Pandemic leads to rush on camping spots

An unusual number of people are planning camping trips this summer, and state campgrounds are running out of space.

Wouldn’t a relaxing camping vacation be nice?

Lots of Michiganders seem to think so, and that’s leading to a rush on early reservations at state campgrounds this summer.

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The Michigan Department of Natural Resources allows people to book a campsite up to six months in advance. And the state’s reservation website is seeing an unusual rush of activity right now as residents log on to book a space.

MLive reports that on a recent Monday, logged more than 200,000 visitors within five minutes of opening up new reservations. That’s an unusual amount of traffic in a normal year.

This is obviously not a normal year. Thousands of Michiganders have developed a renewed interest in many outdoor activities – activities that come with a lower risk of contracting the coronavirus.

“Most people who are on the website at the very moment that 8 o’clock hits at the six-month window, they are competing against more people than they would imagine — and mainly they are trying to reserve at the most popular parks,” said Jeremy Spell, a central reservations system analyst for the DNR.

Popular parks include Tahquamenon Falls in the U.P. and Sleeping Bear Dunes in northern Michigan.

“Anything to do with the outdoors is huge right now. People want to be outside,” said Spell.

You can book a camping site here. New reservations open up at 8:00 each morning.

You can read more here.

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