Emerson Bay Campground Reopens Ahead of July 4 Holiday
The campground at Emerson Bay State Recreation Area on the southwest shore of West Okoboji Lake has reopened after a 13-month, nearly complete renovation.
Construction crews removed trees and brush, installed new electrical lines, camping pads and living spaces, and remodeled the older restroom/shower building.
The new Emerson Bay campground has fewer total campsites, but more sites with electricity. Campers will find 82 electrical sites, of which, 23 sites offer water and sewer connections in addition to electricity, and a new campground layout with more space between sites and additional water hydrants.
The new sites are larger, level and some offer the option to pull through rather than back in. The cable TV option that was part of the old campground was not included in the upgrade due to lack of demand.
With its location adjacent to a popular boat ramp on the southwest shore of West Okoboji Lake, Emerson Bay is the preferred campground on the Iowa Great Lakes, said Frank Rickerl, northwest Iowa state parks supervisor for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
Word had spread Sunday night that the campground would likely open on Monday.
“We had people camping out in line to secure a campsite today once we removed the barricade,” Rickerl said. “We are glad to finally open the campground after the weather delays from last fall’s drought to this spring’s rains.”
While the opening is welcomed, there is some work yet to do.
The south shower building is still being renovated so campers will need to use the shower building on the north side and grass is sparse in some areas.