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

UPDATED 1/6/2021.

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 1/6/2021):

  • Campgrounds are open for winter camping. Winter camping is dependent upon weather conditions. Heavy snowfalls may prevent access to the campground as not all roads are routinely maintained. Modern restrooms and shower buildings are closed. Water may not be available in some parks. It is recommended that campers may want to call ahead and check the weather and road conditions before planning a camping trip.  Campers and visitors should follow gathering size, social distancing and increased hygiene requirements and recommendations.
  • Year-round cabins and yurts are open. All kitchenware has been removed from cabins, including dishes, pots and pans; please bring your own from home. Additionally, check-in time is now 5:00 p.m. and check-out time is now 9:00 a.m. (changed from 4:00 p.m. and 11:00 a.m, respectively) to allow for extra time to clean between rentals. 
  • Year-round lodges are open. Check-in time is now 10 a.m. (changed from 8:00 a.m.). Groups must follow gathering size, social distancing and increased hygiene requirements and recommendations.
  • 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. No cancellation fee will be charged. 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. 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 at all state parks are limited in order to follow gathering size, social distancing and increased hygiene requirements and recommendations. Check the special event system to see which events are still scheduled. 
  • Visitor centers, museums and nature centers are closed for the year. Lewis & Clark visitor center is open by appointment only.
  • 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.
  • Other areas of state parks and forests are open this winter.  Access to these areas is dependent upon weather conditions.

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 July 2 - December 31, 2021. The Beach Shelter will not be accepting reservations from July 2 - September 30, 2021. The Beach Lodge will allow reservations only on Saturdays/Sundays from July 2 - October 15, 2021. The concession (including boat rentals) might be closed while the cabins are closed. The beach will be open. 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 November 12, 2020 updated March 1,2021)
  • WATER IS CURRENTLY SHUT OFF AT ALL CAMPGROUNDS FOR SEASON: Water is currently shut off to the campgrounds at Backbone State Park for the season. The sewer dump station is also closed for the season. The water is still on at the cabins.
  • The East, West, and North gates are closed for the season. You can park at the gates and walk in to the park.
Big Creek State Park - Polk County
  • Flush Facilities will be closed for the rest of the season and will open back up in April of 2021. Pit latrines at Williams drive, Beach Boat Ramp, Disc Golf, and Universal Fishing Pier will remain open. (Posted December 17th, 2020)
  • Big Creek staff have pulled the docks at all boat ramps until next spring. (Posted 12/01/2020)
Brushy Creek State Recreation Area - Webster County
  • LOW LAKE LEVEL: The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) lowered Brushy Creek Lake by 4 feet mid-July to install a physical fish barrier on the Brushy Creek Lake spillway to reduce walleye and muskellunge loss during flood events. Due to lack of rainfall, the lake remains 4-5 feet below normal pool level. Currently the only usable docks are located at the West Boat Ramp. The fish cleaning station is also not functional due to the low water. As of November 9, 2020 all docks have been removed for the season.
  • Restroom and shower facilities in the park will be closed for the season on October 15, 2020. Water hydrants and electricity remain on throughout the year for off-season camping. Fourteen day maximum stays are still in place. Pit vault toilets are available in all 3 campgrounds. During the winter season please call ahead (515) 543 8298 to ensure access to a campsite. Weather permitting, facilities will reopen April 15,2021.
Cedar Rock - Buchanan County
  • Tours of the Frank Lloyd Wright designed Walter Estate at Cedar Rock State Park have concluded for the 2020 season. Tours may resume in late May 2021. Park trails remain open for day use.
Dolliver Memorial State Park - Webster County
  • Modern shower buildings and restrooms will close for the season on 10/15/20. Dump station will remain open with no rinse water available. A hydrant to fill with water will be available. A pit latrine at the South end of the campground and at the North end of the park will remain open. Porta pots will be available near playground area and at South end of park.
Elk Rock State Park - Marion County
  • As of Monday October 19th 2020 all modern restrooms and shower buildings will be closed for the season. The campsite electricity and water hydrants will remain on year round. The buildings will be reopened in mid-April 2021. (Posted 9/13/2020)
Fairport State Recreation Area - Muscatine County
  • The campground at Fairport Recreation Area is open throughout the winter months, however, water is shut off and the modern restroom/shower building and RV dump station are closed for the season. These facilities will re-open around May 1st, 2021. Electricity will remain on and the pit latrine, located on the west end of the campground, will remain available for winter use. If you have any questions, please call the park office at 563-263-4337
Geode State Park - Henry County
  • Restroom & Shower facilities have been closed for the season as of 11/2/2020. There is a hydrant left on year round for filling water at the campground entrance. There is a pit latrine left open year round at the center of the campground. Electric service at the campsites remains on year round.
  • 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)
  • Modern restroom/shower buildings were closed as of 10/15/20. Water hydrants have been shut off throughout the campground and park. The dump station will remain open. Electricity will be available throughout the campground. A pit latrine will remain open at the North end of the campground. (Updated 11/20/2020)
Honey Creek State Park - Appanoose County
  • All modern facilities are winterized. Closed for the winter.
