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Want to spend the 4th of July outdoors? Campsites, beaches, pools are filling up fast

Only about 100 of Minnesota's 5,000 state park campsites are still available during 4th of July weekend.

MINNEAPOLIS — With the pandemic going on we could all use a break from it.

This 4th of July weekend is shaping up to be a busy one with people itching to get outside.

With how hot it's going to be this weekend, beaches and pools will be hopping, and with capacity limits it might be tough to get in at certain spots.

Parks and trails will also be busy, but maybe the busiest of all might just be state parks with campsites filling up fast.

"This weekend is shaping up to be probably even more busy than it was last year," DNR spokesperson Kim Pleticha says.

4th of July weekend is always busy at state parks, but with everyone stuck inside these days, with some working from home and others quarantining, campsites will be busier than ever.

"Folks are excited to be able to get outside. The weather is absolutely gorgeous. They've been inside for a long time and campgrounds are finally back open again," Pleticha says.

According to the DNR's camp site reservation tool, statewide there are 75 state parks.

Only 13 state parks still have campsites available this weekend, but not very many.

Of the roughly 5,000 campsites across the state, only 113 sites are still available this weekend, as of Thursday afternoon.

"That means a lot of people are heading out camping this weekend," Pleticha says.

The DNR says the state parks will be mostly the same this year.

You might see more signs urging social distancing and masks, but at some campsites you might not have things like bathrooms or showers.

"Be sure to check that state park's website and make sure that you know what might be open there, what might be closed and what the amenities might be,” Pleticha says.

The DNR is also recommending masks in all common areas and safe social distancing on beaches and trails.

State parks are also open for day trips, you don't have to spend the night.

If you really want to go camping, there are still spots available at state forests, but you won't have the comfort of electricity and water.

"It's a first come first served thing, of course, it's much more rustic than other camping, but it's an option if you're looking to get out this weekend,” Pleticha says.

You can also try county parks and private campgrounds, they might still have spots available.

Up north you can also rent cabins or hotel rooms by the lake.

So, if you still don't have plans, there are some options out there, but I wouldn't wait much longer.

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