to climb through tunnels or go down any of the slides, located next to the lodge.

Swimming- Just next to Deer Run Resort is the Elkader City Pool. It is a newly remodeled facility that offers lap swimming, concessions, lounge chairs and water aerobics.  

Volleyball/Horseshoe Throwing/Softball/Baseball/Tennis- There are two public volleyball courts, two public tennis courts, and several horseshoe throwing pits located at the Elkader City Park next to Deer Run Resort. There are also several baseball/softball diamonds located around the park and at the local high school. We also have a basketball hoop located at the campground.

For Reservations Contact Us At: 1-563-245-DEER (3337)


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