Finding a Campsite & Hiking Trail Ankeny IA

The Internet is awash with sites promoting campgrounds. Anyone with web access and a computer can slap up a few pages with ambiguous pictures and descriptions seductive enough to make a construction zone sound appealing. “Unspoiled wilderness” can mean anything from delightfully remote to downright primeval. “Rustic” could be a planning style or euphemistic code for a woefully neglected facility.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Omaha
(712) 347-6273
4101 N 17th St
Carter Lake, IA
 
Cedar River Baptist Camp
(319) 728-8477
2798 Casey Ave
Letts, IA
 
YMCA of Greater Des Moines
(515) 243-0100
1192 166th Dr
Boone, IA
 
Marble Beach State Park Campground
(712) 336-4437
12320 240th Ave
Spirit Lake, IA
 
Raccoon River Bible Conference
(712) 667-3916
875 B Ave
Scranton, IA
 
Langwood Education Center
(319) 729-4353
14001 H Ave
Wapello, IA
 
Ewalu Bible Camp
(563) 933-4700
37776 Alpha Ave
Strawberry Pt, IA
 
Willowbrook Bible Camp
(515) 262-5026
4375 NE 38th St
Des Moines, IA
 
Inspiration Acres Church of God Campgrounds
(515) 795-3653
1952 Ql Ln
Madrid, IA
 
Hannen Park
(319) 454-6382
1949 Benton Iowa Rd
Blairstown, IA
 

Finding a Campsite & Hiking Trail

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Finding a Campsite & Hiking Trail

The perfect place to pitch your tent

The Internet is awash with sites promoting campgrounds. Anyone with web access and a computer can slap up a few pages with ambiguous pictures and descriptions seductive enough to make a construction zone sound appealing. “Unspoiled wilderness” can mean anything from delightfully remote to downright primeval. “Rustic” could be a planning style or euphemistic code for a woefully neglected facility.

So how do you select a site that meets your camping or hiking needs without breaking your budget or your spirit?

  • Go online. Find out what campgrounds and trails are located within the area you're hoping to explore. Check each one out and narrow your selection based on first impressions.
  • Join the community. Chat with other campers and hikers on forums. While lurking on forums will help you scan information quickly, asking questions will get you the answers you really need.

Public vs. Private Campgrounds

If you're a national park enthusiast, you likely prefer your wilderness pristine and have no issues swimming in a stream or lake. Likewise, if you prefer privately run campgrounds, then you probably enjoy modern facilities that include wireless hookups, flush toilets and in-ground pools. But the two aren't mutually exclusive. While most privately run campgrounds often cater to RV enthusiasts , many national parks offer a wide variety of accessibility. Public grounds (usually run by a government agency) are more consistent, generally offer fewer amenities and cost less to visit. Private parks are independent business ventures and vary in the services they offer - from the barebones basics to Vegas-like entertainment resorts. A quick online check will give an idea of what a particular private park offers, but be sure to do a little digging to ensure the campground is as advertised.

What's ideal for your family vacation depends entirely on what kind of equipment you'll be using, your need for amenities and where you want to go. Remember that both private and public campgrounds in popular areas can get booked up months in advance, so do your research early.

National Parks and Forests

While most state and national parks and forests offer affordable camping with flush toilets, hot showers and laundry facilities, they can be crowded and impossible to book for long weekends and during summer vacation. Their central reservation website makes comparison shopping easy. These parks are best enjoyed during shoulder season when traffic eases up and the wildlife comes out to play. If you can't visit during off season, consider less popular sites within the campground.

State or Provincial Parks and Forests

State and provincial parks are similar to national parks, although the quality of facilities will vary from state to state and province to province. With no centralized website, comparing campsites take a bit of effort, but finding out if the site meets your ...

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