Late planners and camping enthusiasts alike are in luck after the Minnesota DNR announced that hundreds of previously unreservable sites at parks will become available and reservable early next week.
The DNR said that some sites, especially for Memorial Day weekend, show as "full" on their reservation website, but starting at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, May 3, additional campsites in states parks will be made available in three different batches based on region.
- Tuesday, May 3: State parks in southern Minnesota and Twin Cities metro area.
- Wednesday, May 4: State parks in central and northwestern Minnesota.
- Thursday, May 5: State parks in northeastern Minnesota.
The change comes in lieu of a pilot project in 2014 and 2015, when about a fifth of state parks made all of their campsites reservable. The Parks and Trails Division decided to expand the service statewide after receiving positive responses from customers.
"As we celebrate the 125th anniversary of Minnesota state parks and trails in 2016, we have lots to look back on with great pride, but we’re also looking ahead to the future with the aim of continuously improving our operations and customer service," Director of the DNR's Parks and Trails division Erika Rivers said. "Making every site reservable in advance so that no one has to leave their plans to chance is just one of the customer service improvements at Minnesota state parks and trails this year."
Other customer service improvements rolling out May 3 include:
- Same-day reservations will be available – with no reservation fee – at most Minnesota state parks and recreation areas included in the reservation system. The cut-off used to be the night before arrival day.
- Vehicle permits ($5/one-day and $25/year-round) are needed to enter Minnesota state parks and recreation areas, but starting May 3 will be available online. Permits are sold at park offices, at the DNR Central Office and at Twin Cities REI stores.