Camping reservations over the Fourth of July weekend are a hot commodity. As of Friday, July 1, just seven percent of the more than 4,500 campsites in the state park system were available to be reserved for the full three-day weekend.
- State parks with more than 10 drive-in campsites available as of July 1 include Kilen Woods, Lake Bronson and Zippel Bay.
- Campers who are looking for one-night or two-night reservations have more options available.
- All state park campsites must be reserved and paid for before occupying the site. Reservations can be made at mndnr.gov/reservations or by calling 866-857-2757.
Camping options if people don’t have a reservation:
- For those still hoping to find a state park campsite at a park that is currently full, cancellations do happen. The online reservation system at mndnr.gov/reservations has a “notify me” feature that sends an email if there’s a cancellation that opens up a campsite at the park you want to visit.
- Campsites in state forests do not require reservations, and are all available on a first come, first served basis.
More than just camping:
- There are a multitude of activities to do in state parks, and most of them don’t require staying overnight. Try hiking, biking, swimming, canoeing, kayaking, paddleboarding, fishing, chasing wildflowers, having a picnic, birding, geocaching, and more.
- Tours of Mystery Cave are available at the Forestville-Mystery Cave State Park in southeastern Minnesota. Reservations are recommended.
- Surface tours of the Soudan Mine at the Lake Vermilion-Soudan Underground Mine State Park are available. Reservations are recommended.
- Drive through the bison enclosure at Minneopa State Park near Mankato.
- Loaner equipment is available at no cost for some activities, including birding and fishing. A list of what is available at each state park is on the DNR website at mndnr.gov.
- A vehicle permit is required for entrance to state parks. Permits cost $7 per day, or $35 for an annual vehicle permit. The vehicle permit doesn’t include the cost of camping, tours or rentals.