Camping spots at Iowa’s state parks are expected to fill up quickly this week for the Memorial Day holiday weekend. Mike Schrader, park manager at Red Haw State Park in Lucas County, has some advice for potential campers.
"It pays to show up early, I know especially the busier parks will fill up at the middle of the week, if not sooner," Schrader says. Schrader says half of the camping sites are reserved, while the others are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
You can save some frustration by checking with your favorite camping area before pulling the camper all the way there. Schrader says call ahead and find out if the campground is full and the staff may be able to director you to another site. The Red Haw Park that Schrader oversees had allowed overflow camping when the main campsites filled up, but Schrader says that’s changing this year.
Schrader says this year the park along with Stephens Forest will follow the same policy the other parks have been under, and not allow overflow camping. Schrader says the change this year might catch some campers by surprise who had depended on overflow camping.
Schrader says they’ll have to ask them to find another area this year instead of overflow. He says they’ll do the best they can to help people find another campground. Schrader says overflow camping usually is only a problem during big holiday weekends. For more information on camping at state parks and the reservation system, surf to Iowa DNR’s website .