Listen to our interview with Bernie Ketelsen from Little Sioux Park here:
Little Sioux Park Iowa Camping
Camp Iowa: We’re chatting with Bernie Ketelsen today from Little Sioux Park in Iowa. How’s it going, Bernie?
Bernie: Every day is a good day in the park.
Camp Iowa: I agree with that. Just a little bit about the history of the park first: how long has it been there?
Bernie: It’s been there since 1967. It was an old gravel pit area that was converted to a public park.
Camp Iowa: What are the more popular activities there that guests enjoy?
Bernie: Camping’s the #1 activity, and then we have a small lake. I think it’s a 12-acre lake, and it offers fishing, and a lot of people come out here with canoes. We’ve got a beach area on it that on busy weekends, it often attracts probably two to three hundred visitors. That facility is available from Memorial Day through Labor Day weekend, and of course we’re closed now for the year.
Camp Iowa: Okay. If someone was staying there for the weekend and they wanted to venture out of the park for the afternoon, what are some of the other attractions in the area worth checking out?
Bernie: I’ll tell you what, Little Sioux Park is the main unit, and we’re with the Woodbury County Conservation Board, and we’re broken into districts. This district has different things it offers, like we have public boat ramps and we have public hunting areas. We have a trail that runs from Little Sioux Park to the town of Correctionville, which is a hard surface cement trail. That would be about almost two miles into town and two miles back. Then we have Little Sioux River, which offers canoeing and rafting, and we have a person in town that has a little business, and that’s a very good resource and it has good cat-fishing.
Camp Iowa: Fun. So do you guys sell ice or any foodstuffs in the office there at the park?
Bernie: We don’t sell ice and things because Correctionville, Iowa is like one and a half miles from the park, and we feel that – they have a brand-new grocery store in town and a Casey’s store and a gas station, and they sell these things to the camper, and it’s pretty convenient for them. And it helps the local people make a little money.
Camp Iowa: Cool. Are there any group sites there?
Bernie: Pardon me?
Camp Iowa: Are there any group camping sites?
Bernie: Yeah, we have an area we call the Loop, and there’s like seven electrical sites there. People can camp in a star shape, and they can do it as a group. In the park, we have probably about 150 sites, and probably I’d say about 92 of those are electrical sites.
Camp Iowa: If you could spend just one night in the campground, which particular campsite would you choose and why?
Bernie: I would take R67. It kind of sits back away from the rest of the campers, and if you’re looking for an outdoor experience where it’s kind of quiet and you’re off on your own, that would be the one I would pick, personally.
Camp Iowa: And if I could come to the park just for one hour and do one thing, what would you suggest?
Bernie: I would suggest that you just take a hike. Just walk around our lake area. We’ve got some small foot trails within the park, and just walk around, see what’s here. It’d be a great way to get exercise. A lot of other people do that.
Camp Iowa: Love it. Thanks a lot for taking a little bit of time out this morning, Bernie, and chatting with us.
Bernie: No big deal, and you have a great day, okay?
Camp Iowa: All right, take care.