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The Minnesota DNR has its new state park and recreation area reservation system up and running. Individuals wishing to make reservations at Lake Carlos State Park near Alexandria, or any other state park, may log on to www.mndnr.gov/reservations or call 1-866-857-2757. (Photo By Lowell Anderson)

State park reservation service resumes

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The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' (DNR) new state park and recreation area reservation system is operational again. The new online system has been upgraded significantly, but due to expected high demand, reservations will only be accepted for specific dates during the initial eight-day rollout.

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After the online system was overloaded and crashed March 1, the DNR is taking a conservative approach so the system does not have to handle the entire inventory of campsites and cabins at once. It also ensures all customers have an equal opportunity to make reservations.

Reservations can be made online at mndnr.gov/reservations or by calling 1-866-857-2757 (TTY 952-936-4008). Phone and online reservations will be accepted according to a schedule. Starting Monday, April 2, reservations will be taken for arrival dates up to a year in advance.

Customer service hours have been extended at the Minnesota-based reservation call center. Customers can help by doing their own research and by being prepared. They can visit the DNR's website to check availability for campsites and lodging through the spring and summer. They should also have a campground map handy if their first site choice is unavailable and they want to pick an alternative. A link to the DNR's camping and lodging availability report is available at mndnr.gov. The same is true for online maps of campgrounds and sites. All parks are listed alphabetically or by region on the DNR's state-park web pages, available at mndnr.gov.

Reservations made last year, using the previous reservation system, have been transferred to the new system and will be honored in 2012. Customers who wish to confirm, modify or cancel existing reservations can do so.

The new centralized reservation system is a "customer paid" service. US eDirect provides the reservation service in exchange for being able to collect reservation fees.

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