Despite recent rains, nearly all the facilities in state parks and recreation areas in Iowa are open for the Labor Day weekend. All 101 camping sites with electrical hook-ups are claimed already at Rock Creek State Park, about six miles northwest of Grinnell.
“We have 93 ‘non-electric’ sites and I don’t foresee us selling out those, so if you’re thinking about doing a little tent camping, we should have something available for you,” says Kory Kinnick, the park ranger at Rock Creek State Park.
The park’s lake has 15 miles of shoreline and a beach for swimmers. Boats are allowed on the lake, but there’s a “no wake” rule. It means a boat is to go no more than five miles an hour. Kinnick says if you want to be on the water, you don’t have to own a boat.
“Our concessionaire has kayaks, pontoons, fishing boats, all that kind of stuff for rent,” Kinnick says.
Last week nine inches of rain fell at the Yellow River State Forest near Harpers Ferry. Three of the four camping areas within the park will reopen tomorrow for Labor Day Weekend camping. There was brief flooding at George Wyth State Park near Waterloo last week, but the campground there is open. In central Iowa, the Ledges State Park near Boone is open to campers, but Canyon Drive in the park is closed to vehicle traffic due to high water. Hikers are allowed in the canyon, but they’re advised to stay out of the water.
Horseback riding trails in two state parks and two state forests are closed and won’t reopen until the trails have dried out and flood repairs are made.
(Reporting by Chris Johnson, KGRN, Grinnell; additional reporting by Radio Iowa’s O. Kay Henderson)