Learn about the DNR's COVID-19 response and how the current health emergency is impacting DNR facilities, services and events.

Please note new changes to parks operations during the COVID-19 health emergency.

In accordance with state recommendations pertaining to COVID-19, we want to share with you important information about Iowa state parks.

State Parks, Forests and Preserves visitors are reminded to strictly abide to the social distancing rules and not gather in groups. Remember to stay home if you feel sick, wash your hands regularly, avoid touching your face, and bring supplies from home including disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizer and other hygiene products.

Park Facility Changes (Updated 4/27/2021):

  • Campgrounds are open. Campers and visitors should follow gathering size, social distancing and increased hygiene requirements and recommendations.
  • Cabins and yurts are open. Modern cabins are equipped with pots and pans. Dishes and utensils are not available at this time. The check-in time is 4:00 pm and the check-out time is 11:00 am.
  • Lodges and Shelters are open. Check-in time is 10:00 a.m. If you need access to the facility prior to 10:00 am, contact park staff and they will try and accommodate an earlier check-in time.
  • Customers with lodge reservations will be allowed to cancel up to 7 days prior to the arrival date without penalty and receive a full refund of the rental fees and taxes paid. The original non-refundable reservation fee ($4.00 for online reservations and $6.00 for reservations made through the call center) will not be refunded along with the cancellation fee of $5 online or $7 through the call center. Lodge cancellations less than 7 days prior to the arrival date will be subject to the regular reservation cancellation policy. To cancel, contact the customer service call center at (877) 427-2757.
  • Playgrounds are open. Equipment is not sanitized, user discretion is advised.
  • Programs and events. Visitors attending programs and events in state parks should follow any guidance provided by the Iowa Department of Public Health and CDC.
  • Visitor centers, museums and nature centers are closed except at Cedar Rock and the Lewis & Clark visitor center. See the individual park webpages for details on hours of operation and restrictions.
  • We are monitoring the situation. We promise to remain diligent and intentional in protecting you and making your visit a great experience. As conditions change, so may our policies on park visitation and overnight stays. We will keep you informed of any changes moving forward.

Here's How You Can Help:

  • According to state of Iowa recommendations, limit your group size and stay at least 6 feet away from other park visitors.
  • If you have been sick in the last two weeks, please stay at home for your health and the safety of others.
  • Please maintain distance between you and other park visitors according to guidelines and recommendations by health officials. Please take into consideration the health of others when spending time outdoors.
  • Pack extra soap or hand sanitizer. Soap or sanitizer may not be available at state parks during the winter. Be sure and bring your own and wash your hands frequently.
  • Wearing a cloth face mask in public around others when social distancing may not be possible.
  • Additional information on best practices for keeping you and your family safe can be found online at the CDC website.

Thank you for your patience and flexibility. We appreciate your support of Iowa state parks as we all work together to keep each other safe.


State Park Alerts - Closures and Important Information
Backbone State Park - Delaware County
  • Road Resurfacing Project: The 16 cabins will not be accepting reservations from August 6, 2021 - June 30, 2022. The Beach Shelter will not be accepting reservations from August 6, 2021 - June 30, 2022. The Beach Lodge we are not accepting reservations from August 9 - October 15, 2021 and from May 1 - June 30, 2022. The concession (including boat rentals) will be open the Friday before Memorial Day through June 30, 2021. The concession may be open in July and will be determined as the summer progresses. The concession will be closed while the cabins are closed. Visitors may experience noise during the week as contractors are working on the road. This project does not affect access to the lodge or beach area. (Posted April 23, 2021) If you would like to be notified if the cabins open earlier than expected, fill out this Backbone State Park notification Google form. (Posted 3/1/2021)
  • Road Resurfacing Project: If you would like to be notified if the beach lodge opens earlier than expected, fill out this Backbone State Park notification Google form. (Posted 5/12/2021)
  • A road construction project will be taking place throughout the park. Most of the work will be focused in the South Lake campground. The campground will remain open but you can expect detours and slowdowns. The dump station may also be closed for a short period. The entire North end of the park will be closed at some point for crack and fog sealing. This will be only a few hours. Monitor this space for updates.
Bellevue State Park - Jackson County
  • Modern restroom facility is open and water is on.
Big Creek State Park - Polk County
  • Big Creek staff have put in all Docks except the Marina Dock. The Marina Dock was damaged beyond repair from the Derecho. At this time, there is an unknown timeframe for the replacement to arrive. (Posted 3/31/2021)
Black Hawk State Park - Sac County
  • Due to the Beach renovation project, campsites 121-124 will be closed for reservations from June 1 - August 1, 2021. (Posted March 5, 2021)
Brushy Creek State Recreation Area - Webster County
  • LOW LAKE LEVEL: The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) lowered the lake to install a physical fish barrier on the Brushy Creek Lake spillway last July to reduce walleye and muskellunge loss. Due to low rainfall, the lake remains about 2 1/2 feet below normal pool level. Docks are in. The west dock has a longer concrete ramp so that dock has been moved in lower and is the best option for boat launching at this time. All other docks are in place, however only the very ends are in the water.
Cedar Rock - Buchanan County
  • 2021 Tour Availability: Tours will be offered on a reservation only basis and will be limited to a number of participants. Tours are given hourly from 10 am to 3 pm, Wednesday's - Sunday's from May 26 - October 17. (Posted April 27, 2021)
Elk Rock State Park - Marion County
  • TRAILS: Currently all multi-use trails are closed to biking and equestrian traffic due to recent precipitation. The trails are still available to hike, jog and walk on. This bulletin will be removed when trails are opened back up for biking and equestrian use. For further information please call the park office at 641-842-6008. (updated 5/17/2021 )
Fairport State Recreation Area - Muscatine County
  • The campground, modern shower facility, dump station and pit latrine are all open and water hydrants and electricity are turned on. If you would like to make a future campground reservation, click on the above banner titled "Make a Park Reservation" or call toll free 1-877-427-2757. For all other inquires, please contact the park office at 563-263-4337. (UPDATED 5-4-2021)
Geode State Park - Henry County
  • The shower building in the upper portion of the campground is open for the season. Campsites 1-45 are open for use. The shower building and campsites in the lower part of the campground, sites 46-90, are closed due to water pressure issues. It is anticipated that the water pressure issue will be fixed in late May 2021.
  • Geode Campground: Sites 46-90 remain closed due to water pressure issues. The front part of the campground is open sites 1-45. The full hook-up sites (16-28) are available on a first come first served basis. 4 tent sites are available on the western edge of the front of the campground. For questions please call the park office at (319) 392-4601. (Updated October 13, 2020)
Green Valley State Park - Union County
  • Campground and Cabin Closure: The campground and cabins are not accepting reservations from October 4, 2021 - October 31, 2022 due to an anticipated road project. (Updated 1/15/2021)
Lacey Keosauqua State Park - Van Buren County
  • Road construction taking place in the state park. Expect delays or follow detour signs.
