We are fortunate to live in a state considered a "Water-Winter Wonderland." Michigan is picturesque any time of the year! However, we Michiganders know that warmer weather is all too brief so when summer finally arrives we are ready to take full advantage and make the most of it.

If you're planning to go camping in any of Michigan's state parks this season, you needed to make your reservation yesterday. Though it's only the start of March, many of the year's most popular weekends are already fully booked according to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

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Although many state parks allow you to make your reservation up to 6 months in advance, when the state's camping website first opened to book reservations on November 1, 2021 for the upcoming summer 2022 season, many dates were snatched right up although the DNR says you may still be able to find open dates.

I, for one, am super bummed about this news. Having recently moved back to the state camping was high on my Michigan summer bucketlist. I was so excited to visit all the places I was unable to check out my first time around like Petoskey, Porcupine Mountains, and Tahquamenon Falls. Are my summer plans in peril?

There are several possible explanations for the sudden increased interest in Michigan's state parks campgrounds. The most obvious cause being the Covid-19 pandemic. During peak pandemic times camping and exploring the outdoors were one of the few activities we could still do and many Michiganders used the quarantine to pick up camping and hiking as a new hobby.

It's exciting that so many residents want to explore all Pure Michigan has to offer-- because there's a lot! However, it's frustrating that some of us may have to go without or adjust our plans for the season. One Reddit user said, "I’ve made the argument before that Michigan residents should get like an hour head start over out of state people." While others have said, "Time to make more state parks!"

The Michigan DNR encourages those who wish to camp this summer to frequently check back as plans change and there may be cancellations. Some have said the further out a reservation is made, the more likely it is to not be used. I have a feeling if gas prices continue to rise like they are now, many Michiganders won't be able to afford long road trips across the state.

Have your summer plans been foiled due to the lack of available camping dates?

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