One of the parks that will soon be open is the Silver Sioux Recreation Area. Silver Sioux is 160 acres of hills and forest that lie next to the Little Sioux River south of Cherokee.
The folks at the Cherokee County Conservation Board are excited about what's new at Silver Sioux. The Silver Sioux Lodge will soon be available for rent. The CCCB has recently renovated the lodge.
The cost to rent the lodge for a day is $50. It's the perfect getaway for families, newlyweds, couples celebrating their anniversary, or any social groups. Work is nearly complete except for a few outside projects that need to be done when the weather gets a little warmer.
For large groups, The Barn, a near-by shelter with two open sides, is always available, during the open season, but it must be reserved if a group wishes to use electricity. Both the Lodge and The Barn are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Also new this year at Silver Sioux will be a Campground host. A volunteer will be at the campground to help people to get registered and settled in and be on site to sell fire wood and spend time on the weekends making sure that the restrooms and the park are clean. Cost for a primitive campsite is $10 and for a modern campsite the cost is $15.
One other special opportunity that is available to people who want to utilize what Cherokee County parks have to offer is canoe rental. Recently, the CCCB has licensed six canoes to be available for rent. If you're interested in traveling along the Inkpaduta Canoe Trail this may be your ticket to travel the 43 miles of the trail that is home to Cherokee County.
You can discover local history and visit two parks that are only accessible on the canoe trail - the Heinl-Johnson Area and the Sue Jordahl Canoe Access. The Sue Jordahl Canoe Access offers canoers a shelter and a private spot to camp overnight. Both spots are perfect for a picnic. Canoe rental is $30 per canoe per day.
The other major park news is of course Martin's Access. The gates at the park will open as soon as the weather dries up the roads in the park. CCCB has received permission from the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation to begin construction. Seeding and layout of the new campground will begin when all the mud dries.
The CCCB recently received another donation form Pheasants Forever of $5,000. So the CCCB only needs $20,000 to meet their goal for the new section at Martin's Access.
CCCB Director Ginner Walker commented, "A lot of companies have stepped up to offer materials and supplies or labor in kind. So not all the burden will fall on the taxpayers."
Plus, Martin's has many extended horse trails this year. The price for camping in the new section has not been calculated yet but the primitive campsites are still only $5.
As for the other parks in Cherokee County, all should be open and ready to use in May. A reminder from the CCCB to all people that will be using the county parks this season is to please keep the parks clean. Leave only footsteps and take only memories.