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Kick off summer in Iowa State Parks, June 9-11

  • 5/9/2023 2:02:00 PM
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DES MOINES ⎯ Several state parks and forests will be hosting family-friendly programming and activities as part of Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) new Summer Kick-Off event, June 9-11.

“Summer Kick-Off is our way of showing appreciation for our visitors with activities the entire family can enjoy,” said Sherry Arntzen, chief of Parks, Forests and Preserves Bureau for the Iowa DNR.

Planned events include hikes, nature programs, fireside chats, kayaking clinics and more. A list of parks and their programs, activity sheets and ideas for ways to explore parks is available online at

Those wanting to camp during the Summer Kick-Off celebration are encouraged to make their reservation soon. Iowa has more than 4,400 state park campsites with most reservable in advance. Reservations can be made through the reservation system.   

“Iowa state parks are beloved overnight destinations for many people,” said Arntzen. “We offer campsites that appeal to a broad range of campers, from the more rustic hike-in sites to those with all the modern amenities.”

For visitors who prefer cabins over tents, the Iowa DNR has more than 90 cabins available to rent across 20 state parks and forests, Arntzen said.

In the off season from Labor Day to Memorial Day, cabins can be rented for a two-night minimum stay. During the peak of summer, most cabins require a seven-night minimum visit.

As of now, all state parks have water turned on, with shower and restroom buildings open for campers. A few parks do have renovations and closures, so check the park closure page at: when planning your visit. Visit the DNR’s website to sign up for electronic news updates and information about campsites, cabins, events and more.