Campgrounds to Re-Open Friday, May 8th with Restrictions

Spring is here & we know everyone wants to head outdoors for some camping. We are pleased to announce that we will be opening campgrounds at Arrowhead Park, Botna Bend Park, & Hitchcock Nature Center on Friday, May 8th.

On Wednesday, May 6, Governor Kim Reynolds signed a proclamation allowing campgrounds across the state to open beginning Friday, May 8 “… provided that the campground implements reasonable measures … 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.”  To open our campgrounds safely & follow the provisions laid out by the State of Iowa we have implemented some very important restrictions & adjustments to our camping facilities at all Pottawattamie Conservation Parks.

  • Camping in the campground will be limited to RV units with self contained restrooms only

  • No tents or RVs without restrooms will be permitted in the campground

  • Campers must maintain proper physical distance (minimum 6′ separation)

  • Campsites are to be occupied by registered campers only, no additional guests or visitors are permitted

  • No groups larger than 10

We will also be opening backcountry camping at Hitchcock Nature Center on Monday, May 11th. Reservations will still be required for backcountry camping at Hitchcock Nature Center, & backcountry sites will be the only sites available for tent campers. All other restrictions listed above will apply. Click here to view & reserve backcountry campsites. 

County park visitors and campers are expected to maintain proper physical distancing (at least 6 feet of separation), limit groups to 10 or fewer, & practice proper hygiene. To help stay in line with distancing guidelines we are restrictions campsite occupation, only campers staying at the campsite are permitted at the campsite, no guests or visitors please. Campers at adjoining campsites are asked to maintain their distance & not congregate. Please, stay at your campsite only. 

Additionally, Pottawattamie Conservation is identifying campsites that may not comply with the recommended physical distancing requirements. Certain campsites may be closed to occupation to help keep our campers safe. Please do not move any ranger placed barricades or attempt to occupy a campsite that has been closed for safety reasons. 

Wondering why we are restricting camping to RVs with their own bathrooms? Unfortunately there is no way for our little staff to keep restrooms clean enough & safe enough for our guests so all pit latrines, modern restrooms, & shower houses will remain closed. This makes camper provided restrooms a necessity for those who wish to camp & we thank you for understanding. 

RV Campers are asked to self-register at the kiosks in each park to reduce contact with park staff.  RV campsites are $15.00 per night, please bring exact change or pay for your camping with a check, we will not be able to process credit cards or provide change.  Backcountry campers may reserve their campsites online as usual for $7.50 per tent or hammock per night. 

Firewood will be available for sale from the campground host & park ranger for $5.00 per bundle & will be handled by delivery or pickup with proper social distancing. Please check with the host or ranger at your park for more details.

Water, electricity, & the RV dumpstation will be available in each campground. 

There will be no canoe or paddleboat rentals, cabin reservations, or concessions offered at any of the parks. All conservation department buildings including offices, nature centers, & cabins will remain closed. Parks, wildlife areas, and trails are open and will remain so as long as visitors are able to maintain proper physical distancing.

For more information regarding Pottawattamie County Conservation campgrounds, parks, and facilities, call (712) 328-5638 or email mark.shoemaker@pottcounty-ia.gov. Information is also available online at www.pottcoconservation.com or on Pottawattamie County Conservation’s Facebook pages.

Hitchcock Nature Center on Facebook

Arrowhead Park on Facebook

Botna Bend Park on Facebook

Narrows River Park on Facebook

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