GFP News - January 8, 2013
- State Parks Bounce Back From 2011 Flood
- Group Camping Reservations For Lewis and Clark Recreation Area Open Jan. 14
State Parks Bounce Back From 2011 Flood
PIERRE, S.D. -- Visits to South Dakota State Parks were back on track in 2012 after a 2011 burdened with widespread flooding.
State parks saw record visitation and camping in 2012 after spring flooding in northeastern South Dakota and along the James River and summer-long flooding on the Missouri River closed several parks and damaged others in 2011.
"Our park staff was extremely busy from the fall of 2011 through the spring of 2012 making repairs before last year's park season," said State Parks and Recreation Director Doug Hofer.
In 2012, state parks hosted over 7.9 million visitors statewide and 270,000 overnight camping units. Visitation increased by 11 percent and camping by over 13 percent compared to 2011's flood-impacted numbers. Park usage is back to the record numbers that were set in 2010.
"I am very proud of all the park staff, volunteers and contractors who worked together to ensure that South Dakota's state park system was able to host a record number of visitors in 2012," Hofer said.
Fisher Grove State Park near Redfield is the only campground that remained closed last summer. Plans call for relocating that campground this spring, and it should be open next summer.
Group Camping Reservations For Lewis and Clark Recreation Area Open Jan. 14
PIERRE, S.D. -- At 7 a.m. CST on Jan. 14, visitors can start making group reservations at Lewis and Clark Recreation Area near Yankton.
The opening date for group camping reservations was changed this year because the state Division of Parks and Recreation has implemented a new reservation system.
"When group reservations open next week, campers will be able to book group sites one year in advance," said Lewis and Clark Park Manager Shane Bertsch. "As an example, if you want to book campsites for July 4, 2014, you can reserve on July 4, 2013."
To qualify as a group reservation, all campsites in a â€œgroup loopâ€ must be reserved. Reservations can only be made for sites designated as group sites. A limited number of campsites are available for group reservations. Regular camping fees apply.
A two-night minimum stay is required for group campsites, and a three-night minimum is required for holiday weekends.
After a group reservation is made, a fee of one night's stay will be charged for each campsite cancelled. Cancellation fees are effective immediately upon making the reservations.
All camping fees must be paid at the time the reservation is made. There is a $7.70 per site, non-refundable reservation fee, which does not apply to South Dakota residents. A valid park entrance license is required in designated fee areas.
Jan. 31 is the first day to make individual campsite reservations for 2013. Campsites are reservable within 90 days of arrival year-round. Custer State Park accepts reservations one year in advance.
For more information on reservations, visit the Division of Parks and Recreation website at www.gfp.sd.gov or call 605-773-3391.