Open (Picnic) Shelters

Emerson Bay Shelter       Ledges shelter

If you are unfamiliar with a park and associated shelters (including shelter names), it is recommended that you review the shelter amenity information found on the reservation system.

Shelter General Use Rules

Keg Procedures for Shelters

Reservations can be made online at or by calling the call center at 1-877-427-2757 during the hours of 7:00 am to 7:00 pm (CST) Monday through Friday and 8:00 am to 4:00 pm (CST) Saturday and Sunday.  The call center is closed New Year's Day, Easter, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.

General Reservation Information:

  • Reservation will be accepted up to 12 months in advance.
  • Shelters may be reserved for multiple consecutive days. Customers may occupy the shelters beginning at 8:00 a.m. CST on the first day of rental. Renters and guests must vacate the shelter by 10:00 p.m.
  • A nonrefundable reservation fee shall be charged for each reservation made. Payment is due at the time the reservation is made.
  • Customers may pay for shelter reservations using checks, money order and Visa or MasterCard. All payments made with check and money order must be physically received within 10 days from the date the reservation was made or the reservation will be automatically voided.
  • If paying by credit card or debit card (backed by Visa/MasterCard), the last day to make a shelter reservation during the peak season of May 1-September 30 is 4 days prior to the arrival date.
  • If paying by credit card or debit card (backed by Visa/MasterCard), the last day to make a shelter reservation during the off season of October 1-April 30 is 14 days prior to the arrival date.
  • If paying by check or money order, the last day to make a shelter reservation for any date is 21 days prior to the arrival date.

Change Policy

Customer will be allowed to change a reservation once the reservation has been paid in full. A $5 change fee will apply to each reservation item (cabin, lodge, shelters) that is changed. The last day to change an existing reservation (dates, park, etc.) is 15 days prior to the original reservation date. All reservation changes must be handled through the reservation call center.

Cancellation Policy:

Customers may cancel a reservation for any reason up to the actual arrival date. A cancellation fee, $5.00 online and $7.00 through the call center, applies and will be deducted from the rental fees to be refunded. Additional penalty fees may apply.

  • Cancellations will be handled through the call center only.
  • Cancellations that occur up to 30 days prior to the arrival date will be assessed a cancellation fee and remaining rental fees refunded.
  • Cancellations that occur 15-29 days prior to arrival will be assessed a cancellation fee and forfeiture of one day's rental fee.
  • Cancellations that occur less than 15 days prior to arrival date up to the actual arrival date will be assessed a cancellation fee and forfeiture of two day's rental fees.

Parks with Shelters available for rent. The reservation fee is $25 plus tax per day.

Name of Park or
Recreation ARea
Name of Park or
Recreation Area
Name of Park or
Recreation Area
 Backbone          Lacey-Keosauqua  Pilot Knob
 Beed's Lake  Lake Ahquabi  Pikes Peak
 Bellevue    Lake Anita  Pine Lake   
 Big Creek  Lake Darling  Pleasant Creek
 Black Hawk     Lake Keomah  Prairie Rose
 Bobwhite  Lake Macbride  Red Haw
 Clear Lake  Lake Manawa  Rock Creek
 Dolliver  Lake of Three Fires  Springbrook
 Elk Rock  Lake Wapello  Stone
 Fort Defiance  Ledges  Union Grove
 Geode  Lewis and Clark  Viking Lake
 George Wyth Memorial  Maquoketa Caves  Wapsipinicon
 Green Valley  McIntosh Woods  Waubonsie
 Gull Point  Palisades-Kepler  Wildcat Den
 Honey Creek    

The handicapped (wheelchair) symbol sign on an open shelter indicates the shelter is usable by persons in wheelchairs. The use of such marked shelters is not limited to persons displaying the symbol on their vehicle. Open picnic areas (no shelter) marked with the wheelchair symbol are also denoted as accessible by wheelchair users; however, the use of these picnic tables and adjacent facilities is limited to groups containing persons qualifying for and displaying a handicapped identification device on their vehicle.

Beach House Open Shelters

Beach House Open Shelters may be reserved for group use. The reservation fee is $40 per day plus applicable tax.


Lake Wapello State Park Pine Lake State Park Springbrook State Recreation Area Lake Ahquabi State Park

Open Shelters with Kitchenette


The rental fee for shelters which contain a small kitchen, is $75 plus applicable tax. 
Elinor Bedell State Park Lake Manawa State Park
Viking lake State Park

Damage Deposit Policy For Open Shelters with Kitchenettes:

  • A damage deposit in the amount of $75 is required. The damage deposit is handled by the park office. Payment method of the deposit varies from park to park. Please check the damage deposit information on the park reservation system to determine if the check must be mailed in prior to your rental date or if it can be received upon arrival to the lodge.
  • Damage deposits will be refunded only after inspection by authorized personnel to ensure the facility and furnishings are in satisfactory condition.
  • If it is necessary for Department personnel to clean up the facility or repair any damage beyond ordinary wear and tear, a log of the time spent in such cleanup or repair shall be kept. The damage deposit refund will be reduced by an amount equivalent to the applicable hourly wage of the employees for the time necessary to clean the area or repair the damage and the cost of any furnishings.
  • The deposit is not to be construed as a limit of liability for damage to state property. The Department may take legal action necessary to recover additional damage.