Camping Fees Changing at Wis. State Parks

Updated: January 12, 2018 10:44 PM

People heading to state park campgrounds in northern Wisconsin this year could pay more or less than last year, depending on the park and time of year they visit.

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The Department of Natural Resources has unveiled preliminary plans for a new pricing system. Some parks will see higher rates, some will see lower rates, and some will see higher or lower rates depending on the season.

Jim Dick, a DNR spokesperson, said preliminary plans call for up to a $2 nightly camping fee increase at Amnicon, Big Bay, Copper Falls, and Pattison state parks. However, campers at Pattison could actually pay $5 less depending on the season. (See table below.)

Dick said a full list of changes has not been released because there are still some tweaks being made to certain parks. He said they plan to release the list in mid-February.

Meanwhile, daily admission rates are going up at three popular parks: Devil's Lake, Peninsula and Willow River. However, admission rates will remain the same at other parks including those in northern Wisconsin. Annual rates will not change.

State parks director Ben Bergey said the changes are estimated to generate an additional $1.1 million for the state parks annually. The plan comes after state lawmakers cut parks system funding and ordered the DNR to rely on fees and revenue.

The Natural Resources Board will review the plan on Jan. 24. The new pricing system is expected to take effect after Feb. 15.

Preliminary nightly camping fee changes:

Park Current New
Amnicon $16 $15-$18
Big Bay $20-$30 $20-$32*
Copper Falls $20-$30 $20-$32
Pattison $20-$30 $15-$32*

*Fees at Big Bay and Pattison will vary by season

The Associated Press contributed to this report


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