Lake Ahquabi State Park - Warren County
  • Park Renovation Projects: The lake will be drawn down in early July of 2021. The campground will be closed starting on August 9, 2021 due to renovation. The lodge and shelter will be available in 2021, but the water level will be very low in August and September due to the lake restoration project. In 2022, the campground, shelter, and lodge will be closed due to renovation. (Posted October 14, 2020)
Lake Darling State Park - Washington County
  • As of Thursday, April 15th, 2021, campground restrooms and shower buildings are open for the season. (Posted April 15th, 2021)
Lewis and Clark State Park - Monona County
  • Due to unforeseen circumstances Visitors Center hours are varied. Please call park office to confirm Visitor Center hours prior to your visit or to schedule a tour. (Posted 5/9/21)
  • 2021 Lewis and Clark Visitor Center: The visitor center will be open May 1 - October 1 on Tuesdays - Saturdays from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. Restrooms and touch points will be sanitized daily. The displays with intensive hands on contact will remain closed. Masks and hand sanitizer will be available. the visitor center can be available by appointment only the remainder of the year by calling the park office at 712 423-2829. (Posted April 27, 2021)
  • 2021 Campground Changes: The previous campsites 1 - 31 have been eliminated in the campground. The previous site 32 is now site 1 and all campsites were renumbered. Please take notice of this change when making your 2021 camping reservations. (Posted January 14, 2021).
Maquoketa Caves State Park - Jackson County
  • 2021 Campground Changes: The campground is 100% reservable. Same day reservations will be accepted from April 1 - October 31 and until 9 pm on the day of arrival. A reservation is required to camp. (Posted 4/16/2021)
  • Starting April 1st 2021 parking will be limited to designated spots only, once they are full you must wait for a open parking spot to access the park, Please plan your trip to come earlier or later in the day and avoid peak times on the weekends from 11-4 pm. If arriving during peak times, you should have an alternate place to visit until the park is less busy. (Posted 4/16 2021)
McIntosh Woods State Park - Cerro Gordo County
  • Shower builiding in campground is now OPEN, all other water facilites are also OPEN!!
Palisades-Kepler State Park - Linn County
  • Park re-opens after August 10, 2020 Derecho: On April 23, 2021 the park re-opened after several months of work to remove damaged trees, downed limbs, and clearing debris. Reservations are being accepted for everything except for the lodge, which has extensive roof damage. The lodge will be repaired in the summer of 2021. (Posted April 21, 2021)
Pikes Peak State Park - Clayton County
  • Campsite Closure: Campsites 27, 28, 30, 31 and 34 are closed for the 2021 recreation season. (Posted April 9, 2021)
Pine Lake State Park - Hardin County
  • Renovations Underway: The Cabins and Circle Point Picnic Area are currently closed for renovations & improvements. The cabins will re-open on June 4th, 2021 and the Circle Point Picnic area will re-open mid summer 2021. Questions regarding these closures can be directed to the park office at 641-858-5832 or pine_lake@dnr.iowa.gov. (Updated 05/03/2021)
  • Campground Reopening: The campground at Pine Lake State Park has re-opened after being closed for renovations since August or 2020. Campers making reservations at Pine Lake should be aware that some campsites have been removed in order to increase usable space for the remaining campsites. This has resulted in changes to campsite numbers, and some campsites that were once first-come, first-served may now be reservable and vice-versa. Campers wishing to reserve sites in a specific area of the campground should consult the updated campground map prior to making a reservation. Also be aware that staff continue to remove trees in the campground due to emerald ash borer, and site photos may not reflect those changes at this time. Please direct questions to the park office at pine_lake@dnr.iowa.gov or 641-858-5832. (Updated 05/03/2021)
Pleasant Creek State Recreation Area - Linn County
  • Alcohol is prohibited inside the fenced in designated beach area. Alcohol may not be possessed or consumed within the fenced designated beach area.
Preparation Canyon State Park - Monona County
  • 2021 Loess Hills Visitor Center: The visitor center will be open May 1 - October 1 on Tuesdays - Fridays from 8:30 am to noon. Saturdays and Sundays from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. Restrooms and touch points will be sanitized daily. The displays with intensive hands on contact will remain closed. Masks and hand sanitizer will be available. (Posted April 27, 2021)
