GRANGER, Iowa –Campsites are filling up ahead of the 4th of July holiday. It’s a trend park rangers have been noticing since the spring.
It’s beautiful and peaceful. “Every once in a while you might see a deer run across out here,” said Allen Snyder. It also isn’t far from home. “It’s a way of getting away,” he said.
The Snyders live just eight miles from Polk County’s Jester Park in Granger, and they’ve made this their Fourth of July getaway. “There’s a lot to see out here,” said Snyder.
They aren’t alone with campers claiming a spot in Polk County parks. “It’s been really busy, ever since we opened up we’ve seen a steady increase. I think the highest increase was in April. I think figures were like 60 percent above April last year.”
Park Ranger Chris Clingan credits this season’s weather with the increased interest in camping. “The weather has been pretty decent and mainly we’ve been pretty dry lately, so that’s why there’s been a lot of people coming out and camping,” he said.
Jester Park has 100 primitive sites and eighty electrical, which fill up quickly. “Typically by Wednesday we’re full. And, we’re full more than we’re empty. So if you want to camp out here, you got to get here pretty early in the week,” said Clingan.
All the electrical sites are full at Jester Park for the 4th of July weekend, but there is a chance you could still camp out. “Tent camping probably. There will be some availability for that, otherwise, no air conditioning,” he said.
The Snyders are glad they got their spot, as they enjoy time with friends and nature. “Just out enjoying the weather and the beautiful scenery,” said Allen.
You’re out of luck this summer, if you want to stay in one of Jester Park’s cabins. Those are booked during the week until September and on the weekends until November.
You can make camping reservations at any county park online at www.mycountyparks.com. You need to reserve those three days in advance. Basic campsites cost $15 and electrical sites are $20.