Coming Soon: Recreation Areas to Open for the Season

Coming Soon: Recreation Areas to Open for the Season

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Rev up your RV and dust off your camping gear. The Upper Big Blue Natural Resources District has set Friday, April 3, as the start date for the new camping season at their five recreation areas.

While the date is subject to change based on the weather conditions and results of quality testing of potable water for campers, the NRD plans to open the parks for a range of warmer-season activities around that time. Look for announcements regarding changes to these plans on the NRD website or social channels (Facebook, Twitter).

The Upper Big Blue NRD offers free, year-round access to recreation areas in Aurora, York, Ulysses, and Utica. However, camping and RVing is not available at these locations during the cool weather months. There is a small fee associated with camping at Pioneer Trails Recreation Area (Aurora) and Bruce L. Anderson Recreation Area at Recharge Lake (York). Tent camping is $5 per night and RV camping is $15 per night at these sites. All other activities, from boating to hiking to fishing, are free and open to the public.

The NRD managed recreation areas are multipurpose projects, offering outdoor opportunities to enhance the quality of life for all residents, as well as a range of conservation benefits including groundwater recharge, wildlife habitat, and soil erosion prevention. These spaces are also used for research on water quality and quantity as well as weather monitoring. One of the most beneficial purposes of the large-scale projects is flood control, as each recreation area features a dam structure and reservoir to contain flood waters. During the spring flooding in 2019, NRD dams and other structures throughout the district provided protection against Mother Nature by channeling floodwaters to designated areas.

Each of the five recreation areas offers something a little different to the public, from amphitheaters to archery ranges to hiking trails. Boating and fishing are popular activities at each of the sites, as well as wildlife viewing. If you haven’t been to all five of the Upper Big Blue NRD managed recreation areas, plan to visit them all this summer and enjoy the natural beauty and opportunities for activities and leisure. Full details about the recreation area amenities, activities, and locations can be found at  

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