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

UPDATED 7/2/2020.

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 7/2/2020):

  • Campgrounds are open. Some campgrounds may be closed due to construction or maintenance issues, so please check the specific closure information below for each park before planning a camping trip. Campers and visitors should follow gathering size, social distancing and increased hygiene requirements and recommendations.
  • Youth group campsites are open. Groups must follow gathering size, social distancing and increased hygiene requirements and recommendations.  
  • All modern restrooms and shower buildings are open. Drinking fountains remain closed.
  • 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. 
  • Shelters and 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 and shelter 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 and shelter reservation 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 Parks 2020 webpage or special event system to see which events are still scheduled. 
  • A limited number of visitor centers, museums and nature centers managed by state parks are open. Check the closure information below for specific park facilities.
  • 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 that remain open for day use include: trails, roads, lake and river access points, boat ramps, shorelines, and open spaces such as grassy areas.  

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.
  • Avoid popular areas where people may congregate such as scenic overlooks, buildings, beaches, etc.
  • 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 will not be easily available at state parks due to limited supplies. Be sure and bring your own and wash your hands frequently.
  • Consider 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, Beach Shelter, and the Beach Lodge will not be accepting reservations for 2021 due to the road resurfacing project that will affect access to those facilities. (Posted July 2, 2020)
  • CCC Museum CLOSED. The CCC Museum remains closed. (Updated 06/01/2020)
Brushy Creek State Recreation Area - Webster County
  • As of July 11, 2020 the trails at Brushy Creek are temporarily closed to equestrian and bike use due to wet conditions. The 14 mile gravel all-weather Lake and Pond trails remain open for use. This bulletin will be removed when trails have dried sufficiently to reopen.
Geode State Park - Henry County
  • CAMPGROUND OPEN - LIMITED CAMPING. One shower building is open. Due to water pressure issues in the campground the full hook up sites (16-29) will be operated as standard electric sites and priced at $16 per night instead of $19. The sites will be available as first-come, first-serve sites only (no reservations) until the water issue is fixed. Campsites 46-90 in the back part of the campground remain closed to allow the grass to grow. The campsites will open once there is adequate grass on the sites. The second shower building in the back part of the campground remains closed. Campgrounds are now open to visitors. Campers and visitors should follow social distancing and increased hygiene requirements and recommendations. (Updated 06/01/2020)
  • The Lake is drained for renovation , No boating , fishing or swimming is possible at this time. walking on the lake bottom is permitted but caution is advised due to the possibility of getting stuck in the lake bottom mud.
George Wyth State Park - Black Hawk County
  • The Cedar Valley Lakes trail in George Wyth from Krieg's Crossing by Pfeiffer park to the triangle east of the George Wyth Lodge will be closed indefinitely due to the washouts and crumbling of the trail from recent flooding and rains.
Honey Creek State Park - Appanoose County
  • Cabin 1 is closed for maintenance issue until further notice
Lake Macbride State Park - Johnson County
  • BEACH CLOSURES POSSIBLE THIS SUMMER We limit the number of vehicles to the beach parking lot due to extremely high visitation. When the parking lots are full, access to the beach will close for up to 2 hours, sometimes as early as 12:00 Noon. This can happen on hot days from Memorial Day to Labor Day. When parking lots reach capacity a ‘Beach Parking Lot Full’ sign will go up at the park entrance and beach visitors will be asked to return another day or later in that day. During these times of high beach visitation access to other portions of the park such as the Main Lodge, boat ramps, boat rental and campgrounds will remain open for access.
  • Alcohol is prohibited inside the fenced in designated beach area. Alcohol may not be possessed or consumed within the fenced designated beach area. (Updated July 2, 2018)
Lake Manawa State Park - Pottawattamie County
  • IMPORTANT BEACH USE INFORMATION: Due to record numbers of beach patrons and social distancing requirements, the beach operation has changed. Once the beach is at full capacity, no new patrons will be allowed to enter the beach. Patrons waiting in line may experience long wait times (two hours or longer) and must practice social distancing. Please consider coming to the beach during the week when use is slightly lower. Thank you for your patience. (Posted 6/18/2020)
Lewis and Clark State Park - Monona County
  • CAMPGROUND UPDATE: Campsites 1-31 will remain closed through October 31, 2020. Campgrounds are open to visitors. Campers and visitors should follow gathering size, social distancing and increased hygiene requirements and recommendations. (06/18/2020)
Maquoketa Caves State Park - Jackson County
  • CAVES CLOSED - All caves currently closed to public access. (Updated 7/2/2020)
  • TRAILS OPEN - all trails are open except a section of the boardwalk on Ridge Trail which is damaged. Boardwalk and trail handrails are not sanitized Social distancing is difficult because the boardwalks and trails are narrow due to the unique landscape. Visitor discretion is advised. (Posted 5/12/2020)
  • PARKING UPDATE - Parking in the park is limited to designated parking spots only and will be enforced. Peak park visitation times are weekends from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Visitors are encouraged to explore the park weekdays or during non-peak hours in the morning or late afternoon on weekends. (Posted 5/12/2020)
  • Sagers Museum CLOSED. The Sagers Museum remains closed (Updated 06/01/2020).
  • 2020 CAMPING RESERVATIONS: All campsites except campsite #1 are reservable (100%) on the centralized reservation system. The last day to make a camping reservation is ONE day prior to arrival. Reservation website: https://iowastateparks.reserveamerica.com/ (Updated 5/12/2020)
Pine Lake State Park - Hardin County
  • The cabins at Pine Lake State Park will be closed from July 31, 2020 - May 31, 2021 for a renovation project. Questions regarding this closure can be directed to the park office at 641-858-5832 or pine_lake@dnr.iowa.gov. (Updated 6/19/2020)
  • Campground and Circle Point Shelter Closure: The campground at Pine Lake State Park will be closed from July 27, 2020 - May 31, 2021 for a renovation project. The Circle Point Shelter will be closed starting on July 1, 2020 for a renovation project. Reservations for the shelter will not be available for 2021 until the project is complete. Questions regarding these closures can be directed to the park office at 641-858-5832 or pine_lake@dnr.iowa.gov. (Updated 6/19/2020)
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.
Shimek State Forest - Van Buren County
  • Effective June 10, 2020, The Wet Weather Trail is OPEN. The equestrian DIRT trails have been CLOSED due to moisture. This bulletin will be removed when the trails have been re-opened. (Updated 6-29-2020)
Stephens State Forest - Lucas County
  • The pit latrines at Stephens State Forest will only be open for use Friday through Sunday each week. For questions, please call 641-774-5632 (updated 6/16/20).
Viking Lake State Park - Montgomery County
  • Beach Closure: The lake was drawn down in 2019. DNR is estimating that the lake will not be at full capacity until after Labor Day in 2020, but that is dependent on the weather. (Updated July 9, 2020)
Volga River State Recreation Area - Fayette County
  • Equestrian Trails Currently Open. ( posted 7-11-20)
Wildcat Den State Park - Muscatine County
  • Pine Creek Grist Mill and Melpine School remain closed. (Updated 06/01/2020)
Wilson Island State Recreation Area - Pottawattamie County
  • Wilson Island is closed due to flooding of the Missouri River in 2019. This affects all uses of the park including camping, fishing, hiking, mushroom hunting, Missouri river access and biking as all entry is prohibited. A date for reopening has not been set. Please call the park office for additional information. While notices of the park being open in relation to COVID-19 are listed as well, this message supersedes those. 712-642-2069 Updated 4/29/2020