Wood County opens campsites

Published: Apr. 30, 2021 at 6:18 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - Wood County started up its camping season April 30, with Dexter, North and South Park campgrounds opening their gates at 8:00 a.m..

“We just started camping last year, so we wanted to get out the first weekend of camping, so we’re excited. We have two little kids that love it,” said camper Nikki Young.

Families like Young’s caused camping’s popularity to skyrocket last summer because of COVID-19 restrictions and the increased safety of being outside.

“I would be willing to bet it was a record year as far as camping units that we had. Pretty much every weekend we were at max or very close to max,” said Parks and Forestry Director Chad Schooley.

Schooley says even though restrictions are lifting he doesn’t see the new passion for the past-time fading.

“Looking ahead, looking at reservations for this upcoming season, it’s trending very similar. I think there’s a lot of people that purchased outdoor gear.”

Judging by opening day turnout, he’s not wrong.

“So we have three different campgrounds and all three of them had individuals waiting to come in. In addition, several people have reservations for the weekend,” he said.

Young says she looks forward to her family having even more freedom this summer, especially with so many getting the vaccine.

“So, we of course are always careful, but a little bit more lenient on our rules coming around this summer, so hopefully it will be a little more relaxed,” she said.

With so many interactions this past year being over Zoom, Young sees another benefit to venturing out into the great outdoors with the kids.

“Get outside and let them play with something other than their toys inside and being on a screen,” she said.

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