Season looks promising for state parks|
State recreation officials today announced camping reservations in Michigan’s 97 State Parks are up from this time last year, but many camping spots remain open for the Memorial Day Weekend in Michigan’s northern parks.
The Memorial Day weekend traditionally marks the kickoff of the summer camping season. Campground reservations logged with Michigan’s Central Reservation System as of May 20 were 119,259 statewide, up 1 percent from the same time last year. Department of Natural Resources parks officials further noted that 2002 was an historically busy year in the campgrounds.
“This should be a great year for camping,” DNR Visitor Services Manager Jerry Bukoski, said. “Many of our park facilities, including several of our most popular destinations that were under construction last year, have been improved and upgraded through the Clean Michigan Initiative and campers are going to enjoy the benefits of those improvements.”
Most open camping sites are located in state parks in Michigan’s northern Lower Peninsula and the Upper Peninsula. As of May 20, 84 percent of all available campsites were reserved for the holiday weekend with many of the most popular parks already full.
The Central Reservation System can steer campers interested in making reservations to the openings at all state parks. Call 1-800-44PARKS to make a reservation. Reservations also can be made on-line at http://www.michigan.gov/dnr. The popularity of the online reservation system continues to grow, accounting for 41 percent of reservations made so far this year, up from 31 percent last year.
Officials noted that Michigan boaters should use caution at launches, especially along the Great Lakes shorelines. Low lake levels in Michigan’s Great Lakes and some inland lakes may limit water access for larger craft. The Detroit District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reported this month that all of Michigan Great Lakes are below their long-term averages. Boaters are encouraged to call ahead to see if their craft can be accommodated by local conditions.