State parks to accept reservations online
Posted April 18, 2009 5:56 p.m. EDT
Updated April 19, 2009 9:51 a.m. EDT
Raleigh, N.C. — Starting next week, North Carolina State Parks will begin accepting reservations by phone and online.
The system has been in the works since 2006 and was the most requested service among park visitors, officials said.
Most of campsites across the state are first-come, first-serve, which can make securing a weekend camping spot difficult.
Rochelle Satterfield said she and her family would often have to go Falls Lake a day early just to reserve a spot for the weekend.
“Normally, we come out here on a Thursday night and pay the extra night to come out with our tents, put them on the site,” Satterfield said.
“It was difficult for people to go to the western part of the state and leave on a Friday afternoon and be assured a campsite,” District Parks Superintendent Erik Nygard said.
The service, which begins April 22, will allow users to book a campsite, picnic shelter or cabin for anytime after July 15.
“It will reduce those anxieties of not knowing whether you have a campsite or not,” Nygard said.
There will be a $3 surcharge per night to help pay for the system, run by contractor Infospherix, which runs similar services for other states.
The system will allow campers to pay by credit card and also purchase gift cards for future trips to state parks.
Officials say the online system will help free up park rangers who won't have to deal with camping registrations.
With the exception of holiday weekends, online reservations for campsites will only require a one-night stay and can be made as soon as 48 hours in advance.