Memorial Day is here and Iowa state parks, campgrounds and forests are preparing for the influx of We the People.  We the People will bring our lives outdoors for one fantastic weekend, the traditional start to the summer season.

Let's hope you got your reservations in order. Iowa DNR says the window for reserving campsites is 3 months in advance and up to 2 days before the arrival date, if you're paying by credit card or 21 days by check or money order.  (There are a few exceptions)

Storm Damage causing issues

The start of the summer season could be hampered by storm damage caused by the recent storms.  You may want to check if you're headed out, before ya go, to make sure your stay will be the most fun it can be!


Backbone State Park - Delaware County

  • The north gate entrance is currently closed. Mud and sand are on the road in the flats area. Debris and logs are along the trout stream road. Staff will reopen the north entrance once the roadway cleanup is complete. (5/24/24)

Big Creek State Park - Polk County

  • FISHING PIER CLOSURE: The universally accessible fishing pier at Big Creek State Park was damaged in the August 2020 derecho weather event and is currently undergoing renovation.  The pier, parking lot, and immediate area around the pier are currently closed. A short section of the Neal Smith Trail will be closed during construction, trail users may detour through the parking lot. Work is expected to be completed by July of 2024. Please contact the park office at 515-984-6473 or with questions. (Updated 5/23/24)
  • Neal Smith Trail Closure: A short section of the Neal Smith Trail through Big Creek State Park is currently closed due to a construction project. Trail users must detour off-trail to avoid the construction site.  The trail is expected to re-open by July 2024. Questions may be directed to the park office at 515-984-6473 or (Updated 5/23/24)
  • Flash flooding has caused high water at Big Creek Lake, which should recede by the weekend. Damage from flooding will be assessed once water levels go down, but is expected to be minor. Access to docks at the marina may be impacted.

Brushy Creek State Recreation Area - Webster County

  • As of May 21, 2024 the soft trails at Brushy Creek are temporarily closed to equestrian and bike use due to wet conditions.  The 14 mile gravel all-weather Lake and Pond trails remain open for use. The bulletin will be removed when trails have dried sufficiently.
  • To receive emergency alerts for Brushy Creek State Recreation Area, text "WebCoBrushy" to 67283. Text alerts will be sent when severe weather approaches or local emergencies impact the park. To opt out of alerts text "Stop" to 67283.

Cedar Rock - Buchanan County

  • 2024 Tour Season Information:
    May 22-October 6 tours are offered Wednesday through Sunday, hourly from 10am to 3pm. Make a reservation by calling 319.934.3572 or email:
  • The 2024 season is May 22-October 13. Tours are offered Wed-Sunday at the top of each hour from 10am-3pm. Reservations are recommended, walk-in guests are accepted as space allows, make a reservation by calling 319.934.3752 or emailing the park at

Clear Lake State Park - Cerro Gordo County

  • 2024 Campground Availability:  Campsites 1 - 115 (except 49, 50, 66, 67 will remain closed) are accepting reservations through September, 2024.  Starting on September 3 the entire campground will be closed for the campground renovation. (Updated May 16, 2024)

Dolliver Memorial State Park - Webster County

  • The road in the central part of the park is currently closed due to flooding. The campground, cabins, and center lodge will be closed through the Memorial Day weekend. The north shelter and south lodge will be accessible.
  • Request to be notified when Dolliver Memorial State Park reopens: The campground and all facilities at Dolliver Memorial State Park are closed from July 1, 2024 - November 30, 2024 due to a road repaving project. If the project starts later or is completed earlier than expected, DNR can notify you that the closure will be removed for the campground, cabins, lodges and shelter. If you would like to be notified, fill out the following form, Dolliver Memorial State Park notification Google form. (Posted 9/7/2023)
  • To receive emergency alerts for Dolliver Memorial State Park, text "WebCoDolliver" to 67283. Text alerts will be sent when severe weather approaches or local emergencies impact the park. To opt out of alerts text "Stop" to 67283.

Elk Rock State Park - Marion County

  • TRAILS: Currently all multi-use trails are closed to biking and equestrian traffic due to wet trail surface conditions. The trails are still available to hike, jog and walk on. This bulletin will be removed when trails are opened back up for biking and equestrian use. For further information please call the park office at 641-842-6008. (updated 5/20/2024 )

Fairport State Recreation Area - Muscatine County

  • The Fairport Campground is open, but due to damage to the electrical boxes from the 2023 flood waters of the Mississippi River, sites 37 to 39 have been temporarily closed.  They will reopen as soon as we can have the electrical box repaired or replaced.  For more information please call the Park Office at 563-263-4337.  (Updated 5/21/2024)

Fort Atkinson State Preserve - Winneshiek County

  • ATTENTION: Fort Atkinson State Preserve is closed to the public through late-summer 2024 for a reconstruction project. The annual Fort Atkinson Rendezvous will be held the last weekend in September.   For questions or concerns, please call Volga River State Recreation Area at 563-425-4161.