Lacey Keosauqua State Park - Van Buren County
  • The shower building has been shut down for the winter and will re-open in April. Frost free hydrants and electricity is still available in the winter months. A pit toilet located in the campground or the park office restrooms available for winter month camping.
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 Anita State Park - Cass County
  • All modern restrooms and showers are shut down for the season at Lake Anita State Park. Electricity, frost free hydrants, and sewer drains are still on and available at the camp sites. Pit latrines are available at the boat ramps, picnic area, and dam. (Posted 10/19/2020)
Lake Darling State Park - Washington County
  • As of November 16th, 2020, the campground shower buildings have been closed for the winter. Campground electricity, water hydrants, and sewer dump stations remain available. There are two pit latrines available for use - one near the camping cabins and one near the campground boat ramp. Anticipated re-opening date will be in April 2021. (Posted 11-16-2020)
Lake Keomah State Park - Mahaska County
  • Shower building will close October 15, 2020 for the season, it will remain closed until the spring of 2021
Lake of Three Fires State Park - Taylor County
  • Lake of Three Fires State park will close the campgrounds and trails starting Feb. 2nd 2021. The closure is due to the removal of ash trees that have been damaged by the Emerald ash borer. The campgrounds will be opened on March, 31st 2021 or when the trees are removed.
  • CABIN CLOSURE: January 15th, 2021. The cabins have been closed/winterized due to the heaters not being able to keep up with the temperatures in the local area. Cabins will be open for reservations April 1st.
  • Facilities: The modern restrooms/showers at Lake of Three Fires State Park are closed as of October 26th, 2020 for the winter. The RV dump station is open with no running water. Water hydrants and electric campsites will remain ON in the campground year round.
Ledges State Park - Boone County
  • The Canyon Drive is currently closed to vehicle traffic due to snow and freezing temperatures causing icing of the low water crossings. Visitors are welcome to hike in to the canyon at this time though. Parking is available at the top in the Oak Woods picnic area or at the bottom in the Flood Pole parking lot. Typically, the Canyon Drive reopens to vehicle traffic in early April. (This alert was updated on 3/1/2021)
  • Modern restroom and shower facilities throughout the park remain CLOSED from now until April 15. Currently there is a pit vault latrine open and located just west of the campground entrance. There is also one portable restroom unit located in front of each campground shower building. Two portable restroom units are located near the canyon entrance gates in the Oak Woods picnic area. Water hydrants throughout the park are currently off for the winter season with the exception of one hydrant near the campground entrance. Electricity will remain ON to those campsites equipped with hook-ups. (This alert was updated on 3/1/2021)
Lewis and Clark State Park - Monona County
  • 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
  • CAVES CLOSED-The Caves are currently closed for bat hibernation and will remain closed through the winter. (posted 10/16/2020)
  • MODERN RESTROOMS CLOSED-The shower building and modern restrooms have closed for the season. They will reopen on April 15 2021, (posted oct 16 2020)
Nine Eagles State Park - Decatur County
  • Modern shower/restrooms closed for winter season: Modern restroom and shower facilities throughout the park will CLOSE for the winter season on Friday, October 23, 2020. Campground water hydrants, including those at the RV dump station, will remain ON. Electricity will remain ON to those campsites equipped with hook-ups.
Palisades-Kepler State Park - Linn County
  • Palisades is completely closed (indefinitely) to all public access due to storm damage and dangerous conditions of trees. Please check the reservations system periodically for availability if wishing to make a reservation.
Pilot Knob State Park - Hancock County
  • OFF SEASON - The water has been turned off for the season. Pit toilets and 30 Amp electric remain available.
Pine Lake State Park - Hardin County
  • Campground Reopening: The campground at Pine Lake State Park will reopen for camping on Monday, May 3rd, 2021. 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. (Posted: 01/28/21)
  • Off-season Amenities: Modern restrooms throughout Pine Lake State Park have been closed for the season. A vault toilet is available for off-season use at the Upper Pine Lake boat ramp. (Posted 11/10/2020)
  • Renovations Underway: The Campground, Cabins, and Circle Point Picnic Area are currently closed for renovations & improvements. The closure is expected to last until spring of 2021. Reservations for the shelter will not be available for 2021 until the project is complete. Other day use areas throughout the park including trails and boat ramps will remain open throughout the project with a few exceptions: The bike trail near the cabins will be closed for the duration of the project, a detour around the closure is available and posted at the closure. The bike trail through the campground will experience temporary closures during the project when heavy equipment is being operated near the trail, or when buried utility installation requires removal of sections of the trail. Questions regarding these closures can be directed to the park office at 641-858-5832 or pine_lake@dnr.iowa.gov. (Updated 8/3/2020)
Pleasant Creek State Recreation Area - Linn County
  • Winter Closure: All water facilities including Restrooms, shower buildings, dump station, hydrants are closed for the winter, effective October 15, 2020. Electric to campsites to be shut off with first measurable snowfall. Look for facilities to be available mid to late April 2021 weather depending. (Posted 10/11/20)
  • Alcohol is prohibited inside the fenced in designated beach area. Alcohol may not be possessed or consumed within the fenced designated beach area.
