Campgrounds starting to open for 2019 Camping Season

Despite the recent flooding and snow storm we do have campground ready to go for those that have the itch and have their campers ready for the warmer weather. The bath houses at these location are also open for the season.

The following campgrounds are open for the 2019 Camping Season:

Big Sioux Recreation Area:

Meadowlark Campground

Oak Grove Park:

Turkey Ridge Campground

Sandy Hollow Recreation Campground

The following campgrounds and areas remain closed at this time:

Big Sioux Recreation Area

Eagle View Campground

Roadway into the park, swimming beach area, boat ramp and back shelter areas.

Bruce Schomaker Recreation Area (scheduled to open May 15, 2019)

Oak Grove Park

Deer Run Campground (scheduled to open on Friday April 26, 2019)

Bottom picnic area

Boat Ramp

Watch our website for additional openings.

Big Sioux Recreation Area Volunteer Flood Clean Up Day

As many locals are aware, the Big Sioux Rec Area took another hit by the March flood. We were still recovering from the three floods of 2018 when this flood hit us from the east. Camping season is just around the corner and the park needs a lot of caring hands to remove the rubbish hiding her beauty. This volunteer event will put us that much farther ahead and help us get ready for the main visitor season.

Clean up day will be April 20, 2019 we will start around 1:00 pm, but come when you can! The event will last as long as the latest person wants to stay! You must check in at the Maintenance Building to receive instructions.

Projects will include: picking up litter the flood brought in, spreading new mulch in the playground to replace what was washed out, kayaking/canoeing all waters in order to access the litter along the shorelines, picking up logs/sticks and putting them in piles, etc. You will find lots of interesting things! So take pictures while you are here!

Want to help, but maybe are not up for all the walking? We could use a few people at the central check-in location to help sort recyclables and non-recyclables!

What to bring: work gloves, sturdy shoes and a smiling face!

We will provide reusable trash bags, pitchforks, rakes, and shovels.

This is a kid friendly volunteer event!

**Enter the park using the South entrance. Sign in at the Maintenance Shed upon entering the park for instructions.**

Sandy Hollow Rec. Area Reopens- Big Sioux Rec. Area Remains Closed

We are happy to announce the Sandy Hollow Recreation Area is open to the public again after flooding.

The Indoor Archery/BB Gun Ranges remain closed due to flooding of facilities. There will be no more open range nights for the season, thank you to those that came out and utilized the ranges the past couple of months.

Reminder to renew your annual vehicle passes upon entering the park if you have not done so for the new year.

Big Sioux Recreation Area remains closed to all public traffic due to flooding and roadway damages.

Watch our website for additional updates.

Sandy Hollow Recreation Area Closed 3-13-2019

Sandy Hollow Recreation Area is closed to all traffic due to flash flooding of entrance road ways. Due to rain fall, snow melt and high water tables.

Indoor Archery and BB Gun Ranges will also be closed due to flooding of facilities for our Thursday March 14, 2019 date.

Please avoid all traffic into this park.

Watch our website for updates on parks reopening.

Big Sioux Recreation Area Closed: 3-13-2019

Our Big Sioux Recreation Area is closed to all traffic due to flash flooding of entrance roadways. Due to rain fall, snow melt and high water tables. We anticipate this area being closed throughout the weekend.

We also ask if you can avoid driving down to the entrance of the park on West 10th St due to the roadway being under water as well.

2019 Seasonal Summer Positions

Parks and Recreation Department

The Sioux County Conservation Board is looking to hire seasonal help at our Oak Grove, Big Sioux Recreation Area and Sandy Hollow Recreation Area. Whether you are a college student looking for a summer job, a high school student exploring career options or a retired adult looking for something to keep you busy we have a spot for you! We have a variety of positions available with varying hours.

All applicants for the Seasonal Park Technician and Registration Booth Attendants must be able to effectively communicate orally and in writing, apply knowledge and common sense to solve problems and/or achieve work objectives. Must possess a current valid driver’s license, be 16 years of age or older, and undergo background checks in reference to driving record, criminal history and child abuse registry. Deadline for applying is March 31, 2019

See below for further information on each position. Starting wages are experience determined.  Click here for application.

