Although Pikes Peak campground work is pushed back, some sites will be closed this year

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The campground at Pikes Peak State Park near McGregor will not be closed for renovations this summer and fall as originally anticipated, but five sites will be closed this year for safety reasons. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

By Audrey Posten, Times-Register

 

The campground at Pikes Peak State Park near McGregor will not be closed for renovations this summer and fall as originally anticipated, but five sites will be closed this year for safety reasons.

 

“Our reservations opened [April 12] and we already have a lot of reservations,” said park manager Matt Tschirgi.

 

The project, which includes updating utilities and improving space at the park’s campsites, keeps getting shifted back, said Tschirgi.

 

“Now, the earliest the renovation work would take place is November, but all the funding hasn’t been secured yet, so more than likely early spring next year,” he added.

 

Work has already been done to prepare for the renovation project.

 

“We finished the tree removal and timber sale for a new road loop and removed several hazard trees in the campground as well,” said Tschirgi. “So it looks different already.”

 

The campground was built in the 1960s, long before the Iowa Department of Natural Resources could anticipate the size and capabilities of current RVs and other equipment.

 

“The sites were packed in like sardines,” Tschirgi said. “Now, there will be the same number of campsites, but they will be spaced out so there’s more breathing room.”

 

The campground renovation isn’t the only project on the horizon for Pikes Peak State Park. This year, Tschirgi said there are plans to plant 300 more oak tree seedlings in old field areas, build more log railings for trail bridges, add rock to trails, rebuild a trail boardwalk platform at Bridal Veil Falls, install large trail map signs at confusing trail intersections and add mulch to the Deer Ridge Trail.

 

Newly designed state park entrance signs will be installed in new locations this fall. Tschirgi said the park will also rebuild gravel road areas—including the north Marquette access, McGregor parking, youth group loop and radio tower—with DOT funding and replace the cement under the railroad bridge at Sny Magill, which is awaiting railroad approval.

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