LONG LAKE - Area state camping grounds reported a fair-to-strong season opening this past weekend. Out of the eight state campgrounds surveyed, four were at-capacity on May 23 and two others were around 70 percent capacity - several with superior volume over last year.
"We are definitely up from last year, but I am not sure of the reason - maybe gas prices," Forked Lake State Campground manager Ted Smith said. "We have over twice the reservations we did at this time last year."
The 55-site Indian Lake Islands State Campground, the 90-site Brown Tract Pond State Campground and the 135-site Lake Eaton State Campground were all at or near capacity over Memorial Day weekend. Each reported increased volume of traffic over the same weekend in 2008.
Of the eight campgrounds surveyed, none reported less volume relative to Memorial Day weekend 2008. Two - Lake Harris and Lake Durant reported stable volume compared to last year, but DEC campground officials were noticing a trend.
Officials said they were seeing a significantly greater number of reservations. Inversely, fewer campers were driving through without a reservation.
They attributed the shift in camper behavior to online booking capabilities, which just recently came online.