FAQ

Camping

Do you reserve campsites at the Willow Lake Recreation Area or Schaben Park?

At this time we do not offer reservations for campsites and they are on a first come, first serve basis. Campsites shall be considered occupied when the proper registration form has been completed with fee included and deposited, the completed receipt has been placed on campsite post and the campsite is occupied by placing a camping unit on it, i.e. tent, pickup camper, popup camper, motor home, covered bus or recreational trailer. Each campsite is limited to one trailer and one tent or two tents. Campground checkout time is 4 p.m. and the campsite stay is limited to 14 consecutive days. The shower houses are open April 1st-October 31st-weather dependent.

Is there a dump station at the Willow Lake campground?

No, campers can use the dump stations at the city park in Pisgah (for a fee) or in Woodbine (for free). HCCB's other campground at Schaben Park does have a dump station near the entrance. 

Do you sell firewood?

Yes, firewood may be purchased for $5 per armload at the Willow Lake Recreation Area from the office, camp host, or park ranger on duty. 

General Questions

Can I pick mushrooms in county parks?

Yes, it shall be lawful to collect the fruit of all nut and berry producing plants or mushrooms for noncommercial home use on any Harrison County Conservation Board area, providing that the collector does not otherwise damage the parent plant. 


Is there a park entrance fee?

No, there are no entrance fees to visit any Harrison County Conservation Board areas. 

How do I contact a park ranger?

During business hours, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. call the Harrison County Conservation Board office at (712) 647-2785 or after hours go to park ranger's voicemail for contact information. If there is an emergency, call 9-1-1.

Can I ride horses or use motorized vehicles on area trails?

No, horses and/or motorized vehicles are not permitted on area trails. Bicycles are permitted.

When can I visit the Nature Encounter Center or Harrison County Welcome Center?

The Nature Encounter Center and Conservation Classroom is located at the Willow Lake Recreation Area near Woodbine. Harrison County Conservation Board offices and maintenance shop are also at this location. Office hours are Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; closed holidays. Call 712-647-2785 for more information. The Harrison County Historical Village/Iowa Welcome Center is located near Missouri Valley. The Welcome Center is open Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday, 12-5 p.m.; closed holidays. If excessive snow, the Historical Village may be closed. Call 712-642-2114 for more information.

Do you sell hunting or fishing licenses?

We do not sell licenses at the Harrison County Conservation Board office, however, there are several area stores that are hunting and fishing license vendors. An updated list can be found on the Iowa Department of Natural Resources website. We also do not sell bait, but it is available at several locations throughout the county. 

Can I boat with a gas motor on your lakes?

Only electric motors are allowed at the Willow Lake Recreation Area and Schaben Park. Canoes, kayaks, and SUP (stand up paddle) boards can also be used. 

Reserving a Facility

How do I create an account?

Creating an account or becoming a MEMBER of MyCountyParks.com is an easy process, if you follow the steps below.  The first step is to click on the “Register Now” link at the top right corner. Use the following steps to create your account:
a) Enter a username (no restrictions)
b) Enter password (password must between 4-8 characters and contain at least one upper case alpha letter, one lower case alpha letter one number and no special characters)
c) Enter the personal information required (required information has a red * next to it)
d) Enter billing information
e) You must select the County in which you are interested (Harrison)
f) Check/uncheck the box to receive e-updates
g) Click create account


Can I check into my cabin early?

We request cabin renters to check-in after 4 p.m. so staff has adequate time to clean and make small repairs or maintenance on the cabins so renters can have an enjoyable experience. 

Can I reserve a picnic shelter for a birthday party or family reunion?

Yes, there are shelters at the Willow Lake Recreation Area and Schaben Park. They can be used for free on a first come, first serve basis. To reserve the shelter, you must call the Harrison County Conservation Board office at 712-647-2785. Large shelter rental is $40 for a full day (6 a.m.-10:30 p.m.) or $20 for a half day (6 a.m.-4 p.m. or 4 p.m.-10:30 p.m.). Small shelter rental at Willow Lake is $20 for a full day; $10 for a half day (same times as above). Shelters have picnic tables, electricity, charcoal grill, and a water hydrant nearby. 

What is the cabin cancellation policy?

Please consider this policy prior to purchasing your facility reservation. SHOULD YOU CHOOSE TO CANCEL A RESERVATION, YOU WILL FORFEIT 100% OF ALL RESERVATION FEES PAID.  ALL cancellations or requests for refunds cannot be done online and must be made by calling the Harrison County Conservation Board office at (712) 647-2785.

What is the cabin refund policy?

Please understand at the time of booking your reservation that you immediately prohibit other people from reserving & utilizing that facility - they therefore go elsewhere to locate a facility for that date.   

We will observe a NON-REFUNDABLE reservation fee policy with the following exceptions: 

  • Accident, serious injury or death of an immediate family member 
  • Travel conditions where a substantial risk is required in order to travel such as a winter storm where a travel advisory has been issued 
  • We are unable to provide your facility (or like facility) in operable condition for the date of your event 


Rules

Can I swim at Willow Lake?

Yes, but only at the designated beach area when swimming ropes are out at the Willow Lake Recreation Area. The beach will be closed between the hours of 10:30 p.m. and 6 a.m. the following day. No alcohol/glass bottles or dogs are permitted on the beach. Swimming is not allowed at Schaben Park.

  


Can I bring my pet to a cabin or camping?

Pets are not allowed in or around the cabins either by renters or visitors. They are allowed in the campground, however they must be in a carrier or leashed not exceeding six feet in length and not attached to any tree or shrub. Owners are responsible for maintaining areas occupied by pets and are responsible for their pets creating any excessive noise at all times.

 


Can I use a golf cart or 4-wheeler in your park?

No, according to Harrison County Conservation Board's rules and regulations Section 21: It shall be unlawful to operate any snowmobile, air sled, swamp buggy, all terrain vehicle or any other land conveyance that runs on wheels, tracks or runners in or on any Area.

Can I shoot fireworks in the parks?

While you can legally purchase fireworks in Iowa, no fireworks are allowed at any Harrison County Conservation Board park or wildlife areas. 

Can you have alcohol in the park?

Yes, you can have alcohol in the park, campground, and shelters; no keg beer is allowed without a permit. Alcohol is not allowed at the beach.