Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Touring
Reload this Page >

Iowa overflow camping at state parks

Notices
Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

Iowa overflow camping at state parks

Old 05-18-21, 12:37 PM
  #1  
IPassGas
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 237

Bikes: Schwinn, Nishiki, Santana, Trek, Rodriguez

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 117 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 51 Times in 35 Posts
Iowa overflow camping at state parks

Do Iowa state parks generally have overflow camping for bikers? Some other states have an no-turn-away policy for bikers. Weekends are always difficult. Yes we do stealth camp when necessary, but I do like a shower.
Thanks for the information.
IPassGas is offline  
Old 05-18-21, 03:27 PM
  #2  
fishboat
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: SE Wisconsin
Posts: 1,231

Bikes: Lemond '01 Maillot Jaune, Lemond '02 Victoire, Lemond '03 Poprad, Lemond '03 Wayzata drop bar conv(Poprad), '79 AcerMex Windsor Carrera Professional(purchased new), '88 GT Tequesta(purchased new), '01 Bianchi Grizzly, 1993 Trek 970 drop bar conv

Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 448 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 368 Times in 216 Posts
A rather brief google.."which states have no turn away for bikers and hikers"
https://www.adventurecycling.org/rou...ping-policies/
fishboat is offline  
Likes For fishboat:
Old 05-18-21, 03:54 PM
  #3  
IPassGas
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 237

Bikes: Schwinn, Nishiki, Santana, Trek, Rodriguez

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 117 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 51 Times in 35 Posts
Originally Posted by fishboat View Post
A rather brief google.."which states have no turn away for bikers and hikers"
https://www.adventurecycling.org/rou...ping-policies/
True, but no listing for Iowa. I suspect many state parks might find space for people in need, I have experienced this in other places even though a formal policy does not exist. Possibly, those with experience in Iowa could comment.
IPassGas is offline  
Old 05-18-21, 06:13 PM
  #4  
indyfabz
Senior Member
 
indyfabz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 31,051
Mentioned: 199 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13752 Post(s)
Liked 6,662 Times in 3,370 Posts
Iíd try calling the particular parks you are interested in. Or maybe emailing the agency that runs the parks. The latter is how I learned that one park in NJ I sometimes stay in has an overflow policy for people arriving by water, foot or bike. Itís on the Delaware River, near the AT and on ACAís Atlantic Coast route. That policy is not published on the web page for the park.
indyfabz is offline  
Old 05-18-21, 07:20 PM
  #5  
IPassGas
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 237

Bikes: Schwinn, Nishiki, Santana, Trek, Rodriguez

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 117 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 51 Times in 35 Posts
Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Iíd try calling the particular parks you are interested in. Or maybe emailing the agency that runs the parks. The latter is how I learned that one park in NJ I sometimes stay in has an overflow policy for people arriving by water, foot or bike. Itís on the Delaware River, near the AT and on ACAís Atlantic Coast route. That policy is not published on the web page for the park.
Yes, but there are many parks we will pass through. I have contacted parks people, but they are somewhat cryptic. Many states are trying to encourage bicycle touring for economic benefits. No doubt you would agree...what better way to attract bike tourists then to assure them that they will have a piece of grass at the end of the day to pitch their tent? Anyways, just trying to hear from people with experience in Iowa on the general attitude of local park people with regard to finding camp space for people on bike in the event that the campground is full.
IPassGas is offline  
Old 05-18-21, 08:07 PM
  #6  
indyfabz
Senior Member
 
indyfabz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 31,051
Mentioned: 199 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13752 Post(s)
Liked 6,662 Times in 3,370 Posts
Originally Posted by IPassGas View Post
Yes, but there are many parks we will pass through. I have contacted parks people, but they are somewhat cryptic. Many states are trying to encourage bicycle touring for economic benefits. No doubt you would agree...what better way to attract bike tourists then to assure them that they will have a piece of grass at the end of the day to pitch their tent? Anyways, just trying to hear from people with experience in Iowa on the general attitude of local park people with regard to finding camp space for people on bike in the event that the campground is full.
I agree, but with no official policy, general attitudes could change with staff turnover and might vary wildly by park. Someoneís experience last year not be the norm today.

If you live in IA consider reaching out. Thatís how I got the lowdown on the NJ state park I mentioned. I was denied a space when the place was full despite there being ample room to accommodate a small tent. I would not have gotten a fire ring or picnic table, but I could have lived without those. Had to press on to a private campground maybe 20 miles down the road.

Ended up contacting the relevant agency after getting some ideas from ACA. My email was forwarded to the park supervisor who wrote back and told me about the parkís accommodation policy for people arriving under their own power. He apologized, explaining that perhaps the person I spoke with at the park office was not aware of it. Made total sense since she was young. Looked high school age. Possibly an intern. He also told me to call next time to let them no I was coming.


ACA can give you some good written material on the subject to help advocate, including policies that states have adopted. Good luck.

Last edited by indyfabz; 05-18-21 at 08:24 PM.
indyfabz is offline  
Old 05-19-21, 05:35 AM
  #7  
staehpj1 
Senior Member
 
staehpj1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 10,211
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 590 Post(s)
Liked 192 Times in 154 Posts
Not completely relevant to the question, but... You mention "stealth camping when necessary". I wonder if that is a misnomer for all camping for free in improvised non official campsites. If not, then I'll mention that especially in the middle of the country, camping for free with no need for stealth is often easy and readily available. Sorry if I am splitting hairs on the stealth thing, but folks use the term rather loosely so it isn't always obvious what they mean.

