The Minnesota state parks’ online reservation system will be shut down from December 27, 2011 until February 29, 2012 for an upgrade and a change in providers, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced.
The Minnesota DNR is encouraging people to plan ahead and, if possible, make their state park camping reservations for 2012 before the current system temporarily shuts down at 8 p.m. December 26 this year.
“This will create a short-term inconvenience,” Courtland Nelson, director of the DNR’s Division of Parks and Trails, said in a media release, “but we know our customers will really enjoy the benefits of our new state-of-the-art reservation system.”
The Minnesota DNR’s state parks’ reservation system is separate from and does not affect the U.S. Forest Service’s reservation system for Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness permits.
The Minnesota DNR says that starting March 1, 2012, when the new system from US eDirect is expected to be fully operational, it will be easier to plan overnight outings to Minnesota state parks and recreation areas than before. The new system will feature interactive maps and show where to find available overnight lodging at a glance.
From now through December 26, 2011, summer 2012 camping and lodging reservations can be made online at stayatmnparks.com and by phone at 866-85PARKS. From December 27, 2011 until February 29, 2012, state park reservation services will be temporarily unavailable. On, March 1, 2012, the DNR expects the new reservation system to be ready to accept online and phone reservations starting at 8:00 a.m.
From December 27 through February 29, Minnesota state park gift cards, which have been sold through the reservation system, will be available for purchase at Minnesota state parks and by calling the Division of Parks and Trails, 651-259-5600.
Online gift card sales are expected to resume March 1, 2012. Recipients of gift cards will be able to redeem them without interruption for lodging, ski and snowshoe rental, and the nature-themed books, apparel, and other items sold in at Minnesota state parks and recreation areas.
Find more information on the reservation system HERE.