Make Plans for Camping in 2012

If you plan to camp this summer at your favorite campgrounds now is the time to plan.  To plan now most likely will guarantee your reservations especially if it happens to be a holiday weekend.  You may use website to reserve your spot 6 months out from the day you plan to camp at any campground in the United States and Canada.  So plan accordingly and guarantee your vacation spot for your family in the near future. Of course, if you plan to camp at a state park here in Minnesota expect a  delay in using their reservation website as it is being revamped and will not be available until March 1, 2012.  The new reservation system will provide interactive maps, have trip planning features, show vacancies at a glance, and even provide a reservation call center. In addition, for winter lodging reservations call directly to the park that you wish to stay.  On the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) website, they update lodging information weekdays by noon.  Just simply call the park to confirm availability for your reservation.  Alternatively, the updated information for camper cabins is located in a pdf file on the DNR website.  You may want to check this first before calling to make reservations at the park of your choice. Furthermore, once the new reservation system becomes active March 1, the opportunity to reserve a campsite a year in advance will be available.  Even if you did not make prior reservations, about 30% of the parks have spots to camp with first come first serve basis.  Camping during the week is a lot easier to secure a campsite, but the weekends could be a lot tougher. Moreover, you cannot count on that 30% spots being available on a holiday weekend, like July 4, as I found out one summer.  At least July 4 falls in the middle of the week this year, but be prepared for a busy weekend on either side of that date. Lastly, by checking out your favorite state park and planning now will better your chances of securing a spot for camping this summer.  Make sure you mark your calendar for March 1 to reserve your summer fun on the new DNR reservation website.  See you at the parks!

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