State park-goers, campers could pay more in Wisconsin

Devil's Lake State Park. (Wisconsin DNR)

MADISON, Wis. — Campers and hikers might have to dig a little deeper to get into their favorite state parks in 2018.

Provisions in the Republican state budget that went into effect Monday allow DNR Secretary Dan Meyer to raise vehicle entry fees at state parks of his choosing by as much as $5 per day for both Wisconsin residents and non-residents.

Other budget changes that went into effect on New Year’s Day allow Meyer to begin raising camping fees at sites of his choosing by as much as $15 per night for residents and $16 per night for out-of-staters.

DNR spokesman Jim Dick said last week that Meyer and agency officials were still finalizing fee changes and hoped to have something ready by “early in the new year.” DNR officials will present the new fees to the agency’s board as an informational item but can implement them without the panel’s approval, he said.

Campers who want electricity at Devil’s Lake, High Cliff, Kohler-Andrae, Peninsula and Willow River state parks will have to pay an extra $15 under budget language that went into effect on Monday as well. That’s up from the standard $10 electricity surcharge the DNR imposes at other campgrounds and parks.

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