Increasing interest in camping across Wisconsin

Published: Jul. 27, 2021 at 8:38 PM CDT
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MERRILL, Wis. (WSAW) - Wisconsin’s State Parks were 96% booked on the weekend of July 24. Camping was something people turned to during the pandemic and continues to be popular this year.

Council Grounds State Park in Merrill is expecting a busy season well into the fall.

The state park’s Natural Resource Property Supervisor, Dawn Bishop, said people have been venturing out and trying new things. “It’s definitely showing,” Bishop said.

“A lot of our increases are from folks that did just try camping last year,” she said. Many campers started off this year right where they ended last year. “They went out and they purchased camping equipment or a camper or a boat too for that matter,” Bishop said.

One couple has been camping all over the region for the last 50 years. They said they’ve seen interest grow personally.

“We used to come to this park before it was popular around 30 years ago, and you could just come on a Thursday night without reservations, and not so anymore,” camper, Bob Krolikowski said.

His wife Marg, added that Wisconsin has some great state parks. “It’s really hard to get reservations now in Wisconsin. You have to do it really early and hope for the best.”

The couple said they booked their reservation at the campgrounds back in January.

“You have to reserve as soon as you know where you want to go, make reservations, you may think January is too early for late summer, it’s not,” Marg explained. They said they even started planning for next year. “We had a hard time getting reservations for Hartman Creek for next June.”

But the couple said they still love to camp, despite the difficulties of getting a reservation. “We do, it’s a great way to be outdoors,” Marg said.

Bishop said she enjoys that other people exploring what state parks have to offer. “It’s a good feeling to be able to provide that service for folks.”

If you are interested in camping in Wisconsin’s state parks and would like to book a reservation, click here.

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