Lake Manawa State Park campground has opened and is already a hit with visitors from near and far.
According to the Iowa Department of natural resources, the Lake Manawa State Park campground has been open since the end of June and features modern amenities, including 40 full hook-up campsites, a shower house and a paved walking trail connecting the campground to the beach and Dreamland Playground. It also features a gated entrance to access the campground.
A registration building at the campground gate provides online and telephone reservation information for those who come to the park looking for a site. Campers will receive a four-digit access code to open the gate and enter the campground.
With 100% reservable sites, availability is known in real-time. Campers can search and book sites online before leaving home, on the way to the park or at the campground.
Reservations for Lake Manawa State Park campground can be made from April 15 to October 15 until 9 p.m., the day of arrival online at reserveamerica.com or by calling the reservation call center at 877-427-2757 weekdays from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The call center is closed on Sundays.
“Having the 100% reservable and same-day reservations gives our customers more flexibility,” Reining said. “Lake Manawa is located right between two interstates. Travelers coming down the road can get out their phones and see, ‘Oh, yep, Lake Manawa has a campground available.’ They can reserve it then and know they have a campsite.”
The process also makes it easier for campers to book a site three months before or check if campsites are available on a whim.
Customers will no longer need to fill out the paper walk-in registration forms or pay with cash or check; all reservations will require a credit card payment online or over the phone. Customers can still pay by check if the reservation is made through the call center and made at least 21 days in advance.
So far, feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Campers say they like the big, wide sites, the concrete pads and easy access to the playground and beach. The only negative is no trees, but planting trees is soon.
Saturday afternoon, Manawa campgrounds were full of RVs and campers, with a handful of tents scattered throughout. Local and out-of-state visitors expressed their enjoyment of the new facilities.
Out-of-state user permits are required for Lake Manawa and Waubonsie state parks. But those with a campsite reservation do not need the out-of-state user permit.
Annual permits purchased from January 1 through June 30, 2022, will be honored into 2023, expiring one year from the purchase date. Annual permits purchased starting July 1 will be valid until the end of 2022.
The daily permit for out-of-state visitors costs $5, and an annual permit is $40. Daily passes are available at pay stations throughout the park.
More information can be found at iowadnr.gov/Places-to-Go/Nonresident-Vehicle-Entrance-Permits.