Save state park camping spots soon

Published 9:37 am Tuesday, March 25, 2014

By Colleen Harrison

People hoping to camp this year at state parks might consider making reservations now.

Few campsites are still available in Minnesota’s 76 state parks for stays longer than a week or two, according to the Department of Natural Resources.

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There are a limited number of state park campsites where visitors can stay for a month or for a full season, and reservations are due by April 1.

As of March 20, six Minnesota state parks have monthly and seasonal openings available for camping in 2014: Myre-Big Island State Park, Lac qui Parle State Park, Upper Sioux Agency State Park, Big Stone Lake State Park, Kilen Woods State park and Rice Lake State Park.

Kaija Benson, the public information officer for the DNR’s Parks and Trails Division, said that summertime is typically the busiest time for state park reservations, with holiday weekends around Memorial Day and the Fourth of July usually being the first reservations to fill up.

Benson said that state park permits and overnight stays have been on the increase since 2008, when Minnesota voters passed the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment. The amendment protects and restores wetlands, prairies, forests and wildlife habitats, with almost 15 percent of its funding going to parks and trails.

Sales of one-day state park permits have increased 15 percent since the amendment’s passing, and overnight camping and lodging has increased 10 percent.

“It’s great that people are getting outdoors and enjoying our state parks,” Benson said. “That’s what we like to see.”

To find out more, or to reserve a site, visitors can go to the DNR’s website at