St. Paul—Customer service improvements are coming to Minnesota state parks and recreation areas this summer. According to DNR Parks and Trails Division director Erika Rivers, the following changes, which take effect in early May, are important steps to modernize services and meet the needs of today’s visitors to the state’s 75 parks and recreation areas.
Campsites that are 100 percent reservable at all Minnesota state parks and recreation areas. Previously, up to one-third of state park campsites were not available for advanced reservation and could only be rented by walk-in guests at the parks on a first-come, first served basis. In a 2014-2015 pilot project, about a quarter of state parks made all of their campsites reservable. Based on positive customer response, the Parks and Trails Division decided to expand this service statewide in 2016. Campsites can be reserved online at www.mndnr.gov/reservations or via phone: 866-857-2757.
Same-day reservations. For spontaneous travelers and families with busy schedules, same-day reservations will soon be available at many of Minnesota state parks’ most popular destinations (some locations will require infrastructure upgrades before implementation). Previously, the cut-off for making reservations was midnight the night before arrival day. For walk-ins, if there’s a campsite available, they’ll be able to book it either online or at a self-serve kiosk right in the park after arrival, with no reservation fee.
Easier registration. Minnesota state parks and recreation areas are also investing in improved orientation and registration systems, which will allow visitors to register themselves and get other information without standing in line waiting for a staff person. Signs, maps and publications are being redesigned to be easier to use and to appeal to a new generation of visitors.
Customer service improvements to the camping reservation system will be rolled out in early May, just in time for Memorial Day weekend, according to the DNR. The registration and orientation improvements will be available throughout the summer on a park-by-park basis. For more information, visit www.mndnr.gov/selfservice.