LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — If you didn’t make reservations at a State of Michigan campground already but would like to go camping for Memorial Day, you’re in luck. There are still some vacancies at campgrounds around the state.
“Everything is open and on time. We had a few construction projects going on but by and large, everything is ready to roll. Things smoothed out with the weather finally so we’re able to get things situated,” said Ron Olson, the chief of Parks and Recreation for the DNR.
Chances are you won’t be able to stay at the most popular lakeshore campgrounds like Grand Haven or Holland for the holiday weekend, but there are still plenty of open sites around the state.
“We’re about probably in the mid-80 percent occupied. Like I said, up about 7 percent. That occupancy rate is going to increase so that number will probably go up as we get closer to the weekend because sometimes people will watch the weather and that sort of thing. And the weather is supposed to be decent most of the round with temperatures and that so we look for a little blip of people that will be making those last minute decisions,” Olsen said.
The best chances of landing a camping site are to look inland and north. The Upper Peninsula usually has some open sites and also some campgrounds that may not be near the big lakes.
Olson encourages people to go to the Michigan DNR website and click on campground reservations which shows a list of each park that has a campground and how many camping sites are available.
“For example, I just looked and Aloha State Park on Mullet Lake is about 65 percent capacity. However, when you look at Ludington, that’s all full. Grand Haven and some of the larger parks along Lake Michigan have a high occupancy rate which is normal for this time of year. But I suggest people look carefully and maybe give something a try. Obviously in the U.P. at this time of the year, there’s a lot of vacancies there but the weather’s catching up with that, but this is a good opportunity for people to go there as well,” said Olsen.
Olsen said they have seen a steady increase in campground occupancy over the past several years. He believes the economy and low gas prices have attributed to the increase.
“We’ve had a steady increase over the last three years, ever since it’s gone up steady since the recession period of 2008 and 2009. So that’s a good sign all around.”