ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

DNR to debut new reservation system for all state park campsites

ST. PAUL -- Did you ever get your camping gear all packed up, only to find your favorite state park campsite already taken when you arrived? Well, there's now a way to help make sure that never happens again.

2492361+campingsite.jpg
Screenshot from www.mndnr.gov/reservations.

ST. PAUL -- Did you ever get your camping gear all packed up, only to find your favorite state park campsite already taken when you arrived? Well, there's now a way to help make sure that never happens again.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources on Friday unveiled a new online reservation system for all campsites, in all of the agency's state parks. Roughly 1,000 campsites that were previously offered on a first-come-first-serve basis can be reserved in advance.

Parks and Trails division director Erika Rivers said the change came as a result of feedback the DNR received from park visitors, especially families with children.

"People are really busy these days, and want to have the assurance that they're going to have a campsite when they get to the park," she said.

The new system rolls out in the course of three days in segments based on geographic region. Beginning at 8 a.m. May 3, campers will be able to reserve sites at state parks in southern Minnesota and the Twin Cities metro. State parks in central and northwestern Minnesota will become available the next day, May 4. On May 5, reservations in northeastern Minnesota parks will go online.

ADVERTISEMENT

However, campers need to create an account on the DNR's reservation web page in order to reserve campsites, and DNR Parks and Trails Operations Manager Peter Hark recommended doing that in advance of the full system launch.

"If they're really interested in specific sites and getting what they want, they need to be ready," he said. "So, having that account set up is really important."

Although same-day reservations are available, Hark also recommended that campers "know before you go" and check to see if their spot is available ahead of time.

Finally, Hark suggested using the online system rather than calling in reservations during the initial rush to get sites when the reservation system goes live.

A pilot project tested the waters in 2014 and 2015, wherein about a fifth of Minnesota state parks adopted the all-reservable policy.

In addition to campsite reservations, state park aficionados can purchase one-day or yearly permits for their vehicles online at the reservation web page starting May 3. Customers will get a receipt they can print out immediately and put in their car windshield while the permit itself is mailed to them.

To reserve a campsite, go to www.mndnr.gov/reservations or call 866-857-2757 from 8 a.m to 8 p.m.

---By Zach Kayser

What To Read Next
Who are the people being held in custody in Aitkin, Beltrami, Cass, Clearwater, Crow Wing, Hubbard, Itasca, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Todd, and Wadena counties?
"Hockey" is Pine River-Backus Elementary School's theme for the annual celebration of reading so the school teamed up with the boys high school hockey team
Fundraising is underway to move the giant ball of twine from the Highland, Wisconsin, home of creator James Frank Kotera, who died last month at age 75, 44 years after starting the big ball.
Inmates in-custody in the Mille Lacs County jail in Milaca, Minnesota