Mich. launching new campground reservation system

The state Department of Natural Resources plans to launch a new reservation system for state park camping, lodging and harbors in November.
AP Wire
Sep 20, 2013

 

As part of the transition, the central reservation system opens Nov. 1 for state park lodging, including camper cabins, mini-cabins, rustic cabins, yurts and modern lodges, the DNR announced this week. Those sites typically have a one-year reservation window.

On Nov. 3, the system opens to facilities with a six-month reservation window, including campsites at state parks and select state forest campgrounds and slips at state harbors. For stays with an arrival of Nov. 1 or 2, campsites will be available at parks on a first-come, first-served basis.

Several enhancements are planned, including the ability to search by region, check availability at more than one park at a time and view photos of each campsite prior to making a selection. Customers also won't need to navigate through as many screens before making a reservation.

"We've spent a great deal of time listening to the many suggestions offered by our customers on ways to make our reservation system more user-friendly and practical," Denise Gruben, DNR reservation system contact manager, said in a statement.

The DNR Parks and Recreation Division has contracted with Camis USA Inc., for the reservation system, which includes a call center in Ann Arbor and servers in the Detroit suburb of Southfield.

Comments

LakerVille

A picture of a campground that isn't run by the DNR. Nice.

LessThanAmused

Hilarious, nothing like paying attention to the details. Is it really that hard to find people these days who'd like to be a journalist, reporter or even a news photographer?

SignalMaintainer

Also, just remember that if you are arriving at a DNR-run campground on bicycle (such as if you are on a bicycle tour), even if they are overbooked, the law REQUIRES them to provide a campsite for you, no reservations needed or anything. See: http://www.adventurecycling.org/...

It has come in handy for me a couple times this year near TC when the state parks were packed full and they tried turning me away while I was touring by bike. Not many people know about the law though.

It also came in handy for a touring couple that passed through Grand Haven last week on their journey around the state. They wrote about it in this post: http://dothemitten.blogspot.com/...

unclejoe

Yeah, sounds like you would deserve special consideration being on a bike and all. My family loads up the boat and camping gear, heading 6 hours north towards a site we have reserved for 6 months using vacation leave that I forecast 1 year in advance, only to be denied a site because a bicycler chose not to plan ahead? There are always unintended consequences when someone gets a special deal.
Other than that, I applaud the state's efforts to improve the system.

SignalMaintainer

Who said that the campgrounds boot people with reservations out? Nobody is denied a site if they already have reservations. The park just must make room for a cyclist; and touring cyclists don't carry loads and loads of unneeded crap like car campers do, so we don't take up a lot of space when we camp.

When touring on bicycle, often times you have no clue how far along you will be at a given time, so you cannot rely on making reservations somewhere, and unlike a car cannot simply zip on over to another campground if the one you originally intended to stay at is full. Additionally, riding a fully loaded touring bike after dark in some hilly/curvy parts of the state searching for a campground can be quite dangerous, and the government realizes that, thus why this law exists.

Quite honestly, if a state park ever did try to give me someone else' reserved campsite, I would ask the campers if I could set up in the furthest corner of their site (I use a Warbonnet BlackBird camping hammock, or a Mountain Hardware Twin Arch 2 backpacking tent, both of which are very small and unobtrusive) for the night, and I would also pay their campsite fees, giving them a free night or two for their troubles. Just because I prefer vacationing at a much slower pace on bike doesn't mean I am a jerk. I would never displace someone who already had reservations.

Like I said, nobody is misplaced by the law if a cyclist comes along; the campground simply must make room for the cyclist (such as in a spot that is not officially a camp site, etc...).

 

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