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Little To No Vacancy At MN Campgrounds

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(credit: CBS) John Lauritsen
John Lauritsen is a reporter from Montevideo, Minn. He joined WCCO-...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The trend has been around for a couple years and it’s likely to continue – packed camping grounds.

It’s no surprise that Baker Park Reserve, near Maple Plain, is busy, especially for Memorial Day weekend.

The shocker though is what’s in store for the rest of the summer, as Baker Park Reserve Facility Supervisor Darren Dummer said the park’s 103 sites that have electricity are already booked.

Camper Mary Spanier had to book her site this weekend the minute it became available back in March.

The DNR said state parks were just as busy — reservations were up almost 5 percent compared to one year ago. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but it’s another 1,000 campsite and cabin reservations.

Families that were lucky enough to secure something took advantage by inviting friends and family along.

“There’s 10 sites and some have two or three families on each site,” Christie Fleischhacker said. “So, there are probably 50 adults and just as many kids.”

The campsite craze has always been around.

But in the last five years, camping has become almost competitive. Park managers believe gas prices and affordability are playing a role as families are more open to setting up camp close to home.

“It’s betting busy earlier in the season,” Dummer said. “It’s getting busier later in the season. People are reserving earlier. There aren’t a lot of chances to drop right in anymore, so you have to do it ahead of time if you want to come out.”

Three Rivers Park District said parks, like Baker Park, still have a open sites during the weekdays, and they are offering deals right now.

It costs about $17 a night for a site with no electricity and $22 for a site with electricity. There is a $7.50 reservation fee.

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