MICHIGAN, USA — It might feel far away, but Memorial Day is just six months out. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says it's time to book your campsites for next summer.
More than 21 million people spent their Memorial Day Weekend at campsites and parks across the country this past May, and demand is expected to remain high next year, too.
"Right now we're heading into that Memorial weekend period, so the interest in that really ramps up," DNR Chief of Parks and Recreation Ron Olson says.
Officials say reservations typically fill up about six months out.
"Many times, that reservation system gets second only to the lottery in terms of hits on on all the state websites, so it's very, very busy from people checking things out," Olson says.
He says reservations can get really competitive.
"Some of the parks that are very highly valued," Olson says. "People wait right to the right on that second, as soon as they can get on there, they're on it, or they call the call center and, and really are aggressive about it."
It's recommended to research your favorite spots in advance, plan in a group and have a backup plan. Be persistent, as there can be cancellations at different campgrounds.
"We have about 14,200 or 14,300 campsites," Olson says. "While that number is wobbled a little bit based on construction and different things, it's not like that number is exponentially rising. So, there is a ceiling to that."
The DNR says tens of millions visit Michigan state parks, beaches and more throughout the year, and Olson continues to expect plenty of people.
"What we've seen this year [is] kind of a leveling off of things, but we're still up 16 to 20% over the 2019 year despite that," he says. "People are choosing to go outdoors and continuing to do so."
Reservations are available online through the DNR's website or by calling 1-800-44-PARKS.
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