Registration Booth Attendants

If you are someone that enjoys interacting with the public, answering questions, taking care of sales and janitorial cares this position maybe for you. Our Registration Booth Attendants work at our Big Sioux Recreation Area, near Hawarden, IA or at Sandy Hollow Recreation Area, near Sioux Center, IA. You will be responsible for monitoring and registering vehicles entering the park, renting canoes/kayaks, selling snacks, firewood, and other items. Hours vary and include: weekday, weekend, evening and some holiday hours. Typically a 40 hour work week, shifts and hours available depend on applications.

Applicants interested should have the ability to engage with the public and interested in the outdoors.

Seasonal Park Technician

Are you someone that enjoys working with your hands, being outside, cleaning, mowing and various other tasks? Our Seasonal Park Technician position is for you. You will be assisting the full-time Park Ranger/Maintenance Technicians in the day to day operations of the parks and facilities. Duties include but not limited to: weed eating, cleaning restrooms and facilities, cutting firewood, staining, running farm related equipment, mowing, maintaining records and much more.

Applicants interested should have the ability to engage in physical work, previous experience with maintenance, landscaping and farm equipment preferred. Must have an interest in the outdoors and working with people of all ages. Preferred education or training in environmental education, natural resources, wildlife biology, biology/ecology or related field is preferred, but not required.

Click here for application.

Education Department

Summer naturalist position available this summer, starting late May through early August. Position will be based at Oak Grove Park. Typical hours are M-F 8 am-4:30 pm and some Saturdays, 40 hours work week. Please send resume and references to Sioux County Conservation Board, Attn: Sunday Ford, 4051 Cherry Ave, Hawarden, IA 51023 or email to: Deadline for applying for position is April 1, 2019.

Summer Naturalist Intern

Our Summer Naturalist Intern will interact with those in all ages and stages of life. You will assist in our summer camp programs, library and other naturalist lead programs. You will be working alongside our full-time naturalist staff in developing and presenting these programs. Must be 16 years of age or older to apply.

Open Range Night Postponed February 14, 2019

We will be postponing our February 14, 2019 open range night due to Valentine’s Day. We will reopen our ranges next week February 21, 2019 weather dependent, in addition to adding March 21, 2019 as an additional night.

The indoor archery range and BB gun range will be open to the public Thursday nights from 6-8 PM. These nights will occur in our heated indoor ranges and are open to the public during this time. All are welcome, youth 15 years of age and under must have adult supervision. Must provide own archery and BB gun equipment. Targets provided. Cost is $5 for both archery and BB gun range per person per night or $3 for one range per person per night. Fee’s payable at the door. Questions please contact the Sioux County Conservation Administration Office at 712-552-1047.

Ranges will be closed due to bad weather check our website or listen to 93.9 FM for cancellations.

Dates open:
February: 21, 28
March: 7, 14. 21

DNR WorkshopS coming to Sioux County

Every year, all across the state of Iowa, citizen scientists make enormous contributions to wildlife conservation by collecting and reporting data on some of the state’s most vulnerable critters. Through the Iowa Department of Natural Resources’ Volunteer Wildlife Monitoring Program (VWMP) citizens are equipped with the proper information and materials to help in these state wide studies. Program Coordinator Stephanie Shepherd explains, “We just don’t have enough staff in the DNR to adequately monitor all the vulnerable species that we need to. This is where citizen scientists play a crucial role.” Every March and April, Shepherd travels around the state to lead training workshops that ready folks to collect data on some of Iowa’s critical wildlife. The following are examples of what the VWMP is like for volunteers:

  • Frog and Toad Call Survey: It’s 10:00 on a summer night along a gravel road anywhere in Iowa. In the farm pond next to the road a raucous chorus of male frogs are making themselves heard as they vie for mates. A volunteer stands clipboard in hand, ear cocked, mentally sorting out each of the calling species which are using this ordinary pond.
  • Bald Eagle Nest Monitoring: It’s a peaceful Saturday morning by the river where a volunteer has binoculars and spotting scope trained on the tallest tree in the vicinity. In this tree is a huge nest, home to two bald eagles and their young. A peaceful half hour is spent watching one of the most spectacular birds in North America.

