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New campground enhances OHV Park

Recreational area is a huge asset to Webster County and our state

The Gypsum City Off-Highway Vehicle Park is a major local recreational asset.

The park opened to the public in July 2006 and has been growing and evolving ever since. It serves all-terrain-vehicle, dirt bike and snowmobile enthusiasts. The park is well on its way to becoming one of the most significant venues of its type in the entire Midwest. It has become a destination that is drawing more and more visitors to Webster County each year.

This summer a full-service campground began welcoming patrons. This latest enhancement is making the already popular attraction even more appealing.

According to Webster County Conservation Director Matt Cosgrove having a campground in the OHV Park was included in the master plan developed for the site. While development of the facility involved a number of partner organizations, including the Webster County Development Corporation, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and the city of Fort Dodge, Webster County Conservation was brought into the mix in 2009.

“Our board was looking for additional camping,” Cosgrove said. “The county leases 40 acres for the campground.”

In 2011, Webster County Conservation started making plans for the campground area and applying for grants to construct it. The plans call for the eventual construction of a 72-site campground. Currently, there are 32 spots. More will be added as the need develops.

The hookups in the campground are split between those with water, sewer and electric, and those with electric and water only. There is an RV dump station on the site. A shower and restroom building is available for the use of campers. There’s also a small structure on the site that was donated by the Iowa Air National Guard 133rd Test Squadron and then moved to the OHV Park.

“We will have a little store and office,” Cosgrove said. “We’ll have trail maps, firewood sales and a few camping supplies.”

Major funding for the campground came from mutiple sources. Cosgrove said it was possible to use both federal and state recreation grants that were matched with dollars from the ATV Registration Fund.

The opening of the campground is terrific news not only fans for the types of outdoor activity the park facilitates, but also for our town and county. This impressive park helps stimulate the local economy by bringing folks to our community who might otherwise never have a reason to journey — and spend money — here.

The Messenger applauds the addition of the campground to the park. This park and the associated facilities are magnificent community assets.

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