For the Fourth of July weekend, many Iowans are declaring independence from their homes in favor of campers, cabins and tents. Mick Klemesrud,a spokesman for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, says we’re now in the middle of what’s expected to be the busiest week of the year for the state parks system.
“This is our Superbowl coming up,” Klemesrud says. “We’ve had most of our parks at capacity since last week. People are using their vacation judiciously. You can get nine days off with only burning up four days of vacation. Our parks were filling up last weekend and I expect most, if not all, to be gobbled up.”
He says a few parks out of the dozens in Iowa may have a slot or two open, but people who are looking for a camp site may find themselves out of luck if they don’t have one reserved. Klemesrud says Iowa has 82 state parks and about 57 of them offer camping on about 5,000 total camp sites, about half of which have electrical hookups.
While more than 80 Iowa counties were declared disaster areas by the governor during the recent flooding, Klemesrud says the damage to Iowa’s park system was relatively minor, considering the severity other areas were damaged.
Many of Iowa’s parks were built in the scenic area, which at the time were rivers, so Klemesrud says most of them are prone to flooding from time to time. He says more than 20 state parks had some flood damage, “but for the most part, we came through pretty good.”
Three Iowa state parks did have significant damage and are still closed: George Wyth near Waterloo, Walnut Woods in Des Moines and Backbone in Delaware County. For more information, visit the D-N-R website .