This year, Sioux County Conservation is teaming up with the DNR to host both a Bald Eagle Nest Monitoring and Frog and Toad Call Survey Training Workshop. Two separate workshops will be held on Saturday, April 13th at the Oak Grove Lodge.

Bald Eagle Nest Monitoring Workshop 9:30am-12:30pm (5$)

Training workshop focuses on some of Iowa’s more spectacular birds of prey such as Bald Eagles, Ospreys, and Peregrine Falcons. Volunteers are taught how to collect data on specific nesting sites around the state and submit pertinent data such as how many young birds fledge. “This data collection requires lots of patience and some good optics in order to watch the nest from a distance and not disturb the birds,” Shepherd indicates. Last year volunteers reported on over 150 Bald Eagle nests across the state.

Frog and Toad Call Survey 1:00-4:00pm (5$)

Training is for a survey that requires a keen ear. Volunteers are trained to listen to and recognize the 16 species of frogs and toads in Iowa based on their breeding calls. In 2016, volunteers surveyed routes consisting of over 350 wetland sites for frog and toad activity. “The frog and toad surveyors are particularly special because to perform the surveys they have to drive back country roads at night along a specified route which would not be everyone’s cup of tea,” Shepherd says. “I think most feel that exploring the Iowa wilds at night is a unique experience and opportunity.”

If you are an adult who is interested in getting involved, you need to register by filling out the DNR form found here and attend a training workshop. The cost of each program covers all materials provided at the workshop. If you would like to register for just one of the workshop it costs five dollars, if you would like to attend both classes the cost is eight dollars. Each class is limited to 15 people, so be sure to get your registration in soon! Registration must be received by April 5th, 2019.

For more information and to fill out a registration form visit: or e-mail

End of the Year Message from SCCF

Sioux County and the surrounding area,

What a year it has been for the Sioux County Conservation Foundation (SCCF). The Vision Iowa Grant was awarded early on in the year allowing the Foundation and Sioux County Conservation Board (SCCB) to move forward with the Nature Center building. We hosted a ground breaking ceremony on August 1st where many donors turned out to show their support. Bids for the project were gathered in September and work began soon after with Nelson Construction. Did you know each month you can find a project update under the Nature Center page on our website? So far the basement walls have been constructed, the plumbing roughed in and the elevator shaft erected. Crews are working hard to enclose the basement level so work can start on the interior and upper floor.

In other news, the SCCF would like to extend a thank you to all those who have donated in 2018. We appreciate every gift as we wrap us this Capital Campaign, ending the year around 87% funded. Several individuals have asked, “Why start a project when you are not fully fundraised?” The answer is actually quite simple. The 87% covers the building cost and general aspects of the building. Since we received the Vision Iowa Grant there are guidelines in which the project must be completed, and since we cannot predict the future winter, spring, summer or fall weather both boards felt confident to move forward in order to make sure we meet those guidelines and not lose our eligibility for the grant. The remaining 13% covers the extra details of the building; the exhibits, the technology, furniture and other odds and ends. We are confident our supporters will see the project though with us. There is still time to make a 2018 gift! Remember all gifts to SCCF are tax deductible and can be mailed to 1603 Oak Grove Road, Hawarden IA 51023. Or perhaps you wish to fill out a pledge card, or honor a friend/family member with a gift that qualifies for sponsored giving level reflected on an exhibit, classroom or activity space. Information for sponsored giving as well as pledge cards can be found on the Nature Center website.

We would be happy to answer any you may have on the project by calling 712-552-3057 or emailing or

Pledge cards, sponsored giving information, monthly updates and more information on the project can be found at:

2019 Open Range Nights

The indoor archery range and BB gun range will be open to the public Thursday nights from 6-8 PM. These nights will occur in our heated indoor ranges and are open to the public during this time. All are welcome, youth 15 years of age and under must have adult supervision. Must provide own archery and BB gun equipment. Targets provided. Cost is $5 for both archery and BB gun range per person per night or $3 for one range per person per night. Fee’s payable at the door. Questions please contact the Sioux County Conservation Administration Office at 712-552-1047.

