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Get Ready for Camping Kick-Off Weekend, May 4-6

As Iowans excitedly anticipate warmer temperatures, state park staff are getting ready for the start of the 2018 camping season. Iowa State Parks will officially launch the camping season during the first weekend in May with its annual Camping Kick-Off Celebration.

“We look forward to welcoming people to our parks each year,” said Todd Coffelt, chief of state parks for the Iowa DNR. “Camping Kick-Off is our way of showing appreciation to our campers by offering programs and activities for the entire family.”

More than 30 state parks will host special activities the weekend of May 4-6, including kayaking clinics, fun runs, night sky hikes, volunteer projects and more. A list of parks and their programs is available at http://www.iowadnr.gov/campingkickoff

Campers will also receive a free issue of the DNR's Iowa Outdoors magazine.

Those wanting to join the Camping Kickoff celebration are encouraged to make a reservation now. Iowa has more than 4,700 state park campsites; 75 percent of them can be reserved in advance. Reservations can be made at: https://iowastateparks.reserveamerica.com/

“Iowa state parks are beloved overnight destinations for many people,” says Coffelt. “We offer campsites that appeal to a broad range of campers, from the more rustic hike-in sites to those with all the popular amenities.”

And if camping isn’t your thing, 93 cabins are available for rent in 19 state parks, reminds Coffelt. In the off season, (from the Thursday after Labor Day to the Friday before Memorial Day), cabins can be rented for a two-night minimum stay. Most of those cabins require a seven-day minimum stay during the peak summer season.

Most state parks now have water turned on, with shower and restroom buildings open for campers. Visit www.iowadnr.gov/stateparks for more information about campsites, cabins, events, closures and to sign up to receive State Parks News electronically.

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