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Discussion Starter #1
I was wondering if anyone else is fed up with our current reservation system,last week end my wife was making reservations for a camping trip this summer,she was trying 6 months ahead to the day and called the minute they opened. I had to laugh,she was on line,cell phone going,our home phone going and still took her 35 minutes to get though,we got the park we wanted and a pretty good site,but what a joke trying to get though.There has to be a better way!I remember when the parks took no reservations,we'd speed up north hopeing to get a site on fridays,I'm sorta glad those days are gone,but having to plan your whole summer 6 month in advance is a joke.most parks are 80% reserved,most of the popular parks are 100% reserved.back in the day I could call home on a hot summer friday,ask the wife if she wanted to go camping,have her get the camper ready leave work early and go camping those days are gone you have to plan 6 months in advance.my parents are retired they go and get a site during the week but get kicked out on the weekend cause the park is 100% reserverd.

What really makes me made is seeing empty lots people don't show up sure they paid for the site,how about all the other people who turned away that could of camped on that site.The gatering to groups has gotten way out of controll at one of our favorite parks last year,one family had 15 water front sites,cause they got thur to the reservation system first.not fare to the rest of us!

I've rambled on enough our family camps at least 10 weekends a year plus our family vacation in the summer were fed up with the reservation system,just was wondering what the rest of you campers thought of our lousy reservation system,which by the way is in Maryland.
 

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Then you drive through park and it's 80% out of staters camping. Sorry but Michiganders should either have priority or the fee for out of state campers should be doubled, which would help the parks and the cash crunch. We spend green money also, so the argument that it would hurt tourism is very lame. I'm glad the days of sweating for a spot are over,
 

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I'm with you larry, thats why I gave up state parks for state forest. Even then I have started taking vacation on a Thursday so I can get a spot Wednesday night. I'm for first come first served.
 

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I was told last year that you can book on line and start reserving on-line at mid night instead of the 8 am call-in time.

Another way is if you book for a week it is easier to get the weekend and then go back and cancel the days you do not want.

We have given up on state parks this and are trying KOAs and private campgrounds that friend have recommended. Let me know the areas you are looking for and maybe I can help in recommending somewhere.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
danno,
to make reservstions on line,you can not log on to the site to after 8 to make reservations on a date 6 months in advance.thats one of the things Im talking about when people cancel or reduce the nuber of days they plan on staying in most cases the site stays open as the park turns people away.danno were also starting to camp at other parks,but still love our state parks

jimbo not sure where you were going on your post,I do agree out of staters should have to pay extra,and have less of window time to make reservations,after all is our tax dollars that support the parks.I stay in the parks at least 45 days a year and never see more then 10% out of staters.I too am glad that the days sweating for a site are over too,but also would love the oppertunity to change sites or parks on my vacation if I choose too noe you can not.

snakebit
I'm with you.


umass911
,your one of the lucky ones,the # 1 complaint to the dnr is the state reservation system
 

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After reading this I tried to book reservations at Ludington State Park for June 5th to June 12. As big a Ludington is I was not able to get a site for the 8 consecutive nights with out moving to another site for 2 nights. I’ve been camping State Parks since the 60’s. Last year we started Private Camp Grounds.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
oct.1
thats before most schools are out it gets worse,once the schools are out.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
we sent another 45 minutes today trying to get thur,by the time we got thur,the park we wanted was full,we'll play the game again tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
we have tired to make reservations for the last 3 days today we actually got a site,one of the least desireable lots in the park,we got thur at 9:05 5 minutes after they open on saturday and got the last site open.let me tell you how we got thur my wife was calling on our land line and online at the same time, my daughter was trying on my wifes cell phone and I was trying on my cell phone my daughter was the winner she got thur.wate a joke at least we finally got a site.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
we played the same game last sunday 3 phones and on line at the same took 22 minutes to get thur,once we got thur the park had only one site left we took it,I Think it might be better then the other site we gopt, but now we have 2 sites in a month we can get our money back on the first one,the state lets you book as many sites as you want and then lets you cancel,the problem in the mean time others are trying to reserve a site and can't .THE SYSTEM HAS TO CHANGED,WE NOW HAVE TWO SITES IN LUDINGTON S.P. THE WEEK OF AUGEST 7TH THUR 15.If any body wants lot 71 in Ludington s.p that week let me know and we will not cancel.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
hey something has to wrong,we got right though today and got the site wanted for labor day weekend.
 

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Been camping in Ludington State Park since 1969. Things started getting crazy with the reservations back in the mid 80's. Now days it totally stinks!

The park has under gone alot of changes over the years...mostly for the worst. (IMO)
 

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My wife and I have been avid campers since childhood. As a matter of fact we met camping, she was with her family and I was with mine. I guess that alone should've made me give up this pastime. Glutten for punishment I guess. Anyway, we have found that it is a great way to share the outdoors with our children and make many new freinds. However, I must agree with you that something needs to be done. It is rediculous to try and plan a whole summer of activity in Feb. And as far as the private campgrounds go, every one that I have inquired about is VERY expensive.

Maybe if the parks only reserved 50 percent of the park and the rest was kept on a first come first serve basis maybe you would stand a chance getting a campsite.

The state park rule about moving every 14 or 15 days is a joke as well. Last summer while camping at Interlochen state park we watched different groups trade campsites within the park. I think that you should be required to leave the facility for 24hrs before being allowed to reset the meter. This would stop people who live within close proximity to the parks from using them as second homes allowing other families to use these resources as intended.

As for now I guess we will have to keep letting our feelings known to the powers that be and hope for changes
 

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I just make the reservations online, talking to anyone on the phone is just a pain. I would complain to Parks and Rec about the time you're spending on the phone. They pay (actually the person making the reservation pays) a good chunk of change for the reservations contract. Just because a park says it's 100% reserved doesn't mean there are no spots left. The State has the option of holding 5 or 10% of the sites out of the reservation system.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
chris-davis,
They only hold in some parks most of the popular parks,are 100%.Last year at Ludington my van broke down on go home day,my daughter rode her bike to the ranger station to see if there was any where they could move us for one day,the only thing they did for us was to a tow truck.they had no sites at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
for the first time in a long time got reservations for halloween camping without hassle,LAKEPORT STATE PARK moved their halloween weekend up 2 weeks I think we were lucky and not many knew.
 

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The system needs to be completely over hauled and the management of the system brought back to Mi. I have talked to people who figured out how to beat the system. I do think that on line is the best way to go. Our parks are the best,.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
toots I agree with you ,just wanted to bump this thread back up now that camping season is here and people are haveing problems finding a campground to make reservations at. YET MOST PARKS HAVE EMPTY LOTS,evry weekend but can't fill them do to no shows who have reservations.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
forgot to mention we camped this past weekend at lakeport s.p. when we checked in we were not on the computer,even though we had a reservation card with th right dates,our reservation was wrong on the computer,we ended up getting our lot but had to put up a fight to get it.my wife made those reservations six months to the day in advance.
 
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