NORTH IOWA OUTDOORS: Iowa State Parks Open More Facilities Across the State

This week, more facilities are open in Iowa state parks according to the Governor’s proclamation. Here is a list of openings for this weekend:

  • Lodges and shelter reservations can be made on the DNR’s park reservation system for June 6 and after. Groups are limited to 50 percent capacity of the facility and must follow social distancing protocols. To make a reservation, visit: https://iowastateparks.reserveamerica.com/
  • Playgrounds are open, but user discretion is advised. Playgrounds will not be sanitized.
  • Youth and group camps are open. Groups are limited to 50 percent capacity of the facility and must follow social distancing protocols.
  • Some events are now able to take place with social distancing protocols. Please check iowadnr.gov/parks2020 for event updates.
  • Campgrounds are now open to visitors of overnight campers.

State park museums and visitor centers have varying plans to re-open, depending on staffing and ability to implement social distancing protocols:

  • Backbone State Park, Dundee – the CCC Museum at Backbone is closed until further notice.
  • Bellevue State Park, Bellevue – The visitor center is closed until further notice.
  • Cedar Rock State Park, Quasqueton – the Wallace Estate home will open June 3, offering tours on a reservation-only basis. Masks are encouraged and groups will be limited to 9 or less. For more details, visit http://www.friendsofcedarrock.org/
  • Lewis and Clark State Park, Onawa – The visitor center will open June 8 with limited hours – Tuesdays through Fridays from 8 a.m. to noon.
  • Loess Hills State Forest, Pisgah – The visitor center will open by June 10. Visit https://www.iowadnr.gov/Places-to-Go/State-Forests/Loess-Hills-State-Forest for hours.
  • Maquoketa Caves State Park, Maquoketa – the Sager’s Museum is closed until further notice.
  • Mines of Spain State Recreation Area, Dubuque – The EB Lyons Nature Center is closed until further notice. Look for updates at https://www.minesofspain.org/visitorcenter/
  • Wildcat Den State Park, Muscatine – the Grist Mill is closed at least through June as the Friends Group determines its ability to provide staffing. The Melpine School will be closed for the 2020 season. Find updates on the Friends Group Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Pine-Creek-Grist-Mill-181915185162487/

According to DNR park staff, many visitor centers and museums are run by volunteer groups with people in higher-risk health groups, which limits ability to re-open.

For more details on park alerts and updates, visit: www.iowadnr.gov/Places-to-Go/State-Parks/Alerts-and-Closures

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