RV Park and Campground Briefs
From the Iowa City Press Citizen:
Memorial Day weekend might be the hands-down kickoff for Iowa’s camping crowd and the summer season, but next weekend is when a lot of campers and park users shake off the dust from a season of inactivity to head outdoors.
“This time of year is really nice in the parks, because the bugs are not out in force yet. The fishing is good, too,” DNR parks bureau chief Kevin Szcodronski said. “With the unseasonably warm weather so far, though, it seems like a lot of our campers have a month of camping under their belts.”
At Lake Macbride State Park, near Solon, the shower/restroom building has had its water turned on and is open for business. At the beach, the contractor’s scheduled completion date for the boat rental/concessions building is two weeks away. Campers have been using the park; nearly half the modern campground sites were occupied a couple weeks ago. The “off-season” camping fee stays where it is for another weekend but goes up $3 a site Tuesday.
Camping Kickoff Weekend began in 2003 to encourage more Iowans to take a closer look at state parks.
“Iowans care deeply about their parks, and we want campers to know we are working hard to offer the best experience and facilities we can, with the resources available,” Szcondronski said.
Iowa lawmakers last summer OK’d supplemental funding to shore up depleted park staff. State parks still remain below levels of a decade ago.
From the Starkville Daily News:
Mississippi’s wildlife agency has retuned the Oktibbeha County Lake Campground to the local school system after declining to renew its 16th Section land lease.
The Starkville Daily News reports (http://bit.ly/JzsJpX) that the decision by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks leaves unclear who will maintain the campground’s facilities.
The most recent county lake lease was executed in 1986 and expired last year. The land’s 407 acres earned a $2,500 annual payment.
Officials say MDWFP declined to renew its lease after a recent reappraisal boosted the property’s value. Rent for 16th section leases is set at fair market value, and appraisals and adjustments must be made at least every 10 years.
From a press release:
North Dakota’s mild winter and early spring are enticing people outdoors and this is reflected in first quarter state park visitation numbers as compiled by the North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department (NDPRD).
Through the first three months of 2012 there have been 73,197 visitors to North Dakota state parks which is 32 percent higher than the first quarter of 2011. A check of visitation history shows this is the highest first quarter visitation in the state park system since annual visitation started being kept in 1988. The highest first quarter previous to this year’s came in 1994 when 65,206 people entered state parks.
Nearly every park of the 13 in the park system saw a significant increase in visitation during the first quarter. Two parks, Sully Creek and Little Missouri, are closed to visitors until April or May. The rest are open year round, though full service camping doesn’t begin until mid-May. This year full service for the state park campgrounds is May 18, with the exception of Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park which remains closed for repairs due to last year’s flooding. Expectations are to have Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park’s campground reopened by the beginning of June.
“It just shows the effect the nice weather has had on people,” NDPRD director Mark Zimmerman says. “Last year we had to deal with a long winter followed by a very wet spring and all the flooding. This year people are ready to get outdoors and the weather has been conducive to exploring the parks. We’re gearing up to have another great season and North Dakota’s state parks offer opportunities for recreation and relaxation.”
From a news release:
Greenbo Lake State Resort Park officially opened its equine campground yesterday, thanks to assistance from Greenup County.
The nine primitive sites for campers with horses were built with help from Greenup County Fiscal Court and Judge-Executive Bobby Carpenter. The county provided the equipment and crew to prepare the sites.
“Greenup County has been a great partner to Greenbo Lake State Resort Park, and we appreciate the assistance we’ve received,” said Parks Commissioner Elaine Walker. “We hope to forge more partnerships like the one here in Greenup County to help support our state parks.”
The equine campsites are near the park’s original campground, which has 58 sites for trailers and RVs along with 36 primitive sites. The equine sites have picnic tables, fire rings and hitching posts for horses. Greenbo Lake State Resort Park has about 20 miles of trails suitable for horseback riding.
Greenbo is the fifth state park with equine camping sites. The others are Carter Caves State Resort Park, Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park, Taylorsville Lake State Park and Dale Hollow Lake State Resort Park.