Many top camping spots in South Dakota have already reported a 10% to 20% increase in visitors this year. Game Fish and Parks says they’ve already booked 37,000 campsites for the summer, up from last year’s 29,000, according to KSFY-TV, Sioux Falls.
Lake Herman State Park is home to 72 campsites and looking ahead to one very busy weekend.
“Last I heard, our park was full and that means we have a very busy weekend ahead. Walker’s Point and Lake Herman are full for this weekend,” John Bame said.
And that’s happening a lot more this year than last year.
“It might attribute to the warmer spring we had, and April was a god month as well. A lot of our counts increased because a lot of people came out early to recreate due to the good weather,” Bame said.
Despite some recent rain in Madison which left temporary water damage to the campground, booked weekends are what staff likes to see.
“It’s hard to get a spot out here, especially a good one. We have a nice view. The lake is right there and the water is nice,” staffer Nick Foster said.
“It’s nice to see people come out and utilize the parks. The more people we have out here, that’s what makes my job enjoyable is getting people out enjoying the resources I get to work with everyday,” Bame said.
To plan for a busy weekend, staff makes sure they’ve got a clean park and each site is ready to be enjoyed.
“It’s good to know the general public are interested in coming to the state parks and I hope we’re doing a good enough job for them to continue to come back,” Bame said.