George Wyth State Park - Black Hawk County

  • The park is closed through Memorial Day weekend and possibly longer due to flooding and the potential for more rain. The park is closed to all traffic including driving, walking and biking.

Gull Point State Park - Dickinson County

  • Lodge Closure: The lodge is not accepting reservations for the 2025 recreation season. (Posted March 20, 2024)

Lake Ahquabi State Park - Warren County

  • Lake Ahquabi is open.  The beach will remain closed as the lake has not reached full crest yet but is continuing to fill up.

Lake Anita State Park - Cass County

  • This does not affect the campground. ( The campground is open and has water available)Due to a water leak, the water is shut off to the south side of the park. There is currently no water supplying the hydrant by the beach or the restroom near shelter #5. We have pit latrines available at both boat ramps, the picnic area, and at the dam. There is an ADA-accessible portable toilet located at the top of the hill by the beach. Posted 1/18/2024

Lake Darling State Park - Washington County

  • As of Friday, April 12th, 2024, the modern restroom facilities are open for the season.  They will be available until October 28th, 2024. (POSTED 4/12/2024)
  • Phase 2 of the Highway 1 & 78 construction project is set to begin on March 20th, 2024.  Beginning on this date, park users will only be able to access Lake Darling from the west.  Highways 1 & 78 will be closed from the park entrance east to the City of Brighton. For more information see the IA DOT NEWS. This post will be updated as more information becomes available. (POSTED 3-8-24)

Lake Keomah State Park - Mahaska County

  • Lake Keomah is scheduled for a major reconstruction project.  This will improve water quality, provide better amenities for park users, and increase structure for fishing.  In order for this project to begin the lake will be drained.  As a result, a drawdown will start after July 4, 2024.  The project is scheduled to be completed by spring 2026. Created March 11, 2024
  • Request to be notified when Lake Keomah Facilities reopens: The facilities at Lake Keomah State Park are closed from August 1, 2024 - October 15, 2025, due to renovations. If the project starts later or is completed earlier than expected, DNR can notify you that the closure will be removed for the lodges and shelters. If you would like to be notified, fill out the following form, Lake Keomah Facilities reopens. (POSTED 09/18/2023)

Lake Manawa State Park - Pottawattamie County

  • The North and South boat ramp docks for the 2024 season will be delayed due to boat ramp repairs. In the meantime the West boat ramp is open and the dock has been installed. Any questions contact the office at (712)366-0220 Posted 3/18/24
  • Lake Manawa Water levels: Lake Manawa, located within Lake Manawa State Park, continues to experience abnormally low water levels that may impact recreation opportunities. Members of the public should be aware that due to the decreased water levels there may be an increased risk of hazards when launching vessels on public and private boat docks. Due to lowered water levels we are encouraging members of the public to exercise caution when boating near the shore on any part of the lake and especially in the southeast portion of the lake near "Tin Can Dike". In addition, the area off the north point of the lake is also shallower and boaters should exercise caution as they may not be able to get as close to the point as they could in years past. Water levels in oxbow lakes adjacent to the Missouri River, including Lake Manawa, are lower than normal due to dry conditions in western Iowa and historic low flows in the Missouri River. The current drought period in Western Iowa began in 2020. Climate conditions over the last three years are some of the driest three-year periods in the 128-year record for the region. In the past two years, annual runoff was at least 25 percent below normal levels. Local average annual precipitation is also below normal for the area, contributing to the low water conditions at Lake Manawa. Lake Manawa, like many other oxbow lakes, is characterized by a small watershed drainage area relative to the size of the lake and a localized water recharge area. Oxbow lakes form when a curve (or meander) in a river finds a shorter path, effectively isolating the old curve to form an oxbow lake in a low-lying plain near the side of the river. Water levels in these lakes are highly influenced by nearby river and groundwater levels. The DNR will continue to divert from Mosquito Creek to the lake as long as the water clarity is maintained; however, this will not have a significant impact on lake water levels. The Lake Manawa State Park Staff along with Conservation Officers, Water Patrol, and our Fisheries Biologist will continue to monitor lake levels and adjust the location of buoys as necessary.

