Purple Sky Skunk Encounter Sunset
City of Orleans Purple Sky
City of Orleans fireworks

Photos by Bill Beardsley


Orleans (pop. 521) is to the north of the City of Spirit Lake and surrounds the east, west and south boundaries of Big Spirit Lake. Big Spirit Lake is a great fishing location for many residents and visitors from near and far. There are lots of other things to do in Orleans from swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding, sunbathing and more. We are home to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Spirit Lake Fish Hatchery. The hatchery supplies a learning experience for all. Be sure to check it out while visiting us. The Dickinson County Trail extends into Orleans and is a beautiful place for a leisurely ride to explore the area. There are several public access areas for residents and visitors to enjoy the lake. There are fireworks on Big Spirit Lake every year on the 3rd of July. Great Walleye Weekend is the first weekend in May and includes Big Spirit Lake. Please explore our website to find everything you need to know about our community. 


Orleans Sunset Park

Orleans Sunset Park is a quaint little park off 253rd Avenue. There is a public dock available for putting your paddle board, kayak, or small watercraft into the water.  Park equipment for children to play with benches and picnic tables for families to have lunch or conversations on a beautiful day near Big Spirit Lake. 


Spirit Lake Pump House

Spirit Lake Pump House is at the end of Hill Avenue and is in Orleans City Limits. This location has 140 feet of shoreline along the south shore of Big Spirit Lake, the largest natural lake in Iowa. You can find a sandy beach and park benches for the public. The Spirit Lake Protective Association supplies a public dock facility for boaters to access the area.


Highway 9 Bridge

US 71

Features: Fishing shoreline, boat ramp, restrooms

State Park, State Recreation Areas and Public Facilities

Isthmus Park

1511 Hill Ave

Phone (712) 336-1871

Isthmus Park is a state-owned park found north of East Okoboji in the city limits of Orleans, at the end of Hill Avenue. This park features two floating docks, canoe ramp, RV dump, picnic tables, grills, handicap-accessible restrooms, and fishing piers. The Dickinson County Trails pass right through Isthmus Park, so you walk or bike from this location. The park is currently supported by City of Spirit Lake.

Ainsworth-Orleans Beach

Ainsworth-Orleans Beach, owned and operated by the Iowa DNR is located next to the Big Spirit Lake spillway and is across the street from the Spirit Lake Hatchery and has a sandy beach with dressing room and restrooms. You can also stop by the Spillway Drive-In for a treat or lunch. It is a beautiful location for sunbathing.

Marble Beach State Recreation Area

Phone (712) 337-3211

Marble Beach State Recreation Area – Stretches for more than a mile on the west side of Big Spirit Lake and was recently renovated their campgrounds and restrooms. Marble Beach has 224 available sites for camping. There is a boat ramp as well as a sandy beach for fishing and water sports.  

Mini-Wakan State Park

24490 100th St.

Phone (712) 337-3211

N. Shore of Big Spirit Lake
Orleans, IA

Available picnic shelter, fishing shoreline, pier, and boat ramp.

Templar State Recreation Area

13185 Templar Dr. S

Phone (712) 337-3211

NW Side of Orleans/Big Spirit Lake
Orleans, IA

Available picnic shelters, fishing shoreline, pier, and boat ramp.

Public Docks

The City of Orleans owns two docks that are located at Sunset Park and Beach Ave. (south of the Fish Hatchery). These are provided for the enjoyment of the lakes by all citizens. Overnight parking of boats, trailers, etc. more than 24 hours on City property is prohibited and boat hoists are not allowed to be stored on City property and must be removed within 24 hours of removal from the lake for the season.


There are so many things to see and do in the Iowa Great Lakes area!  If you are new to the area and would like to know more about the businesses that service our area, we have provided their information here.

City of Orleans dock with sunset
City of Orleans bird
City of Orleans bridge

Photos by Rachel Poncelet