Ranges will be closed due to bad weather check our website or listen to 93.9 FM for cancellations.
Dates open:
January: 17, 24, 31
February: 7, 14, 21, 28
March: 7, 14

Mark your calendar now for 2019 Summer Camps!!

Registration will open for this year’s summer camps starting at 8 am on Monday April 1, 2019. Pre-registration is required for all camps and will be completed at our website. Must have an account set up to register, account and camps are free of charge.
All camps will be located at the Oak Grove Lodge at the Oak Grove Park, with the exception of the Overnight Camp being held in our cabins at Oak Grove. Child must attend full length of camp on both dates if offered over multiple days. Figure out your dates now and get ready to register on the 1st of April! Camps fill fast; however, we do utilize the waiting list.

Ages 3-4 Budding Naturalists (Different from last year)
These little naturalists will have a hands-on introduction to nature. Parents/adult must attend. Camp includes games, crafts, and trail hikes and will be from 8:30 am-11 am, on the following dates: June 4, July 18, June 14, and July 26
Ages 5-6 Animal Detectives
Kids will investigate animal clues in the wild, from tracks to scat. This camp includes hands-on activities, games and fun! This two day camp will be offered on June 11 & 12 or June 18 & 19 from either 9 am- noon or 1 pm- 4 pm both dates.
Ages 7-9 How Nature Works
We will transform the Oak Grove Lodge into our own nature laboratory, as we do a variety of nature experiments. We’ll spend times on the trails, playing games, and exploring…Hands on! This two day camp is offered four times this year from 9 am- 2 pm each date. Dates offered include: June 25-26, July 10-11, June 27-28, and July 23-24
Ages 10-12 Wilderness Survival
Learn how to make a shelter, tie knots, make a campfire, and learn to use a gps unit along with other survival tips at this camp. This camp is from 9 am-3 pm on both days. Dates offered are July 16-17 and July 18-19
Ages 13-15 Overnight Camp
This overnight camp will meet at the cabins at Oak Grove and will be full of outdoor fun with night hikes, archery and campfire fun. Meals will be potluck. Camp will start at 9:30 am on July 30 and end at 1:30 pm on July 31.

Figure your dates out now and get ready to register on the 1st of April! Camps fill fast; however, we do utilize the waiting list. Your child may attend one summer camp, however if you are on the waiting list you are welcome to register for multiple waiting lists that work for your family.

Winter 2019 Newsletter

Our winter newsletter is available to view online now. Couple things to highlight:

Upcoming winter programs

Updates on our main county parks

Summer Camp dates are available, registration will start April 1 at 8 am. Click here for that listing.

Reminder that your vehicle passes for the Big Sioux Recreation Area and Sandy Hollow Recreation expire at the end of the month. Visit either park to get one mailed to you or contact the main administration office to get your new passes.

December 31, 2018 is your last chance to get your site application in for the upcoming camping season if you want a permanent site. Application and deposit are due by December 31, 2018. Camping sites are available at Big Sioux Recreation Area, Sandy Hollow Recreation Area and Oak Grove. Click here for application.

Also note we are looking for summer help for the upcoming camping season. Positions include: summer maintenance positions, education intern position and gate attendant. Click here for maintenance and gate attendant applications. For those interested in applying for the education intern position please send resume and cover letter to:
Sunday Ford
Sioux County Conservation Board
4051 Cherry Ave
Hawarden, IA 51023

Click here for more information on these highlights and newsletter.

Giving back on #GivingTuesday

Today is the day! GivingTuesday kicks of the giving season every year. This year, give back to your local community by giving towards the Sioux County Nature Center through the Sioux County Conservation Foundation. All gifts are tax deductible and will help close the gap towards the final goal. For more information and to make an online donation, check out the Nature Center page by clicking here. Pledge cards are also available.