On the original question, it would be nice if all states had a policy of not turning away cyclists. On the other hand not having any policy is better than nailing down a policy of turning them away when official sites are full. At least the lack of a policy leaves staff feeling like they have a little leeway. I suspect that I have benefitted from that leeway in many cases where if the policy were nailed down the staff would have turned me away. My point being that in our lobbying for a no turn away policy we should maybe tread a little lightly in pushing for clarification.

Good luck in your efforts.
__________________
Check out my profile, articles, and trip journals at:
https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/staehpj1
staehpj1 is offline  
Old 05-19-21, 09:23 AM
  #8  
robow
Senior Member
 
robow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,568
Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 435 Post(s)
Liked 131 Times in 93 Posts
Originally Posted by fishboat View Post
A rather brief google.."which states have no turn away for bikers and hikers"
https://www.adventurecycling.org/rou...ping-policies/
From that list, I can confirm that Arkansas and Wisconsin were very willing to work with us, but my lone attempt in Missouri, the camp director needed some convincing that their state participated in the policy of not turning away a person on a bike. My advise to all, if you know what states you're going to be traveling thru, consider taking a copy of the state's "No turn away" policy if it exists because often park personnel won't even know of it.
robow is offline  
Old 05-19-21, 09:43 AM
  #9  
mstateglfr 
Sunshine
 
mstateglfr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Des Moines, IA
Posts: 13,155

Bikes: '18 class built steel roadbike, '19 Fairlight Secan, '88 Schwinn Premis , Black Mountain Cycles Monstercross V4, '89 Novara Trionfo

Mentioned: 105 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6116 Post(s)
Liked 3,260 Times in 1,881 Posts
I live here and have never camped at a place where there was no space because why?

Some campgrounds are county run, some state run, some federally run, and some town run. I would bet that allowing overflow will be completely based on the individual location.
Somewhere like Saylorville Lake's campgrounds could be a hard NO for overflow. https://www.recreation.gov/camping/campgrounds/233455
But somewhere like Audubon IA which is a random small town, I could see you being allowed to squeeze into a plot of grass on the outskirts of the campground/park. https://www.auduboncountyia.gov/tourism/parks.aspx
mstateglfr is offline  
Old 05-19-21, 09:50 AM
  #10  
boomhauer
Senior Member
 
boomhauer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 762
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 219 Post(s)
Liked 41 Times in 28 Posts
Originally Posted by IPassGas View Post
Yes, but there are many parks we will pass through. I have contacted parks people, but they are somewhat cryptic. Many states are trying to encourage bicycle touring for economic benefits. No doubt you would agree...what better way to attract bike tourists then to assure them that they will have a piece of grass at the end of the day to pitch their tent? Anyways, just trying to hear from people with experience in Iowa on the general attitude of local park people with regard to finding camp space for people on bike in the event that the campground is full.
This was my experience two years ago in Iowa. I would call but no one would give a definite answer or tell me to go ahead and make a reservation thru their internet system.
I went from the Missouri boarder to a Bluegrass festival in Stratford, Iowa in July then turned east to go to Wisconsin.
I didn't want to make any reservations for the usual reasons (not sure of the weather, etc...)
All of my concerns were way overblown. Yes, most of the sites were often taken but I always found a way to stay there.
Had more luck at city and county parks rather than state parks.
People in Iowa are used to RAGBRAI and are very welcoming of people on bicycles. You will see. There are not many better places to bicycle tour than Iowa as far as accommodations are concerned.
Keep in mind, that these are my opinions. I often sleep in odd ball places because they were available and easy and close to a food store or restaurants.
There are many small small towns that have RV sites with only 8 slots. I often slept in one of the slots and was the only person there. Keep your options open.

Last edited by boomhauer; 05-19-21 at 10:17 AM.
boomhauer is offline  
Old 05-20-21, 06:19 AM
  #11  
IPassGas
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 237

Bikes: Schwinn, Nishiki, Santana, Trek, Rodriguez

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 117 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 51 Times in 35 Posts
Originally Posted by boomhauer View Post
This was my experience two years ago in Iowa. I would call but no one would give a definite answer or tell me to go ahead and make a reservation thru their internet system.
I went from the Missouri boarder to a Bluegrass festival in Stratford, Iowa in July then turned east to go to Wisconsin.
I didn't want to make any reservations for the usual reasons (not sure of the weather, etc...)
All of my concerns were way overblown. Yes, most of the sites were often taken but I always found a way to stay there.
Had more luck at city and county parks rather than state parks.
People in Iowa are used to RAGBRAI and are very welcoming of people on bicycles. You will see. There are not many better places to bicycle tour than Iowa as far as accommodations are concerned.
Keep in mind, that these are my opinions. I often sleep in odd ball places because they were available and easy and close to a food store or restaurants.
There are many small small towns that have RV sites with only 8 slots. I often slept in one of the slots and was the only person there. Keep your options open.
Thanks for the info boomhauer and mstateglf. We are nearing the start of our tour, can't wait! Iowa>Minnesota>Wisconsin>UP>Michigan
IPassGas is offline  
Likes For IPassGas:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.