While monitoring the ongoing spread of COVID-19 in central Iowa, the Dallas County Conservation Board has updated its policies in order to maintain safe environments for visitors and staff.
Beginning Friday, the Sportsman Park Campground near Dawson opened to self-contained units only until further notice. The restrooms and shower house will not be opened. All campsites are available first come-first serve. No tent camping is allowed.
Camping at Kuehn Conservation Area south of Redfield remains closed until further notice.
Outdoor spaces, including conservation and natural area properties and the Dallas County portions of the Raccoon River Valley Trail and High Trestle Trail, remain open for day use at this time, but visitors are encouraged to respect physical distancing guidelines.
Restrooms and water facilities, including trailside depots, remain closed at all Dallas County Conservation Board properties. Trail users are reminded that ongoing overlay work and bridge repairs on sections of the Raccoon River Valley Trail has forced the closure of the trail between Adel and Redfield until mid-summer.
Facility reservations for the Sportsman Park cabins, Sportsman Park Lodge, Dayton Stagecoach Inn, and Glissman Lodge are on hold.
The Dallas County Conservation offices at Forest Park Museum near Perry, as well as all other buildings and restrooms administered by the department, remain closed to public access effective through July 1 or until further notice.
The Dallas County Conservation Board restricted access to its properties with the best interest of public and staff safety in mind and in order to do its part to slow the spread of COVID-19 through our community. These measures align with ongoing discussions and information from the Dallas County Board Supervisors and the Dallas County Public Health Department.
State-supervised campgrounds also opened Friday for walk-in, first come-first serve, for campers with self-contained restrooms. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) encourages visitors everyone to check the DNR website for temporary closures before traveling to any of these areas.
Some state parks and campgrounds are closed due to construction or maintenance projects, so it is important to check the closure website ahead of time.
DNR parks staff will closely monitor parks and campground areas and will remind visitors and campers to obey physical distancing guidelines and other guidelines released earlier this week by the DNR.
Some pit latrines in high-use areas will be open, but all other restrooms, drinking fountains and shower houses remain closed. Park visitors for day-use areas should use specific and designated parking lots and neither park on the sides of roads nor on trails and obey all posted signage.
Iowa has 68 state parks and four state forests for visitors to enjoy with hiking trails, lake recreation and camping. To learn more, visit the DNR website.