IUKA, Miss. -- A popular area campground is preparing to reopen.
The Goat Island Campground, Inc. will reopen for full-time and overnight camping beginning Sunday, April 1.
It's never too soon to begin planning one's warm weather activities and the campground's consultant, Ed Noble, was only too happy to get the word out about Goat Island's opening day.
Located at 109 County Road 346 near Highway 25 North, Iuka, Goat Island Campground is on the Yellow Creek embayment of Pickwick Lake, near the mouth of the Tenn-Tom Waterway. A former TVA campground, it is owned by Teresa Noble and Randy Allen Jr. The campground is managed by Craig Mitchell.
Noble said the campground is small, with 86 camping pads, but it's popular with fishing and water sport enthusiasts.
"People love it here for the water and the camping. For years, our campers have come here strictly for fishing and water sports, sunning or pleasure riding," said Noble.
There is also something for nature enthusiasts such as bird watchers.
"It's a good location. You might get to see eagles, pelicans or ospreys. It's a good bird path for migratory birds," said Noble. "You get to see a lot of different wildlife that way."
There's also the goats. The ones that live on the island across from the campsite. For those who like to ride up close in a boat, Noble said the goats are friendly, but people need to be careful for the sake of the goats as they might try to wander onto the boats and could fall in the water and goats cannot swim.
"People like to go over and see them or feed them. It's entertaining for the young people," said Noble. "It's not something you see on the river every day."
The goats' regular diet is provided by locals, who feed them year round, he said.
The campground gate will open from 6 a.m. until dusk each day. Noble further explained that the hours were loosely sunrise until dark. Extended hours were possible during the summer and for special situations such as night fishing. Gate closing hours are a security measure for the campers.
The entrance fee is $5 and that includes launching fee. A launching permit will be available for $60, which is good for unlimited number of launches over the course of the year. Camping fee is $25 per night with a two-might minimum on weekends.
There are some rules of which Noble made mention:
n No ATVs, UTVs or 4-wheelers will be permitted.
n Currently, there is no swimming beach at Goat Island Campground, Inc. Thus, swimming is not permitted.
n Pets must be on a leash at all times.
n Boats and vehicles of non-campers may not be left in the campground on the shoreline or property overnight.
(For details regarding Goat Island Campground, Inc., call 662-423-1104 or 662-424-3663.)