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Campers expected to fill parks over Memorial Day weekend

  • 5/15/2018 12:08:00 PM
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Campsites will be hard to come by this Memorial Day weekend. 

Most electrical and full hookup sites were reserved months ago, and of the 370 campsites still available, most are non-electric. There are around 1,200 non-reservable sites available on a first come basis, but not likely for much longer. To reserve a campsite, visit

The Memorial Day weekend camping is traditionally the start of Iowa’s busy outdoor summer recreation season and the second busiest weekend of the year next to July 4 for Iowa’s state parks.  

“Campers are itching to get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather after a long winter inside,” said Todd Coffelt, chief of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources State Parks Bureau. “Our parks offer a variety of activities for all enthusiasts from hiking the trails to fishing and swimming. There’s something for everyone while enjoying the outdoors.” 

For an up-to-date list of park and trail closures due to renovations and construction projects or weather-related, visit:

Campers are urged to help take care of the parks by cleaning up their campsite after themselves. Park managers encourage campers to be cognizant of others camping nearby and obey all park rules and quiet hours. 

“We hope that campers enjoy their time and make memories while staying in our parks and recreational areas, and do so safely and return again,” Coffelt said.


  • Keep track of the weather and have a plan in case of severe weather
  • Pack bug spray, sun screen and a basic first-aid kit
  • Check the registration kiosk for activities in the area
  • Don’t burn trash
  • Don’t bring fireworks
  • Be a good neighbor. Observe quiet hours and pick up after yourself



The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship requires all firewood sold or acquired in Iowa to have the county and state of harvest location on the label of packages and the delivery ticket for bulk firewood.  The rules were added to prevent the spread of invasive species.

The rules only apply to firewood sold and acquired in Iowa.

The rule also requires the Iowa DNR to collect firewood from campers that does not have a label.


Parks closed for renovation

Ledges, Lacey Keosauqua, Geode, Maquoketa Caves and Marble Beach state parks and recreation areas are closed while they undergo renovation.