MADISON - Beginning May 1, campers will be able to make a reservation for available sites on the same day they want to camp at 15 Wisconsin state parks across the state under a pilot program conducted by the Wisconsin State Park System.
Campers will be able to make same day reservations using the online system through computer, cell phone or other mobile devices. Campers can also make same day reservations by calling the Camis USA call center, having property staff assist them, or by using new "yellow phones" that will be installed at 10 of the parks.
"We hope this pilot program will provide additional camping opportunities in our parks, especially for our customers who are able to make last minute plans to camp but want to be sure they have a campsite," said Ben Bergey, Wisconsin State Park System director. "We also hope this will make it easier to fill campsites where people have had to suddenly cancel a reservation."
The goal of the same day reservation pilot program is to have the customer check the reservation website wisconsin.goingtocamp.com for available campsites. They can then either book the reservation online or call the toll-free reservation number 1-888-947-2757 to book the site with no reservation fee, just the campsite fee.
In addition, the weather-proof new yellow phones at 10 parks will allow customers to connect directly to the Camis call center staff by simply picking up the phone. If a campsite is available at the property, it can be booked and paid for using the yellow phones.
The 10 state parks that will have yellow phones are Amnicon Falls, Big Foot Beach, Big Bay, Potawatomi, Mill Bluff, Nelson Dewey, New Glarus Woods, Rocky Arbor, Tower Hill and Yellowstone Lake. Same day reservations will also be available at Lake Kegonsa, Council Grounds, Mirror Lake, Devil's Lake and Peninsula state parks. Reservations for those parks need to be made online, by phone to the Camis call center or at the park when the park office is open.
Same day reservations will be available whenever reservation seasons are open at these properties. They can be made seven days a week from 9 a.m.-11 p.m.
All reservations are in real time, so a campsite is removed from availability as soon as someone starts the reservation process to eliminate any chance of double booking. If campers make the reservation after the park's office hours, they will be able to check in the next morning.
Bergey said if the pilot program proves successful this year, the hope is to extend same day reservations to more properties in the future.
For more information about parks, activities and events check the Wisconsin State Parks website at wiparks.net.
SOURCE: Wisconsin DNR