State News

N.C. parks going to online campsite reservations

Posted January 5, 2009 4:01 a.m. EST
Updated January 5, 2009 7:21 a.m. EST

— Planning a camping trip to a state park during a popular time of the year will become less of a gamble for North Carolina residents beginning in April.

The Winston-Salem Journal reports that a reservations system using the Internet and a call center will replace the state's first-come, first-served system of assigning campsites, cabins,  picnic shelters and other facilities at its 37 parks. The system will go online on April 22 and is to be fully phased in by July 15, the Division of Parks and Recreation said in announcing the change.

Most of the state's 3,000 campsites will be assigned through the new reservations system. However, a few sites at some parks will be reserved for walk-in registration.

The online reservations system will include a brief description of the campsites so that people can choose a specific spot.

A $3 surcharge for each night's stay will help pay for the new system, which is being managed by Infospherix, a company based in Maryland.

The state said the current paper-based reservation system, which opened Jan. 1, will remain in place until April 22, and reservations made that way will be unaffected when the new system comes online.