IA DNR: Campsites in high demand for the Memorial Day weekend

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 15th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Campers looking to reserve a campsite at an Iowa state park with electricity for Memorial Day weekend are nearly out of luck. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says to date, Clear Lake State Park has one site, Marble Beach has two and Pilot Knob has eight.  Officials say the Wilson Island State Recreation Area near Missouri Valley, is open for day use only. Once construction begins, the DNR expects to close the park completely.

Kevin Szcodronski, chief of State Parks Bureau for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, says  the Memorial Day weekend has traditionally been the kick off to summer with campgrounds filled to capacity. Campers without sites should arrive as early as possible and may want to have a back up park in case all the sites are taken. He said also that campers should plan to go through their equipment before hitting the park to prevent any surprises. It’s also good to review campground rules and etiquette, like getting firewood locally, watching the noise level after quiet hours and picking up after yourself.


·        Keep track of the weather and have a plan in case of severe weather

·        Plan to arrive as early in the day to set up the site, look for potential problems and avoid those areas

·        Prepare ingredients for meals before leaving home for less time cooking and more time playing

·        Bug spray, sun screen and a basic first-aid kit are must haves

·        Check the registration kiosk for activities in the area

·        Don’t burn trash

·        Don’t bring fireworks

      ·        Be a good neighbor. Observe quiet hours and pick up after yourself


The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship requires all firewood sold or acquired in Iowa to have the county and state of harvest location on the label of packages and the delivery ticket for bulk firewood.  The rules were added to prevent the spread of invasive species. The rules only apply to firewood sold and acquired in Iowa.

The rule also requires the Iowa DNR to collect firewood from campers that does not have a label.

Park Updates are available at: