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State Park Campgrounds, Beaches, Lakes Awaiting Huge Crowds for July 4 Weekend FROM: Iowa Department of Natural Resources

June 30, 2011
Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald - A handful of campsites with electricity remain available for reservation in Iowa’s state parks for the busiest weekend of the summer. As of Tuesday morning, Lake Keomah, Honey Creek, Maquoketa Caves, Pikes Peak, Pilot Knob and Red Haw state parks each have a site or a few sites remaining for the July 4 weekend. All other parks have filled, except for handicap accessible sites.

Campers who do not have a campsite reserved can try to secure one of the walk-in sites with electricity, but park officials cannot guarantee any will be available.

“If we are not already full, we will likely be filled by mid week,” said Kevin Szcodronski, chief of State Parks for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

The number of state park campsites was reduced this year because the flooding Missouri River has closed the campgrounds at Lake Manawa, Lewis and Clark, and Wilson Island. Lake Manawa remains open for day use activities but the lake has been temporarily declared no-wake for boaters due to high water levels hiding boat docks and other hazards and potential impacts on private property caused by boats and wave action.

The July 4 holiday is the busiest time in state parks making camper etiquette a high priority.

“The campground will be full so campers will need to be mindful of their neighbors, keep the noise level down, pick up after themselves, be patient when setting up and while in line at the dump station,” he said.

The early weather forecast calls for favorable conditions and warm temperatures. Campers should plan to bring sunscreen, bug repellant and plenty of water.

“I would encourage our campers to try something new this weekend. Go on a hike, meet your neighbor, bring some binoculars and a ‘Birds of Iowa’ book and see how many different birds you can find, go fishing or hit the beach,” Szcodronski said. “Our parks have a lot to offer and no two parks are the same.”

For the latest information on individual parks and park facilities go to


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