The three-month window to reserve a state park campsite for a Friday arrival on Memorial Day weekend opens this Sunday, Feb. 26. More than a few campers will plan their arrival for the weekend before Memorial Day and stay through the holiday, which means their window is open now.
“Campers can make reservations for sites three months ahead of their first night stay,” said Todd Coffelt, chief of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources State Parks Bureau, “And we have a flurry of reservations from campers who begin their stay prior to the Memorial Day weekend.”
Lake Wapello, Lake Keomah state parks and Fairport State Recreation Area all underwent campground renovations last year and are anxious for visitors to check things out. Red Haw State Park’s campground will be open to walk-in camping only starting on April 17 due to the final phase of its renovation. Advanced reservations will be accepted starting on June 22. And Pleasant Creek State Recreation Area’s campground #1 will be closed through June 30 for an electrical upgrade.
Most parks will have nonelectric sites available for the Memorial Day weekend. Not every campsite is available on the reservation system. Parks maintain 25 percent or more of the electric and nonelectric sites as non-reservation sites, available for walk-up camping.
Information on Iowa’s state parks is available online at www.iowadnr.gov/parks
including the link to reservations. Campers can also log on directly to http://iowastateparks.reserveamerica.com; enter their preferred amenities and requirements, dates and/or parks to see what sites are available and make a reservation.
Campers are encouraged to note closures when making their reservations. Some campgrounds may be closed Memorial Day. Weather will play an important role in how soon projects will be completed and a how soon campgrounds will be back online.
Closure information is current on the DNR website and reservation system. Closure information can be found at www.iowadnr.gov/Places-to-Go/State-Parks-Rec-Areas/Closure-Information and on individual park webpages.