State Parks Filling for Memorial Day Weekend

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DES MOINES – The first holiday of the camping season begins Friday and campgrounds across the state will be filling to capacity with campers eager to get back to nature with family and friends. All reservable campsites with electricity in Iowa state parks have been snapped up for months leaving campers without a reservation to make plans to arrive early if they want electricity at their campsite.

Memorial Day Weekend will be busy and for many campers, it will be the first outing of the year. Before pulling out of the driveway, campers should go through their equipment to make sure it is in usable condition and check the camping supplies so nothing is forgotten. Make sure to pack a can opener and aluminum foil. Don’t forget the sunscreen and bug repellant.

Campers are encouraged to get their firewood from local sources and to definitely not bring firewood from out of state. Parks staff will be discouraging campers from burning anything in a fire ring other than wood, and that includes scrap lumber. Parks workers have cleaned out all kinds of trash, melted plastic, plywood scraps, empty cans, lawn chairs, and old pieces of metal from fire rings, which, when burned, releases pollutants into the air and leaves unwanted debris in the fire ring.

It is also a good time to review the rules of the park. Don’t bring fireworks, obey quiet hours and be a good neighbor.

“Everyone is out to have a good time and it only takes one loud, disrespectful campsite to disrupt an entire campground,” said Jim Lawson, supervisor for state parks in south central Iowa. “This will be a busy weekend so campers should have patience and arrive early to set up on their site.”

Campers who do not have a reservation should call ahead to see if the park has any remaining campsites. Most electrical campsites that are first come, first serve will be filling by midweek.

“Campers looking for a campsite this late in the game should have a back up plan if the park is full. Look at different parks a little further away or ask the park staff what they would recommend,” said Greg Van Fosson, supervisor for state parks in north central Iowa.

A listing of Iowa State Parks with information on each park and contacts is available online at then click on State Parks in the navigation column on the left.

For more information, contact Mick Klemesrud at 515-281-8653.