Checks can also be made out and sent to:

Sioux County Conservation Foundation

1603 Oak Grove Road

Hawarden IA 51023

Campgrounds Closing for the Season

It is that time of year again when we need to start thinking about closing down our campgrounds. We will be closing down the campgrounds by the following dates:

Big Sioux Recreation Area Campgrounds will close: October 22
Sandy Hollow Recreation Area Campground will close: October 22
Oak Grove Park Deer Run Campground will close October 22; Turkey Ridge Campground will remain open until around October 31, then restrooms will be closed.

With the parks closing it means winter weather is around the corner, however there is still time to enjoy the county parks. Our parks remain open throughout the year for those that wish to go hunting at specific areas or enjoy a nice afternoon exploring and hiking the fall/winter landscapes. Ice fishing is popular at our major ponds once a good layer of ice has formed on them.

Attention Campers at the Bruce Schomaker Area

This campground will be closed for the camping season starting September 15, 2018 due to hunting seasons starting up for the fall season.

Remainder of Sioux County Conservation Board Campgrounds at Oak Grove, Big Sioux Recreation Area and Sandy Hollow Campground will remain open until mid- October. Check back here in October for official dates.

Sites available for 2018 Labor Day Weekend

Yes you read that correctly! We have camping sites available for the fast approaching holiday weekend at all the campgrounds managed by the Sioux County Conservation Board. Looking at the weather it should be a great kick off to the “fall” camping season.

There is much to explore and do in the county parks. Swimming is still available for a few more weeks at the Big Sioux Recreation Area and Sandy Hollow Recreation Area before we pack up the buoys and start having to prep the areas for the cold winter season. Fishing, canoeing/kayaking, hiking and picnicking are all popular this time of year as well.

Join the counties naturalist staff for a Monarch Watch program on Saturday September 1 at the parking lot by the cabins overlooking the pond in the Deer Run Campground at Oak Grove Park. The program will start at 9:30 am. At the program you will learn about the life cycle, hibernation route and tagging of monarchs as they pass through the park. Event end at 11 am, nets are available to use during the event or bring your own from home.

Outside of the counties park system, there is much to do in Hawarden this weekend for the community’s celebration. Choose to explore the community’s history at Calliope Village, take in the local schools football game on Friday night, or enjoy the Monday morning community pancake breakfast, parade, vendor and food booths in the city park and other activities.

We hope to see you out enjoying your local county parks this weekend and enjoy the activity of your choice. Campgrounds will remain open into mid-October, weather dependent, so get a few more weekends sitting with friends at the campfire.

One last reminder this year there will not be a Trick or Treat event hosted by Sioux County Conservation, we do plan on this event returning for the 2019 camping season.

2019 Seasonal Campsites

Click here for Seasonal Campsite Application
Deadline: December 31st

For those that enjoy camping week after week at your local county parks we are making it even easier for you to accomplish this task! We are offering select sites at the Big Sioux Recreation Area, Oak Grove Park and Sandy Hollow Recreation Area for seasonal camping for the 2019 camping season. This means you can bring your camper out in April and leave it until October!

Sandy Hollow Recreation Area and Big Sioux Recreation Area seasonal site will have concrete pads, electric (20, 30 and/or 50 amp), water and sewer hook ups. Sites will be available from April 15 until October 15, weather dependent. Oak Grove Park’s seasonal sites will be available April 15 to October 9, weather dependent. Sites have concrete pads and are electric (20, 30, and/or 50 amp). There is a water hydrant nearby to fill from, and sewer dump station located in the campground for use, however are not located at each site.

You are welcome to take your camper to other locations during the summer; it will remain your site throughout the summer months. Your site will have a picnic table, fire ring and room to park one vehicle. Additional parking is located in visitor parking in the campground.

To acquire one of these sites you must fill out a Permanent/Seasonal camp site application available online or pick one up at the Sioux County Conservation Administration Office during regular business hours. Return application with $50 deposit by December 31, 2018. We will draw for sites at our regular board meeting on February 6, 2019 at approximately 6:30 pm. If you are drawn at this time you will be required to put down a $500 deposit by March 15, 2019. If not received by this date you will forfeit your site and $50 application deposit. The remainder of your balance for the site, $1,300 for Big Sioux Recreation Area and Sandy Hollow Recreation Area or $1,156 for Oak Grove will be due by April 15, 2019. Failure to make your payment by this date will result in forfeiting your site and $500 deposit.

