Another polar vortex has the Midwest in its crosshairs but Iowans' attention is focused squarely on spring and going camping. The reservation window for the Memorial Day Weekend campsites for a Friday arrival opened on Sunday.
By 9 a.m. Tuesday, six state parks had filled all reservable campsites for Memorial Day Weekend that offer electricity or full hook ups.
Camping options for the big holiday weekend in a state park are quickly shrinking.
Campers wanting to spend the holiday weekend at Elinor Bedell, Lake of Three Fires, Lewis and Clark, Pleasant Creek, Viking Lake, and Waubonsie should plan to arrive a few days early for one of the walk up sites with electricity all the reservation sites have been taken.
Other parks are close to hanging up the no reservations sign.
Ledges, Green Valley, Prairie Rose, Lake Anita and Rock Creek state parks only have the handicap accessible site available. Brushy Creek had one equestrian site; Backbone, McIntosh Woods and Walnut Woods have three; Fairport, Maquoketa Caves and Union Grove have four; Dolliver, George Wyth and Wapsipinicon have six and most include a handicap accessible site.
Lake Geode is not taking reservations until construction on the wastewater system is complete. The park is open and accepting campers while the work is underway.
Most parks will have nonelectric sites available for the Memorial Day Weekend.
"We had a flurry of reservations when campers began getting their sites for a two week stay that includes Memorial Day Weekend," said Todd Coffelt, chief of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources State Parks Bureau. Campers can make reservations for a site three months ahead of their first night stay.
Not every campsite is available on the reservation system. Parks maintain between 25 and 50 percent of the electric and non electric sites as non-reservation sites, available for walk up camping.
Information on Iowa's state parks is available online at www.iowadnr.gov including links to the reservations page.