New fees to go into effect in state parks Feb. 15

It will cost visitors a little more to enter and camp at some of Wisconsin’s most popular state parks when a new demand-based pricing structure goes into effect Feb. 15.

While annual admission fees will remain the same, daily admission fees will increase at Devil’s Lake, Peninsula and Willow River state parks. Devil’s Lake daily admission fees will increase $5, with resident daily fees going from $8 to $13, and non-resident daily fees going from $11 to $16. Daily fees at Peninsula and Willow River will increase $2, with resident daily fees going from $8 to $10, and non-resident daily fees going from $11 to $13. Camping rates will also be adjusted up or down by a few dollars per night, based upon demand.

“We believe this new pricing structure will help us better manage the demand we’re seeing at some of our highly used properties while encouraging use at our lesser-visited properties,” said Ben Bergey, director of the Wisconsin State Park System.

In addition to setting the new rates, the 2017-2019 budget authorizes $2 million in user fees to fund property improvements. Electricity will be supplied to an additional 200 campsites across the state, including such campgrounds as Devil’s Lake, Copper Falls, Hartman Creek, High Cliff, Peninsula and Potawatomi. Technological improvements and electronic pay stations at various properties are also in the works.

Under a separate funding act (Act 71) approved by the legislature, the park system will complete $4.5 million in water and waste water infrastructure improvement projects at various state parks, including the replacement of vault toilets and camper dump station at Peninsula State Park and replacement of water infrastructure at Devil’s Lake State Park.

For information about the Wisconsin State Park System, visit https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/parks.