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Lake Ahquabi State Park campground to open July 20

  • 7/18/2023 11:35:00 AM
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INDIANOLA – The Iowa DNR is re-opening the newly renovated Lake Ahquabi State Park campground on July 20. Campers will enjoy upgraded camping amenities, along with the ability to make same-day reservations at all campsites.  

The south portion of the park, which includes the lodge, beach and concession rentals, will remain closed for 2023 since the lake has not yet reached pool level. Boat ramps are also unavailable.

According to Chad Kelchen, south-central supervisor for the DNR State Parks, Forests and Preserves Bureau, new park improvements include: larger sites with pull-through capabilities at most of the 94 campsites; full hook-up electrical with 50-amp service at 52 campsites, and standard electric at the remaining; a newly renovated beach shelter/restroom; new roads and parking lots; and improved ADA accessibility, including at the restrooms and new kayak launch. Park staff are still working on grass establishment in the campground, so erosion logs are in place.

All campsites will be reservable through the state park reservation site, with the ability to make same-day reservations. Site availability will be known in real-time online, including recent cancellations. This is a change from most other state park campgrounds that have a two-day reservation window.

“We think campers will appreciate all the benefits of real-time, reservable sites,” said Kelchen. “Now campers will know exactly what sites are available, helping them to save time and plan their trips.”

Campers can start making reservations for Lake Ahquabi State Park at 9:00 a.m. on July 20, with the same-day window closing at 11:59 p.m. each day. The “iron ranger,” where paper reservations were inserted at the campground kiosk, has been removed. Campers driving to the park looking for walk-in reservations will be directed to the online site.

Reservations can be made at, or by calling (877) 427-2757. The website includes photos of every campsite at the Lake Ahquabi campground. Note that a few sites are closed to reservations due to poor grass establishment. The campground will close for the season on October 8 to allow for proper reseeding in preparation for the 2024 camping season.