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Minnesotans scramble to book last-minute campsites Memorial Day Weekend

There's still time to snag a last-minute campsite for Memorial Day Weekend
There's still time to snag a last-minute campsite for Memorial Day Weekend 01:55

MAPLE PLAIN, Minn. — Memorial Day marks the unofficial start to summer and thousands of Minnesotans will spend the long weekend experiencing the great outdoors. 

"We are right here in the campground office," said Jessie Montgomery with Three Rivers Park District.

The Baker Campground in Maple Plain is gearing up for a particularly busy Memorial Day Weekend.  

"This is our first weekend where we have a full house," said Montgomery. "It's a Northwoods experience while still having amenities nearby."

And it's not only this weekend. Many of the nearby sites are nearly booked solid for much of the summer season, according to the camp's office.

"So electric sites were booked last year," said Montgomery.

"It's going to be a busy one for campers across the state," said Sara Berhow with Minnesota DNR. 

Berhow says Minnesota State Parks and Recreation Areas are nearly booked to capacity this weekend. 

"I checked again this morning and we're not quite to 99% but almost," said Berhow.

She says if you want to stay close to the metro or North Shore and camp on a weekend, you'll have some stiff competition this season. 

"A lot of June, July and August is over 90% booked at those sites for Friday and Saturday nights," said Berhow.

But don't give up just yet. 

"Cancellations do happen very regularly," said Berhow.

She suggests reserving Sunday through Thursday, trying non-electric sites and signing up for email cancellation notifications. 

"It's called 'notify me,'" Berhow explained. "Another thing that people can do is look at some of those hidden gem parks within the systems, like Old Mill State Park or Blue Mounds State Park."

Baker Campground opens reservations a year in advance while state parks open 120 days in advance. So if you miss out on your favorite campsite this year, mark your calendar to make that reservation for next year. 

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