The last big camping weekend of the summer recreation season begins Friday.
Campers looking for a reservable campsite with electricity in an Iowa state park and who are not too choosy have a few options remaining, but they must make their reservation no later than Wednesday or plan to arrive as early as possible to claim a first come, first served campsite.
The state parks reservation page is available through www.iowadnr.gov/parks then click on Reservation System in the column on the left.
“People just don’t miss spending these three day weekends in our parks,” said Kevin Szcodronski, chief of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources State Parks Bureau.
“It’s going to be hot and we are going to be busy so having patience and being respectful of your neighbors will be important. Campers should watch their noise level during quiet hours, only burn firewood in fire rings and leave the fireworks at home. It only takes one loud campsite to ruin the experience for a lot of people,” Szcodronski said.
While Labor Day Weekend marks the end of the summer recreation season, it also is the beginning of fall camping when the crowds are lighter, bugs are fewer, weather is cooler and the leaves begin to show all the colors in the spectrum.
“We’ve had a good year in our campgrounds and we hope to continue that into the fall,” he said.
• Plan to arrive early in the day to set up the site, look for potential problems and avoid those areas
• Prepare ingredients for meals before leaving home for less time cooking and more time playing
• Bug spray, sun screen and a basic first-aid kit are must haves
• Bring extra water
• Check the registration kiosk for activities in the area
• Don’t burn trash
• Don’t bring fireworks
• Be a good neighbor. Observe quiet hours and pick up after yourself
The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship requires all firewood sold or acquired in Iowa to have the county and state of harvest location on the label of packages and the delivery ticket for bulk firewood. The rules were added to prevent the spread of invasive species.
The rules only apply to firewood sold and acquired in Iowa.
The rule also requires the Iowa DNR to collect firewood from campers that does not have a label.