Lodge and group camping reservations open soon

Though the summer has only just ended, it’s already time to begin planning next summer’s camping trips — especially if you hope to have a family or other group gathering in a state park.

Here’s a portion of a news release from the state Department of Game, Fish and Parks announcing that lodge and group-camping reservations for 2010 arrivals will open Nov. 1:

Lodge reservations for all arrival dates in 2010 will be accepted beginning Nov. 1. Lodges are found at Lake Thompson Recreation Area near Lake Preston, Shadehill Recreation Area near Lemmon, Mina Lake Recreation Area near Aberdeen, Newton Hills State Park near Canton, Oahe Downstream Recreation Area near Pierre and Palisades State Park near Sioux Falls.

Reservations for group campsites during the 2010 reservation season also open Nov. 1 and will be taken until Feb. 1, 2010. After that time, campsites are available on an individual basis within 90 days of arrival. To qualify as a group reservation, a minimum of 10 sites must be reserved, with the exception of Lewis and Clark Recreation Area, where “group loops” consisting of eight sites are available.

Reservations can only be made for those sites designated as group sites. A limited number of campsites are available in select parks for group reservations. Prime sites are not included. Cabins and picnic shelters may be included in the group reservation in some parks. Regular camping fees apply.

Parks that offer group camping include: Custer State Park, Lake Cochrane Recreation Area, Lake Poinsett Recreation Area, Lewis and Clark Recreation Area, Newton Hills State Park, North Point Recreation Area, Oakwood Lake State Park, Platte Creek Recreation Area and Snake Creek Recreation Area.

The news release is actually much longer than what I’ve included here. In fact, the release in its entirety is so long and complex that it makes my head spin. If you still want to read the rest of it, click here.

My advice is to go camping in the middle of the week, away from holidays and in the early fall after school has opened. You won’t have to worry so much about reservations, and the parks will be a lot less congested. It’ll be well worth the vacation time you’ll have to spend at work.

About Author

Seth Tupper

Seth Tupper was born and raised in South Dakota and earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from South Dakota State University in 2001. After college, he worked at a newspaper in Minnesota and then returned to South Dakota in 2003 to join the staff of The Daily Republic in Mitchell, where he is currently the publisher. Seth has won numerous awards for his writing, including the 2007 Outstanding Young Journalist award in the daily newspapers category of the South Dakota Newspaper Association’s Better Newspapers Contest. Seth’s day-job and freelance work have granted him opportunities to meet hundreds of South Dakotans and travel across much of the state. He also spends a lot of his free time exploring South Dakota’s state and national parks, hiking trails and kayak-friendly rivers.

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