REGIONAL— The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is shortening its window for making reservations for camping and lodging in state parks and recreation areas to 120 days, in hopes of …
REGIONAL— The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is shortening its window for making reservations for camping and lodging in state parks and recreation areas to 120 days, in hopes of providing more opportunities for visitors. Previously, customers could reserve campsites, cabins, yurts, tipis, and lodging facilities up to one year in advance.
The change will take effect on Wednesday, July 1.
While the agency originally planned to make the change in the fall of 2020, operational uncertainties with the COVID-19 pandemic and associated changes to cleaning protocols prompted the agency to make the change sooner.
The policy change is based on customer survey results and a desire to improve fairness and equity in the reservation process.
“State parks and recreation areas belong to all Minnesotans, so everyone should have equitable access to facilities and campgrounds,” said DNR Commissioner Sarah Strommen. “As our lives have become busier, it’s more difficult for people to plan vacations a whole year in advance. Shortening the reservation window will better accommodate visitors’ busy schedules and allow more people to enjoy the most desirable campsites and lodging.”
DNR surveys indicated that most visitors plan their overnight visits to parks and recreation areas a few months before they go and that many could not plan an entire year in advance.
The operational uncertainties of COVID-19 have created new challenges for the state parks and recreation area system, including the recommendation to provide a 24-hour gap between lodging reservations. The pandemic also forced the agency to cancel more than 25,000 reservations due to necessary closures in April and May of this year.
All reservations made before July 1, will be honored, even if they are for a date beyond the new 120-day reservation window. However, if a customer needs to change a reservation, a rebooking will only be possible within the new 120-day window.
For more information, please visit the
DNR website at email@example.com or contact the DNR Information Center at 888-646-6367.