It’s still winter for another week but many Iowans are thinking about camping season and the first unofficial weekend of summer. Sheri Arntzen, at the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, says a few state parks have filled their reservation quota already.

“It’s kind of hard to believe with all this cold weather that we’re having that people are actually thinking about the warm days of summer but they’re very excited and looking forward to getting out and enjoying the camping season,” Arntzen says.

Several state parks in particular are already booked for Memorial Day weekend, the first big weekend of the season.

“We have Pleasant Creek, Viking, Waubonsie — they’re already full, Elinor Bedell, Three Fires and Lewis & Clark,” Arntzen says, “that’s for the electric and full hookup sites. Now, there are some walk-in sites available but you can’t make advance reservations for those.”

Arntzen says there are some other state parks that are nearing capacity for Memorial Day. “There are some also, Ledges, Green Valley, Prairie Rose, where they don’t have any electric sites left,” Arntzen says. “They might have some electric ADA sites but that is it. Some still have electric sites available.”

The state has offered camping reservations since 2006 and the window has always been three months in advance. Learn more at the website:

(Reporting by Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City)