Prairie Rose State Park - Shelby County
  • The water to Prairie Rose State Park will be turned off on Monday, October 19th. The shower building/modern restrooms will be closed Friday, October 16th for the winter. The water and the shower building will be closed until April 15th, 2021. Campers may use the hydrant located directly next to the north side of the shop for potable water through this time. For questions or directions, please call park staff at 712-773-2701. POSTED: 10/13/2020
Shimek State Forest - Van Buren County
  • Effective November 24, 2020, The equestrian dirt trails have been CLOSED, the WWT is OPEN. This alert will be updated when trail status has changed (Updated 11-24-2020)
Stephens State Forest - Lucas County
  • The water hydrants are temporarily unavailable for use in all three Whitebreast Unit equestrian campgrounds as well as the Primitive Campground in the Lucas Unit. This message will be removed when the hydrants are available for use. Please call 641-774-5632 with questions (updated 1/22/2021).
  • EQUESTRIAN TRAILS CLOSED: The equestrian trails are closed. This bulletin will be removed when the trails re-open. Questions can be directed to the forest headquarters at 641-774-4559 (updated 3/1/21).
Stone State Park - Woodbury County
  • The park roads have been closed for the winter season. Parking is available at the equestrian lot, near the park office and at the west park entrance. The park is open to non-vehicular traffic. Please call 712-255-4698 for information.
  • Park facilities are closed for the winter season. Campground, lodge, and shelter reservations will be walk-in only.
Union Grove State Park - Tama County
  • Starting October 15th the modern restroom/shower building will be closed for the season. Water hydrants are still available for use in the campground. Pit vault restrooms are available for use in the campground year round. The modern restroom will reopen mid-April 2021.
  • Starting October 15th the modern restroom/shower building will be closed for the season. Water hydrants are still available for use in the campground. Pit vault restrooms are available for use in the campground year round. The modern restroom will reopen mid-April 2021.
Viking Lake State Park - Montgomery County
  • All modern restrooms and showers are shut down for the season at Viking Lake State Park. Electricity and sewer drains are still on and available at the campsite. Hydrants in the campground will be shut down early to mid November. Pit latrines are available at the lower picnic area and the pontoon sea wall area. The lake levels at Viking lake are still very low and will be solely dependent on rainfall.
Volga River State Recreation Area - Fayette County
  • The equestrian trails are currently closed for 1st season and 2nd season shotgun deer hunting season. They will remain closed till the spring of 2021 when the trails have had a chance to dry out after the spring thaw and rains. (posted 12-3-2020)
  • Lakeview campground dump station, shower building and restroom are closed for the season. Frog hollow lake modern restroom is closed for the season. Albany campground electric will remain on all year. We anticipate facilities reopening mid to late April of 2021. ( posted 10/21/2020)
Walnut Woods State Park - Polk County
  • All water and sewer is shut off for the season in the campground. This inlcudes restrooms, dump stations, fill hydrants, and full hook up sites. Pit vault restrooms throughout the park will remain open.
Waubonsie State Park - Fremont County
  • Camp Amenities and Modern Restrooms Closing on November 2, 2020 - Camping Still Available Waubonsie's seasonal modern restrooms, showers, and dump station will be closed on November 2nd, for the winter season. The Equestrian Area water will be shut off at the end of November. Camping is still available with electricity and community water hydrants. Four cabins and the WaShawtee Lodge are still available to rent, but please review COVID19 restrictions prior to making a reservation. All facilities will be open again by April 15th, 2021 or as weather allows.
Wildcat Den State Park - Muscatine County
  • Pine Creek Grist Mill and Melpine Schoolhouse are closed for the season. The campground and trails at Wildcat Den State Park remain open throughout the winter months, however, water hydrants and the modern restroom are closed for the season. These services will resume around May 1st, 2021. Pit latrines located in the campground and Upper Picnic Area remain open year-round. If you have any questions, please call the park office at 563-263-4337 (UPDATED 11-12-2020)
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)
  • Wilson Island State Recreation area is open for limited use. The campground, water system, some facilities and some roadways remain closed. One pit toilet is open in the east camp area, next to the available parking lot. The area is open for hiking, wildlife viewing, and in season hunting. Firearm hunting is prohibited with 200 yards of the office and residences. The boat ramps onto the chute and the river are available, but limited parking exists. For further questions, contact the park office at 712-642-2069. Updated 10/21/2020
Yellow River State Forest - Allamakee County
  • (POSTED 11/30/2020) Effective, December 2, 2020, the equestrian trails will be closed for equestrian use until spring 2021. The drinking water is still turned on. The cabin is closed until April 1, 2021. You can make cabin reservations one year in advance. Please check this website for updates periodically. If you have any questions or if you want to check on the status of equestrian trails please call the office at (563) 586-2254.