Click here for Seasonal Campsite Application.

Fall 2018 Newsletter

Highlights in the Fall Newsletter: How flooding affected three of our four main parks. Recap on the education staffs busy summer with summer camps and programs offered. Also information regarding 2019 permanent campsites. Don’t forget to check out our upcoming fall programs and get signed up today!​

Click here for more of the stories.

*Please note that there will be no Trick or Treat Hike for the 2018 camping season. We plan on it returning in 2019.


We are excited to announce that we no longer have any closures of any of our main county park areas! You read that right all of our swimming beaches and campground are open and ready for visitors! The swimming beach at the Big Sioux Recreation Area may be a little sticky and muddy yet but it is open.

Some areas of the parks do remain closed to vehicle traffic until repairs are completed. Please respect the barricades and road closed signs.

Some of our outlying areas that we manage may still have some damages that we are working on so bare that in mind while visiting other wildlife areas.

So break out the camper and sunscreen, and head on out to enjoy the end of summer! Reminder vehicle passes do pertain to both Big Sioux Recreation Area and Sandy Hollow Recreation Area upon entering the parks.

All Campgrounds Now Open 7-12-2018

We are happy to announce that all the campgrounds in Sioux County are back open and operational for camping. We also have Oak Grove’s boat ramp and Bottom Picnic Area back open for those wishing to boat the Big Sioux River this weekend. Please continue to use caution when boating at the Big Sioux Recreation Area as the water continues to drop revealing more items that were under water.

HOWEVER, the swimming beach at Big Sioux Recreation Area remains closed despite the campgrounds being open.


The roadway to the boat ramp and boat ramp are now open at the Big Sioux Recreation Area. There is no dock by the ramp currently please use caution. Please also exercise caution when going around the pit as there are picnic table and other jetties etc. that remain under water at this time.

Swimming beach is open at Sandy Hollow Recreation Area only.

Campsites are available at the Sandy Hollow Recreation Area, both campgrounds at Big Sioux Recreation Area and at both campgrounds at Oak Grove Park.

The following areas remain closed at this time due to clean up and flooding:

Bruce Schomaker Recreation Area

Oak Grove River Bottom Picnic Area

Big Sioux Recreation Area Swimming Beach remains closed.

Please watch for further updates on openings.

Update on Campground Closures 6-27-2018

The following campgrounds are open for camping for the upcoming weekend:

Oak Grove Campground both campgrounds and rental facilities remain open.

Sandy Hollow Recreation Area Campground and rental facilities are open. Sandy Hollow Recreation Area will open after 2 pm on Thursday June 28, 2018.

Due to continued flooding the following campgrounds and areas will remain closed through the weekend:

Bruce Schomaker Recreation Area

Oak Grove River Bottom Picnic Area

The Big Sioux Recreation Area campgrounds, swimming beach and roadways are closed to all visitors and guest with the exception of seasonal campers.

Attention all Campers and Potential Campers for the Weekend of June 21-24, 2018

Updated 6-22-2018

Due to flooding the following campgrounds will remain closed until further notice:

Bruce Shoemaker Rec. Area, Boyden, IA 

Sandy Hollow Rec. Area, Sioux Center, IA

Eagle View Campground at the Big Sioux Rec. Area, Hawarden, IA

River Bottom/Picnic Area at Oak Grove, Hawarden, IA

The following campgrounds will remain open through out the weekend: Deer Run and Turkey Ridge Campground at Oak Grove, Hawarden, IA. Meadowlark Campground at the Big Sioux Rec. Area, Hawarden, IA will will remain open unless conditions change.

Please watch our website for reopening of the closed campgrounds.

Previous post:

Due to expected flood waters we are asking that anyone that has campers parked at any of our low lying campgrounds: Sandy Hollow Rec. Area and Big Sioux Rec. Area to please move your campers out to higher ground as soon as possible.