Lake of Three Fires State Park - Taylor County

  • A water leak has been detected at Lake of Three Fires State Park. The leaking line feeds the north campground and the equestrian campground restrooms and hydrants. Park faculty has turned the water off to these areas to stop the leak. While we work to fix the problem, the main campground restroom, showers and hydrants will remain open and available for public use.

Lake Wapello State Park - Davis County

  • CAMPGROUND CLOSURE: Starting on Friday, June 7th, 2024 the campground will be CLOSED for shower house renovations. The campground will re-open on Tuesday, June 11th, 2024. For questions please contact the park's office at 641-722-3371. Posted 05/06/2024

Ledges State Park - Boone County

  • LEDGES ROAD CLOSURE UPDATE (May 24, 2024) - The Canyon Drive and Lower Ledges Road are both currently CLOSED to vehicle traffic due to rising Des Moines River water levels. Water levels are expected to rise substantially through the Memorial Day weekend. Visitors are welcome to hike into the Canyon area at this time from the Oak Woods picnic area (near the Canyon entrance gates.) All other areas of the park, including the campground, Lost Lake area, many parking lots, and the Carl Fritz Henning Shelter remain open and accessible by vehicle. (This alert was updated on 5/24/24.)
  • The Oak Woods Shelter is currently closed to public access until further notice. No reservations are being taken for the shelter at this time, but the Carl Fritz Henning shelter remains open and available for reservation in 2024. This alert was updated on April 10, 2024.

Lewis and Clark State Park - Monona County

  • Banquet Room Closure: Reservations for the Banquet Room will be unavailable beginning in 2023 for repairs and updates. The Banquet Room will be closed for reservations until further notice. If you would like to be notified when the Banquet Room reopens, fill out the following form: Lewis and Clark Google Form. (Updated February 13, 2024)
  • Boat Dock Out Due to Low Water Levels: Due to the drought conditions Western Iowa has been experiencing, the boat dock will remain out at our boat ramp until water levels rise. Once water levels have risen enough to allow the dock to be put in without damage, this alert will be removed. Park Staff are recommending that you DO NOT LAUNCH boats at this time, as the end of the pavement is just below the water's edge. Reports of boat trailers going off the edge have increased in the last week. (Updated 7/24/22) To see current drought conditions click this link.
  • Due to upcoming renovations, the Visitors Center will be by appointment only beginning 7/21/23. If you would like to schedule a tour of the Visitors Center, please contact the park by calling 712-423-2829. We apologize for the inconvenience. (Posted 7/20/23)
98.1 KHAK logo
Get our free mobile app

Maquoketa Caves State Park - Jackson County

  • PARKING UPDATE - Parking in the park is limited to designated parking spots only and will be enforced. Peak park visitation times are weekends from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visitors are encouraged to explore the park on weekdays or during non-peak hours in the morning or late afternoon on weekends. (Posted 4/19/2022)

McIntosh Woods State Park - Cerro Gordo County

  • The campground shower bldg is OPEN and water is ON.  Camping rates are $20/night for an electric site and $12/night for a non-electric site.  Reservations can be made at  or call 877-427-2757The fish cleaning station will NOT be open due to construction, and a NEW fish grinder table coming by early June.  Thank you!

Pleasant Creek State Recreation Area - Linn County

  • Alcohol is prohibited inside the fenced-in designated beach area. Alcohol may not be possessed or consumed within the fenced designated beach area.

Red Haw State Park - Lucas County

  • Campground Closure: The campground will remain closed for 2024. Access to the lake can be gained through the North boat ramp. This ramp has a kayak launch and the boat ramp, as well as the fish cleaning station, has been reinstalled. Shelters available include the Stone Shelter and Youth Shelter both open for reservations. The Beach is currently open and available for use, as well as all Hiking Trails. (Updated March 1, 2024)
  • Construction will be ongoing throughout the park. Please be mindful of trucks and equipment driving through the park and working. Posted (October 31st, 2023)

Rock Creek State Park - Jasper County

  •  The west road to the beach, in addition to the beach, beach boat ramp, west shelter and trail access are all closed due to flash flooding. Some campsites will be closed due to debris and flooding. Visitors should avoid any dock that is in a bind or not in its normal location. The south-end boat ramp and shelter are also closed due to excessive debris and damage. The lake contains a significant amount of new debris and trees from recent rains.
  • Due to flash flooding on 5-21-2024, park areas will remain closed for cleanup of debris and damage. The Rock Creek West road to the beach will be closed until further notice after the west boat ramp south, which will close the beach, beach boat ramp, west shelter, and trail access. Campsites affected are the waterfront sites in the electric and non-electric areas # 31-36, 49-51, 151-156, 162-168.  These areas had debris, silt, and potential infrastructure damage to the electric pedestals. The Multi-use Trail will remain closed until dry and all bridges and culverts can be inspected. For persons wanting to use the lake, please avoid any dock that is in a bind or not in its normal location as the lake returns to a normal pool.

