Minnesota state park officials say camping and lodging reservations are nearly back to normal since the state government shutdown closed parks last month.
DNR parks spokesperson Amy Barrett said 11 of the past 14 days have had higher numbers of reservations than comparable days last year. Barrett said she's confident the numbers will return to normal levels soon.
"We're confident we're going to get there, but we're behind right now by about a thousand reservations for the upcoming year," she said.
Barrett said the numbers are lower partly because St. Croix State Park remains closed because of a July 1 windstorm that knocked down thousands of trees. Itasca State Park has seen the highest number of reservations. Itasca has had nearly a thousand reservations since the system came back on line July 26.
Barrett said the rest of August looks busy at state park campgrounds, and she's encouraged by the numbers.
"Labor Day is looking very strong. All of our camper cabins are booked. Most of our lodging is booked and most of our campsites with electricity," she said. "However, about half of our campsites without electricity are available, so anyone who wants to make last minutes plans also has a chance to get out and pitch a tent."