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Fourth of July Weekend Looks Great for State Park Visitors

Iowa state parks are ready to welcome thousands of visitors for the Fourth of July weekend.

“Statewide, it looks like we are going to have some of the best weather we’ve seen in years for this mid-summer holiday,” says Todd Coffelt, DNR State Parks Bureau chief. “It’ll be perfect for just about any outdoor activity and a chance to make plenty of memories with family and friends.”

Although campsites on the reservation system have been filled for three months, last minute campers can take their chances with walk-in campsites.  The recently reopened and newly renovated campground at Fairport State Recreation Area on the Mississippi in Muscatine County, along with the recently reopened campground at Lake Keomah State Park in Mahaska County, may have some walk-in sites available. Realistically, most available campsites will be taken by Thursday.

Together, 19 of Iowa’s state parks have a more than 90 family cabins, multifamily cabins, camping cabins and yurts providing alternatives to a traditional tent or RV overnight stay. While it may be difficult to find an available cabin for this weekend, they can be reserved a year in advance for those who want to plan ahead for next year.

Just a reminder to those planning to reserve a state park campsite for Labor Day weekend, the reservation window has been open for a couple weeks. Campsite options go quickly for this end-of-summer holiday.

“You don’t have to stay overnight to enjoy our state parks,” says Coffelt. “We have a wide variety of things to do for our day-use visitors, too.”

Iowa’s state parks are on track to host more than 15 million day visits this year alone.

“Whatever the plan, whether it’s to stay overnight or drop in to fish, boat, hike or picnic,” says Coffelt, “we hope people will make Iowa state parks their destinations this Fourth of July weekend.”

For more information about Iowa State Parks, go to www.iowadnr.gov/parks.

Here are a few reminders for those planning a trip to specific state parks this weekend.

  • The beach at Pleasant Creek State Recreation Area in Linn County is closed until the shoreline restoration project is completed and the lake refills.
  • Visitors to Lake Macbride State Park in Johnson County are reminded that the beach will close at 6 PM each day. Due to high use and limited parking at the beach area at Lake Macbride, visitors should expect a beach closure on weekends and holidays. Access to the beach may be closed for up to two hours. During these times, people in vehicles will be stopped at the park entrance and asked to return to the beach at a later time or asked to visit one of the other beaches in Johnson County such as Sandy Beach, Sugar Bottom, West Overlook or Kent Park.
  • Boating is restricted on the lake at Union Grove State Park, in Tama County, during current dredging operations. For safety reasons, boating will be restricted to non-motorized crafts, such as canoes and kayaks.
  • Lake Wapello State Park campground, in Davis County, is closed for renovation. Lake Manawa State Park campground, in Pottawattamie County, remains closed.

Closure and alert information is posted on the DNR website at www.iowadnr.gov/parks and the parks reservation site at http://iowastateparks.reserveamerica.com. Current information is also available by calling individual park offices directly.

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