Springbrook State Park - Guthrie County

  • All facilities at Springbrook State Park have water and are open for the 2024 rec season. The water hydrants are also open for public use.  (POSTED 04/16/2024)

Stephens State Forest - Lucas County

  • TRAIL CLOSURE: Effective May 13, 2024, all multi-use trails are closed to equestrian & bike traffic due to wet conditions. This bulletin will be removed when trails are opened back up for use. (posted 5/13/24)

Templar State Recreation Area - Dickinson County

  • Boat Ramp Closure: The boat ramp at the lagoon is closed until further notice. (Posted March 11, 2024)

Union Grove State Park - Tama County

  • FACILITIES: Modern restroom and shower facilities are open at Union Grove State Park. The north side showers and restrooms are operational, one of the south side showers is open, and one is currently closed for repairs. If you have any questions regarding this closure please contact park staff: 641-473-2556 or (POSTED 04/22/2024)
  • NON-ELECTRIIC CAMPSITES: Non-electric campsites are unavailable at Union Grove State Park. They were removed in the fall of 2023. If you have any questions regarding this please contact the park office (641)-473-2556 or (03/13/2024)

Volga River State Recreation Area - Fayette County

  • (POSTED 5/22/2024) Due to the amount of rain and storms we’ve had, The Equestrian Trails are currently CLOSED and will remain closed through Memorial Day weekend.

Walnut Woods State Park - Polk County

  • The eastern portion of the Walnut Woods trail will be closed indefinitely for construction. All other trails remain open.
  • The Purple Martin Water Resource Area has experienced flooding. The area will remain open, but part of the loop trail is inaccessible.

Waubonsie State Park - Fremont County

  • Rental Facility Closure: All of the cabins, the lodge, and the Overlook shelter will not be accepting reservations from April 1 - July 10, 2025, due to a waterline project.  (Posted May 8, 2024)

Wildcat Den State Park - Muscatine County

  • The Pine Creek Grist Mill is now open for the 2024 season.  From now until Memorial Day, hours of operation are Saturday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, and then Sunday from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm.  Hours of operation after Memorial Day will be Wednesday through Saturday 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and Sunday 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm.  (Posted 5/19/24)
  • ATTENTION:  There is an upcoming Park Road Repaving Project planned to begin May 28th, 2024.  Once this project begins, accessibility to certain Park amenities, in the Upper and Lower Picnic Areas, may be limited.  This includes the Wildcat Den Campground.  Please contact the Park Office with any questions or concerns.  (Updated 5/19/24)
  • TRAIL CLOSURE:  The Cave Trail, from the Lower Picnic Area to the crossing at State Park Rd., will be closed until Park Staff are able to make necessary trail repairs.  If you have any questions please contact the Park Office at 563-263-4337.  All other Trails are open for use at this time. (Posted 2/5/2024)

Wilson Island State Recreation Area - Pottawattamie County

  • The Campground is now open for the camping peak season.  The water system is also now available including restrooms and the dump station.  New for 2024 a reservation is required to camp at Wilson Island.  Posted 5/1/24

Visitors are encouraged to avoid driving through high water and to use extra safety precautions for water recreation activities due to swift currents and debris in many lakes and rivers. Additionally, be aware of potential tree debris within parks in mowed areas and on trails; staff are cleaning as they are able. A full listing of alerts and closures can be found at

Have a safe Memorial Day weekend and remember those who gave all.

The Best Places to Get Ice Cream in the Corridor

We all know that there are plenty of Dairy Queens across the Corridor, as well as Culver'sColdstone, Baskin RobbinsOrange Leaf, and Aspen Leaf locations. But, there are lots of other options, too! Here are some of the other places you can grab a frozen treat in Linn County and Johnson County:

Gallery Credit: Courtlin

The 10 Best B&Bs in Iowa According to Trip Advisor

If you're looking for a great place to stay in Iowa, here are the top 10 inns/bed & breakfasts according to Trip Advisor!

Gallery Credit: Courtlin

More From 98.1 KHAK