Linn County Conservation campgrounds to open May 8

LINN COUNTY, IA May 7, 2020 – Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds issued a new proclamation allowing campgrounds in the state of Iowa to open.

The proclamation states:

“Any public or private campground may reopen provided that the campground implements reasonable measures under the circumstances of each campground to ensure social distancing, increased hygiene practices, and other public health measures to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 consistent with guidance issued by the Iowa Department of Public Health (5/6/20).”

Linn County Conservation has continued to seek guidance from local and state health officials and are announcing that campgrounds will open May 8 with certain restrictions and limitations.

At 5 a.m. on May 8, Buffalo Creek Park, Morgan Creek Park, Pinicon Ridge Park and Squaw Creek Park campgrounds will open to campers in self-contained units. This also includes primitive (non-electric) camping areas at Matsell Bridge Natural Area (including Mt Hope) and Wakpicada Natural Area.

·Campers may camp only with a self-contained camping unit that has a functioning restroom, as showerhouses with flushable restrooms will remain closed. Self-contained is defined as a tent or pop-up camper with a portable toilet or an RV or camping trailer with a functioning, self-contained bathroom.

·Occupants are limited to six or less per campsite (unless household is more than six).

·No visitors are allowed.

·Campfires are limited to those who occupy the campsite.

·Campground showerhouses with restrooms will remain closed.

·Social distancing guidelines should be observed in the campground, as well as other areas of the park.

·Practice safe hygiene. Please bring your own sanitizer and use soap and water frequently.

·Reserving campsites is not allowed as campgrounds continue to be first-come, first-served. The exception to this is Squaw Creek Park A-Loop which normally accepts online reservations.

·Squaw Creek A-Loop is first come-first served until May 13. Online Reservations open at 1 p.m. on May 8 at, with the first available date May 14.

The Conservation department is pleased to provide this outdoor recreation opportunity at this time, and thanks all campers for cooperating with these guidelines to make a safe and enjoyable experience for all.

Additional Campground and Park Information

Linn County Conservation continues to advocate for the physical and mental health benefits of nature interaction. We hope the public has enjoyed the opportunity to enjoy our 28 parks, trails, natural areas and preserves during this unprecedented time. We thank our patrons for their support and understanding for the many changes and adjustments we have made in keeping the health and safety of our visitors and employees a top priority.

·Social Distancing Maintain social distancing by keeping a distance of at least 6-feet between yourself and anyone you encounter outdoors. Have a cloth face covering on hand for when social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. This includes bike riders on our trails. Please ride in single file when possible while keeping your distance.

·Continue to Practice Good Hygiene Use sanitizer or soap and waterafter being in contact with any surfaces.

·Restrooms Some pit toilets in outdoor areas or along trails are open. Sanitizer is not available and users who choose to use these facilities should bring their own product.

·Observation Tower The observation tower at Pinicon Ridge Park is closed.

·Shooting Range The Matsell Bridge Shooting Range remains open.

·Playgrounds The playgrounds at Buffalo Creek Park, Pinicon Ridge Park, Morgan Creek Park, and Squaw Creek Park; as well as Wickiup Wandering Woods nature playscape at the Wickiup Hill Learning Center remain closed.

·Wickiup Hill Learning Center Along with the building closure, public programs and scheduled field trips are cancelled or temporarily suspended.

Reservations and Rental Cancellations

Linn County Conservation’s lodges, shelters, cabins and group camps remain closed. Reservations for dates later this summer are accepted at, but the current COVID-19 situation may require future modifications of such rentals.

New information as it pertains to the conservation program, as well as information of our parks, trails, natural areas and preserves that are available for you to visit, can be found at Please sign up for our E-News. 

Follow us on:

Facebook at LinnCountyConservation

Twitter at @LinnCoConserv

Please visit Linn County’s website regarding awareness and recommendations to COVID-19.

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