Campgrounds packed before Memorial Day weekend - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Campgrounds packed before Memorial Day weekend

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DUBUQUE COUNTY (KWWL) - Just four days until the start of Memorial Day weekend campsites across Eastern Iowa are already filling up. And while gas prices are expected to rise this holiday weekend campers and park rangers say it's an economical kick off to summer.

It's a few days before the start of memorial day weekend - and mud lake campground is full.

"We can definitely tell there's a lot of energy in the air. For a lot of people it's a kick off for summer," said Park Ranger Chris Clingan.

Clingan says some people have been camping here for a week - just to save a spot for this weekend.

"The highest we charge for a campsite is $16 a night and you can have 8 people on a campsite comfortably," said Clingan.

And that is something Mark Duehr's family finds perfect for their holiday weekend.

"Sometimes we stay in a hotel for the weekend but it's expensive for three nights. Camping's a lot more economical," said Duehr.

Clingan agreed saying, "a lot of people cook their own food and bring all they need. Its a good way to get outside, get active and enjoy the outdoors and save money."

While most say it's economical and perhaps even cheaper to camp for the weekend, Lori Westmark says they break even. But that's because they campout weeks at a time. Add food - beverages and gas - it costs her family the same as three days in a hotel. In this case - she's getting more for her money.

"If you're at home you're doing housework. If you're camping your just being able to get out, get out, everyone can be themselves, you don't to put make-up on," said Westmark.

And for the next 6 days that's exactly what the Westmark and Duehr families are doing; getting back to the basics of the great outdoors, in a full campground.

This is the first major camping weekend across the state - many campgrounds - including Mud Lake - were flooded last summer. Ranger Clingan says many people are eager to get back to camping in parks that were closed last summer.

Online Reporter: Lauren Squires
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