Campgrounds currently closed due to flooding:

Bruce Schomaker Rec. Area, Boyden, IA- June 21, 2018

Eagle View Campground, at the Big Sioux Rec. Area- June 21, 2018

Sandy Hollow Rec. Area- June 21, 2018

River Bottom Picnic Area at Oak Grove- June 21, 2018

The campgrounds at Oak Grove will remain open through out the flood event.

Also for your safety please be reminded that it is not safe to drive through flooding waters.

Please watch for updates for additional opening and closings of campgrounds for the weekend.

Still looking for a camping site for this Memorial Day Weekend?

We still have campsite openings at the following areas: Big Sioux Recreation Area- both campground and Oak Grove Park Turkey Ridge Campground has electrical openings. There are tent sites available in the Deer Run Campground.
All sites remaining are available on a first come first served bases. Sites with blue tags hanging are also available on a first come first served bases through May 28, 2018.
To reserve a site you must have a vehicle, camping unit or tent on site and must be paid for at time of placement. We are no longer able to accept online reservations for this years Memorial Day weekend. Please check our our website to make your reservation for your next stay.

Campgrounds open for the season!

We are happy to announce that the Big Sioux Recreation Area, Oak Grove/Big Sioux Park and Sandy Hollow Recreation Area campgrounds have their water turned on and comfort stations open for this year’s camping season! Bruce Schomaker Recreation Area will open May 15, 2018.

We are looking forward to another busy season full of camping and many activities. We are anticipating ground breaking of the nature center at Oak Grove late this summer/early fall. We ask that you please keep this in mind as you plan your summer outing to Oak Grove. Deer Run Campground will remain open until the end of the camping season.

New this year we are offering online reservations for a few select campsites. These sites are marked with signage; we ask unless you have made a reservation for these sites that you choose another site that is available. To make your reservation please visit our website at

Online Reservations Now Available

Sioux County Conservation is excited to announce its online reservation system. Our website has been activated as of April 2, 2018. We will be taking online reservations for cabins and campsites for April 15- October 15 (campground dependent), Oak Grove Lodge, Big Sioux Shelter and Sandy Hollow Clubhouse will be available year round. We are hopeful this helps with your summer plans, holiday and family gatherings. Cabins and shelters will be available two (2) years out; campsites will be available for one (1) year out.


Cabins will be available for reservation starting April 15- October 15. We may have additional dates outside of these parameters in October weather dependent. There is a (2) night minimum weekend stay, with 3 night minimum over holidays. A two (2) night stay is preferred during week of the summer months as well. Renters are responsible for their own linens (including pillows), toiletries, cooking/eating utensils, etc.


The Oak Grove Lodge, Big Sioux Shelter and Sandy Hollow Clubhouse are all available for reservation throughout the year. Facilities are available 7 am- 10:30 pm on a daily basis, no overnight rentals allowed. Be advised that both the Oak Grove Lodge and Sandy Hollow Clubhouse require a deposit check to be turned in to the main administration office 7 to 30 days prior to your rental. After determining that the facility has been cleaned adequately inside and out and no damages have occurred during your rental your check will be shredded. The Sandy Hollow Clubhouse also requires vehicle entrance passes, these can be purchased ahead of time for a reduce cost for your rental or purchased at the entrance gate for the regular daily fee. A form is available on the website to send in with payment.


We are also offering campsites at the Big Sioux Recreation Area, Oak Grove Park and Sandy Hollow Recreation Area for reservation. These select sites are available April 15- October 15, with the exception of the Oak Grove Park Campsites being available until the second Friday of the month of October. Campsites require a four (4) night minimum weekend reservation, with a seven (7) night minimum holiday reservation. We do have many additional sites available on a first come first served basis during the summer months. It is important to note that the campgrounds are commonly open earlier and later into the season, sites will be available on a first come first served basis.

We hope you are excited about this opportunity to make your reservations ahead of time for all facilities, and that it eases your family gathering planning. Head over to and set up your account today. If you have questions about reservation process or inquiring about dates outside of April 15 and October 15 for cabins please call our main administration office at 712-552-1047 or email at:

Click here for helpful steps in completing your reservation and tips.