State park camping season gets underway

State park camping season gets underway Camping season gets underway this weekend at South Dakota state parks, and campers will notice a few changes when they arrive at the parks. State parks and recreation areas now accept credit cards for all state park fees, services and merchandise. "This is a service that park users have been asking for," according to Lynn Spomer, visitor services coordinator for the South Dakota State Parks. "We are happy to be able to better accommodate our customers." In order to better manage campsites and avoid mix-ups, all campers – even those with reservations – are asked to check in with park staff before setting up on a site. Park entrance stations are regularly staffed on weekends during the summer, but if staff are not available when you arrive, the procedure is very simple. Those with reservations are asked to set up on their site and check in as soon as staff are available. Campers without reservations will need to check the site availability list posted in the park to avoid setting up on a reserved site. Campers are encouraged to make reservations. Reservations can be made until noon on the day of arrival and are free for South Dakota residents. Out-of-state campers pay $7.70 for a reservation. "The acceptance of credit cards and the ability to make reservations until noon the day of arrival is a win for both campers and the parks," said Spomer. "Thanks largely to advances in technology, we're now able to do what our campers have been asking." For a full list of reservation rules and the 90-day reservation window calendar, visit

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