IOWA (WHO) — State Parks are getting ready for a big Memorial Day Holiday weekend. Already DNR officials are reporting most camp sites are full central Iowa.
“Campgrounds are very full at this point we have a few stray sites here there that are first come first serve,” said Chad Kelchen, DNR State Park District Supervisor, “From polling most of my parks there might be one or two sites left and the whole district they’re going very fast.”
“Park visitors are excited to get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather after a long winter inside,” said Sherry Arntzen, Chief of the DNR’s State Parks, Forests and Preserves Bureau, “Our parks offer a variety of activities for all enthusiasts from hiking the trails to picnicking, fishing and swimming. There’s something for everyone while enjoying the outdoors.”
Campers are urged to plan ahead when visiting Iowa state parks and forests for Memorial Day weekend, according to a DNR news release. Most electrical and full hookup sites in busy parks are already reserved, so campers may want to consider non-electric sites or at “hidden gem” parks a little further away from home. Additionally, Iowa state parks and forests offer around 1,200 non-reservable sites available on a first-come, first-served basis, with most people choosing to stay Thursday through the weekend.
At Walnut Woods State Park there is an experiment this season. All of the campsites at the park are reservation-only. No walk up sites for now.
“This is a test system right now just to see if we can provide better service to our customers, with even more information before they arrive, now you can look it up online and it’s actually be able to see what’s a live system looks like what’s actually going into the campground,” said Kelchen.
The all-reservation campground is not expected to be put in statewide, but if could be used in some high-traffic campgrounds.
Some areas this weekend may have some wet trails. The Lower Canyon at Ledges State Park is closed, but people can still hike there. Lake Ahquabi has been drained for renovations and its campground is closed as well.