Every single camping spot at Minnesota state parks will be reservable under changes announced by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Friday.
Previously, about a third of state park campsites could not be booked in advance and were instead reserved for walk-in visitors – but starting in early May, all sites will be available for advance reservation.
The DNR is also launching same-day reservations for "spontaneous travelers and families with busy schedules," which will be available at "many" of Minnesota's most popular destinations.
The cutoff point for bookings previously was midnight the night before.
The hope is this will boost camping at state parks, with DNR Parks and Trails Division Director Erika Rivers saying some parents may be reluctant to pack up their kids and car and head to a state park without having a guaranteed spot.
Changes are also coming to make things easier for people when they arrive for their stay at state parks, with self-service registration systems set to come in so visitors don't need to wait in line for a member of staff to sort out their camping spot.
"Self-service has become commonplace at grocery stores, libraries and airports," Rivers said. "Implementing 100 percent reservable campsites and self-service experiences are time-saving measures for our park visitors and saves resources for state government.
The reservation changes will be in place before Memorial Day (May 30). The on-site registration and orientation improvements will be rolled out through the summer on a park-by-park basis.
You can reserve a spot at a state park campsite here.