Minn. State Parks drop fee for cancelling reservations weeks in advance

Camping at Cascade River State Park Camping at Cascade River State Park |  Photo: WDIO-TV file

Created: November 19, 2020 12:01 PM

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is making some changes to its state park campsite reservation rules, including one that will allow people to cancel their trips weeks in advance without having to pay an extra fee.

Under the current system, people who want to cancel their reservations must pay a $10 fee no matter when they cancel. Beginning Dec. 1, the cancellation fee will only apply campers who cancel less than 14 days prior to their scheduled visit. People who cancel less than four days prior to arrival also forfeit the first night's camping fee.

The DNR is also changing its reservation policies to prohibit so-called "date sliding." Earlier this year, the DNR reduced the reservation window from one year to 120 days, but some campers have gotten around the maximum reservation window by modifying their original booking. The new policy will require people who make reservations at the maximum window to wait 21 days before changing their reservation.

The DNR said the changes are being made to improve access, fairness, and equity for visitors and to reduce the frequency of no-shows. People who do not show up for a reservation are charged an additional $10 plus the first two nights' camping fees.

Minnesota State Parks changed its system several years ago to make all campsites reservable.

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