MINNEAPOLIS — The Department of Natural Resources says nearly all of its campsites are booked for a busy Memorial Day weekend.
"Reservations are required, and about 97% of our reservations for the full three-day weekend are filled," said Sara Berhow, the DNR Parks and Trails Public Relations Supervisor. "You can find some campsites if you go north or west. There are also some additional opportunities for people who would be willing to camp for maybe just one or two nights instead of three nights over the long weekend."
Berhow expects demand for sites on weekends to stay high all summer long.
For popular spots, weekends can fill up to 120 days in advance as soon as the reservation opens.
"Tips for folks is book 120 days in advance if you can set that calendar reminder or think about weekdays," said Berhow.
Berhow said the DNR saw a surge in demand in 2020, when people sought relief from COVID lockdowns. She said while interest has plateaued, bookings are above pre-pandemic levels.
Campsites in the metro are also seeing similar patterns.
Jessie Montgomery, a facilities supervisor for the Three Rivers Park District says there are a lot of people who are willing to camp in the metro. Their 200-plus sites are booked up for the holiday weekend.
"Gas prices are going up along with inflation," said Montgomery. "And so you can have that same experience a little bit closer to home with all the amenities that you might find up north."
Both Montgomery and Berhow said that snagging your favorite spot is still very possible this season, but does require more planning than summers before the pandemic.
There are currently no burn restrictions on campfires in Minnesota ahead of Memorial Day.
Parks officials said campgrounds will be very busy, and ask that you keep an eye on children at all times.
They also want to emphasize boating and lake safety this weekend, and that everyone has a properly-sized life jacket ahead for the new swimming season.
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