  • 2021 Visitor Center: The visitor center will be open May 1 - October 1 on Tuesdays - Fridays from 8:30 am to noon. Saturdays and Sundays from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. Restrooms and touch points will be sanitized daily. The displays with intensive hands on contact will remain closed. Masks and hand sanitizer will be available. (Posted April 27, 2021)
Rock Creek State Park - Jasper County
  • Campsite Closure: Campsites 109 - 120 are closed through August 1, 2021 to allow for grass re-establishment. (Posted April 9, 2021)
Shimek State Forest - Van Buren County
  • Effective April 29, 2021, The equestrian dirt trails have been CLOSED, the WWT is OPEN. This alert will be updated when trail status has changed (Updated 5-10-2021)
  • BRIDGE CLOSURE ON IOWA 2 EAST OF FARMINGTON BEGINS AT 8 A.M. MONDAY, MAR. 29 Replacement of the Iowa 2 bridge over Lick Creek (4.3 miles east of the junction with Iowa 81) east of Farmington, and the bridge over Sugar Creek (1.8 miles west of U.S. 218), will require closing the road to traffic over the Lick Creek bridge beginning at 8 a.m. Monday, Mar. 29, until late-June, weather permitting, according to the Iowa Department of Transportation’s Fairfield construction office. Once the Lick Creek bridge opens, the Sugar Creek bridge will close for construction. The bridge projects will be coordinated so the Iowa 2 bridges are not closed at the same time. Detour Route: Through traffic on Iowa 2 will be detoured using U.S. 218, Lee County Road J-40/160th Street, and Lee County Road W-46/100th Avenue. It is anticipated the detour will be in place for most of the construction season. Local traffic will have access to Iowa 2 except for the bridges crossing over Lick Creek and Sugar Creek . The Iowa DOT reminds motorists to drive with caution, obey the posted speed limit and other signs in the work area, and be aware that traffic fines for moving violations are at least double in work zones. As in all work zones, drivers should stay alert, allow ample space between vehicles, and wear seat belts. The latest traveler information is available anytime through our 511 system. Visit 511ia.org; call 511 (within Iowa) or 800-288-1047 (nationwide); stay connected with 511 on Facebook or Twitter; or download the free app to your mobile device. Detour Map. (Posted 3/25/2021)
Springbrook State Park - Guthrie County
  • Campground facilities open for the 2021 season
Stephens State Forest - Lucas County
  • The water hydrants in the Lucas Primitive Campground are temporarily unavailable for use. This message will be removed when the hydrants are available. Please call 641-774-5632 with questions (updated 5/14/2021).
Stone State Park - Woodbury County
  • Road construction on Lodge Circle will begin on May 15th and last throughout the summer. Lodge, campground, cabin 3 and shower building will be inaccessible beginning May 15th, therefore no reservations or walk-in camping will be available. Reservations for Cabin 1 & 2 can still be made through the park office, but be advised you WILL NOT have access to a shower due to the road closure. Shelter reservations can still be made online up to 2 days in advance. Please call the park office at 712-255-4698 with any questions. (Posted 5/3/21)
Viking Lake State Park - Montgomery County
  • As of 4-27-21 all hydrants and restroom facilities are currently open. The lake level is currently down approximately 7 feet. Lake levels are solely dependent on rainfall to reach normal levels. Boating and swimming activities are limited and you should call the Park Office for further details. (Posted 5-4-21)
Volga River State Recreation Area - Fayette County
  • Lakeview campground dump station, hydrants and modern restroom facilities are open for the season. Albany campground water is also on for the season. ( posted 4-26-21)
Wildcat Den State Park - Muscatine County
  • The Pine Creek Grist Mill and Melpine Schoolhouse remain closed for the season. The campground, hiking trails, modern restroom, and pit latrines are all open and water hydrants are turned on. If you would like to make a future campground reservation, click on the above banner titled "Make a Park Reservation" or call toll free 1-877-427-2757. For all other inquires, please contact the park office at 563-263-4337. (UPDATED 5-4-2021)
Wilson Island State Recreation Area - Pottawattamie County
  • Campground reopening in late spring of 2021: The campground will only be open from April 15 - October 15, which is a change from previous years. We have also reduced the number of campsites to 42. New campsite pictures will be added in late spring of 2021. However, there is a closure in place on the campground to prevent reservations from being made until the remaining repairs are completed. Once the campground is ready, the closure will be removed and reservations can be made. You can continue to check this bulletin for updates. (Posted December 29, 2020)