Reserve your spot for a summer vacation - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Reserve your spot for a summer vacation

DES MOINES (KWWL) -- As you step out your door onto a snowy stoop, it's the perfect time to start dreaming of warmer weather.  Starting this week, you can book your state park campsite for Summer 2010.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is accepting online reservations for Camping Kickoff Weekend beginning January 30.

"Camping Kickoff Weekend is a fun way to draw campers to our campgrounds a little earlier than they probably would on their own," said Kevin Szcodronski, chief of the DNR's State Parks Bureau.

It's become a tradition in the state to name the first weekend of May as the start of camping season.  But unlike other years, there are no free goodies for being among the first to pitch a tent.

"We will still have the kickoff weekend, but will not be handing out camping coupons and other goodies because of reduced budget and staff shortages," Szcodronski explained.

Camping numbers in state parks increased by nearly 38,000 in 2009, and Szcodronski expects that trend to continue.

"As long as the economy is in this slow recovery, we expect to see an increase in park use and in camper nights because we offer an affordable, nearby get-away," he said. "

The reservation system allows users to check out what's available at each campsite.  To secure your spot for this summer, click here.

Online Reporter Colleen O'Shaughnessy

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