State park reservation line opens 8 a.m. Tuesday, most parks open alreadyDNR to campers: All but four Minnesota state parks are open, campsites and cabin reservations resume Tuesday morning
By: Press release, Pine Journal
Outdoors enthusiasts who want to camp this week or a year from now – including the 2012 Fourth of July weekend, can once again make reservations at Minnesota state parks, starting at 8 a.m. Tuesday, July 26, according to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
Due to the high call volume the reservation system has been experiencing since the shutdown, the DNR recommends making reservations online at stayatmnparks.com, if possible. For those who prefer to speak with an operator, reservations can be made at 866-857-2757.
All but four Minnesota state parks have reopened following the shutdown. Camden, Old Mill, St. Croix and Upper Sioux Agency state parks remain closed due to extensive storm damage.
Reservations can be made up to a year ahead, but because the reservation system was closed during the shutdown, Minnesota state parks have not yet taken any reservations for July 4, 2012, so all 3,323 reservable campsites and lodging at all parks will be up for grabs.
“This is an unprecedented situation, and it provides an opportunity for whoever calls or goes online first to get their pick of the most popular locations in Minnesota for their holiday getaway,” said Courtland Nelson, director of the DNR’s Division of Parks and Trails. “Tomorrow at 8 a.m., every room in Douglas Lodge at Itasca State Park, every reservable campsite on the North Shore, and every camper cabin throughout the state will be available. We expect our reservation system will be very busy.”
There are even a few reservable sites left this weekend on the North Shore at Cascade River, Gooseberry Falls, Temperance River and Tettegouche state parks.
During the last week in July in 2010, Minnesota state parks had 348,000 day visitors and 59,000 overnight visitors.
Standard campsites can be reserved for $12 to $20 a night (plus $5 for electric hook-ups), not including vehicle permits, which are required to enter Minnesota state parks. Vehicle permits are $5 for one night or $25 for a 12-month permit providing unlimited access to all 74 Minnesota state parks and recreation areas.
For those who would rather wait and see what the weather is like, up to thirty percent of campsites at Minnesota state parks are non-reservable and available to campers on a first-come, first-served basis.
For more information, including descriptions of each park’s scenery, wildlife and recreational opportunities, call 651-296-6157 (888-646-6367) or visit mndnr.gov. Some parks have online virtual tours, which provide park previews.