Cabin at Backbone State Park.

The recent warmer temperatures and other signs of spring have encouraged a lot of Iowans to schedule outdoor getaways.

Staff at Iowa’s state parks have been busy preparing for another camping season. Todd Coffelt is chief of state parks for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

“Park staff around the state have been busy turning on the water, so we can get the facilities up and running,” Coffelt says. Shower and restroom buildings in most of Iowa’s state parks will have the water on for the first time this weekend, so they’re ready for campers.

Iowa has more than 4,700 state park campsites for motorhomes, travel trailers and other recreational vehicles. There are also 92 cabins available to rent in 19 state parks. Some of the newest cabins are located in southeast Iowa’s Washington County.

“Our most recent ones are six, modern, year-round cabins at Lake Darling State Park and they have been very popular,” Coffelt says. Cabins and campsites are available for reservation online . Coffelt is encouraging Iowans to check out some recent improvements to a handful of state parks, including one in southeast Iowa’s Davis County.

“The Lake Wapello State Park campground opened late in the season last year,” Coffelt said. “With the water turned on, it should be good to go for people to take a look at a lot of that work they’ve done to make those sites more organized and easier to back into with a trailer…and ultimately to enjoy that fishing resource they have in the lake.” Nearly all of the state parks with campgrounds will offer special programs or activities on May 6, including fishing clinics, fun runs, volunteer projects, special hikes and demonstrations.

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