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Camping Glenwood Lake Park in Iowa

Listen to our full interview with Lyle Mayberry, Chairman of the Park Board for Glenwood Lake Park.

Camping Glenwood Lake Park

Camp Iowa: We’re talking with Lyle Mayberry today. He is the Chairman of the Park Board. We’re going to talk about Glenwood Lake Park in Iowa. How’s it going this morning, Lyle?

Lyle: Fine.

Camp Iowa: Tell me how long Glenwood Lake Park has been around and how it started.

Camp ground in the fall
Glenwood Lake Park

Lyle: Oh, wow. It’s been around for – I’m going to say it was probably built in the late 1800s, maybe.

Camp Iowa: Wow.

Lyle: I don’t have that information right in front of me, but it was originally built – there’s a swimming pool on the south end of it, and that pool was closed down and it was used for a fish hatchery for awhile, and it’s just kind of evolved over the years. But the park’s been there a long, long time.

Camp Iowa: What are the most popular activities in the park?

Lyle: We have a farmers market that runs through the summer. It starts about the first or second weekend of June and then it runs to the second week of September. Every Wednesday night we have a farmers market down there. Depending on how the produce and gardens are growing, during the peak of the growing season we’ll probably get 250 to 300 people down there every Wednesday night. The farmers market runs from 4:00 till 7:00 every Wednesday night.

Camp Iowa: What are some other attractions in the area worth checking out?

Lyle: We have an amphitheater at the park that was built by a gentleman that left some funds for an outdoor amphitheater. It’s called the Davies Amphitheater, and probably every weekend during the summer there’s some type of activity going on, whether it be a play or live music or a band comes in once in awhile. We started this year having some free movies for kids. Well, relatively free. I think they might charge a dollar admission or something like that. But they call it Movie Night, and that way the kids have got someplace to go on Saturday night.

Tent camping area
Tent camping area

We have a campground facility down there for campers. We’ve got an upgraded campground that has sewer, water, and electricity, and then we’ve got a smaller campground for old pull-behind campers, that kind of stuff. It has electricity and that’s about it on that campsite. But we get a few people come down and put a tent up behind their pop-up camper.

We have pretty good fishing down there. We have about six or seven shelters that people rent out on weekends. They have family reunions, parties, that type of stuff. There’s a lot of activities that go on at the park. We have a nice walking trail.

Camp Iowa: Do you have any group sites at the park?

Lyle:Group sites – I’m sorry, what do you mean by that?

Camp Iowa: Like if someone wanted to have – I guess they would do a shelter if they wanted to have a reunion or something like that?

Lyle: That’s what these shelters are. The shelters, I’ve never really counted, but you can probably but 50 or 60 people in each shelter. A lot of family reunions are held down there. A few weddings.

Camp Iowa: Are any of the campsites more secluded than others? What’s the layout like?

Lyle: No, the campsites, it’s just a long road. They’re all straight, just a row of campsites. And then we’ve got what we call the primitive area, the old area, they’re back around the edge of the creek bank there. Neither one of them are really private. It’s not like you go into a big state park where you’ve got a campsite here and a campsite there. Ours are all together.

Camp Iowa: Just two more questions for you. If you could spend one hour in the park, how would you spend your time? Which activity would you choose?

Lyle: I like to fish, so I’ll take my grandkids down there fishing quite a bit. There’s also a nice walking trail. We have a paved sidewalk that goes all the way around the lake. It’s just a shade over a half mile long for one lap, so my wife and I and a lot of people go down there. They’ll walk, and some people will jog around the lake. It’s just a nice, quiet little place to walk. The sidewalk is built so that it’s not very steep. It met ADA requirements at the time when it was built. I don’t know if it still does, but it did then, so it’s a pretty gentle slope. It’s a nice walk.

Camp Iowa: And if you were camping for the night in Glenwood Lake Park, which particular campsite would you choose?

Lyle: I’d probably choose what I call the primitive ones, where you’re just over there, there’s a few more shade trees over there, and you’re kind of secluded a little bit from the rest of the lake. That’s probably the ones I would pick. But I don’t have a [inaudible 00:04:47] mobile home, either. [laughs] Not everybody has one of those. The newer campground we’ve got, that’s basically what we see there, these big mobile homes that you drive. They typically will pull in there and hook up their sewer, water. We have a fair amount of people that will stay there pretty much all summer.

Camp Iowa: Sounds fun. Well, thanks for taking some time out of your morning to chat with us, Lyle. Much appreciated.

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