State park campgrounds near capacity ahead of Labor Day weekend

Ottawa County

PARK TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — As the Labor Day weekend holiday nears so too does the end of the summer camping season. For many Michiganders opportunities to camp this summer were cut short as state parks were forced to remain close during the early summer months. 

One park unit supervisor for Holland State Park says if you were hoping to make a reservation for this holiday weekend, you’re too late. 

“The numbers that we’re seeing for the state park this year are actually up over what we’ve had in the past even though we weren’t open to camping early on. We only had the day-use areas open, but we’ve still had a lot of folks out to visit. Once we were able to open the campgrounds, we’ve had pretty consistent fills,” Holland State Park Unit Supervisor Sean Mulligan said. “Typically, it’s a very busy weekend for us. We typically fill the Labor Day weekend six months ahead to the day when you can make those reservations. This has been no different.”

State parks allow guests to make their reservations six months ahead of any given date. Mulligan says campers hoping to land a spot at a popular park would be best suited to make those plans well in advance. 

“Plan ahead as soon as the call center opens. If you know there’s a particular campground or campsite you’d like to go to, set aside time to camp during the week,” Mulligan said. “Sites are much less likely to fill on weekdays as opposed to the weekend.”

State-run campgrounds have been busier than normal this year with many reaching heights of 95% to 99% capacity on the weekends. Those numbers fluctuate according to Mulligan but dip to the 80% capacity range on weekdays.

Availability really depends on what type of camping you would like to do. If you’re camping in a tent, you’ll find much more availability statewide than you would in a large trailer. This is an important distinction to make when selecting the equipment you’ll be using when looking for a reservation on the state park website.

“Hopefully you can find a spot for a tent,” Mulligan said. “You may have to do a little traveling but depending on how bad you want to camp, there are possibilities out there.”

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