State parks: Minnesotans are out and about even more

  • Article by: DENNIS ANDERSON , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 20, 2009 - 5:52 AM

Minnesota state parks attracted 8% more campers in 2008 than in 2007, according to the DNR. Is camping a recession-proof outdoor obsession among Minnesotans?

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jlevasseurApr. 19, 0910:35 PM

If you don't mind driving a bit further, you can usually get in anytime at Scenic State Park. One of my favorites and well worth the drive.

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familyguy01Apr. 20, 09 6:05 AM

Our family just bought a nice new 6 person tent. Going to get the family into the outdoors! Already booked JayCooke for june. At 25$ a night, there is NO WAY you could stay in Duluth for that price!!!! Were getting excited.

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BudweisercsApr. 20, 09 6:57 AM

Have been getting the itch the last few years to hit some of the parks. Whitewater park is very impressive, and close to the metro, one thing I noticed was the lack of Mosquitos, am told the soil is so alkiline and the skeeters cant breed in the water there.

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bereasonableApr. 20, 09 8:57 AM

brought tons of people I know into the parks last year. Many, including myself, visited all 72 parks!

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inthloonybinApr. 20, 09 9:20 AM

Don't tell everybody! We wont be able to swipe the non-reservable spots as easily this year!

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mnfan57Apr. 20, 0910:16 AM

What this article fails to mention is that MN has the highest camping costs (save a few of MI's parks) in the Midwest. Futher, not all fees gathered in our state parks stay there. I think the MN DNR needs to look closely at the budgets allocated to the parks and reduce significantly, or fund in other ways. 20$ per site, per day may be less than taking the family to ValleyFair but it's still alot to ask. 4.50$ for a bundle of wood, not to mention the gas, food, park pass etc.. All said, my guess the average family of four spends 120-150$ for a weekend of camping in our State Parks. Camping within the parks is really going the way of pro sports - too big, too much money, too much fat.

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inthloonybinApr. 20, 0911:13 AM

We are a family of four. Camping for two nights: $40. We have to eat anyway, so bring normal food to eat (we have a stove in our pop-up). $18 for wood (high end), $20-40 for gas (40 was for a long trip- Jay Cooke). Total $80-100 for two days of camping. Our last trip to valley fair cost us $225. The last movie we went to was $75. A meal at a nice restaurant is $40-50. Granted $80-100 is not a small amount of money for some families (us included), but two days of real family time in the great outdoors? My kids choose the camping.

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carlbsApr. 20, 0912:33 PM

Let's go camping!

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mnfan57Apr. 20, 0912:44 PM

Thank you for providing some real world data to this discussion. As you state 80-100$ is pretty expensive for most families, especially when you consider you are simply camping. Also, don't forget about the price of a vehicle pass (25$ per year, per vehicle). Valleyfair is an admittedly poor comparison for certain. In terms of comparing to movies, meals, etc this too is a poor comparison.A s Minnesotans we have to ask ourselves how many times the average MN family could afford to camp in a StatePark given the 80-100$ cost per weekend? It seems a basic tenet of our StateParks are to keep them accessible for the average MN family. My point is simply we are quicky getting to a place where this is no longer possible, and that is unfortunate. Perhaps if the funds collected in SP's stayed there there wouldn't be a need to raise fees? Also, last year I camped in MT, ND, SD, IA, WI and MI (all of whom have cheaper camping prices than MN) and their parks are just as nice. That said, I would ask the MN DNR where the money is going?

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sausageApr. 20, 09 1:32 PM

The traffic on 494 through Bloomington was like rush hour traffic. Most vehicles with one person. 99% private vehicles. Where is the high price of gas? Where are people going? The world had gone bonkers!

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