Cheap escapes will get more expensive in Wisconsin

Willow River State Park. Photo: Wisconsin DNR.

You’ll be shelling out more money to use some Wisconsin state parks, including one of the most popular ones near the Twin Cities.

Willow River State Park, just northeast of Hudson, Wis., is among the state parks that will raise daily rates, but not as much as some other Wisconsin state parks, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

Daily camping will increase by $5 for sites with electric service. Entrance fees will jump $2 — $13 for non-residents; $10 for Wisconsinites. The state is increasing entrance fees at popular state parks by as much as $7, but dropping them by $5 at not-so-popular locations.

The Wisconsin Legislature cut general funding for the state parks, telling them they had to survive on fees from those use them.

Prices would increase for campgrounds that have an occupancy rate during designated periods of 80% or higher. By contrast, price cuts would go into effect for campgrounds with an occupancy of 30% or less during designated periods.

The pricing changes are driven by customer demand, meaning that in some cases, campers will pay higher prices in some seasons for some sites and less in other times of the year.

Devil’s Lake and Peninsula state parks, for example, would see an increase of $7 for an electrified site on summer weekends and a $2 increase for a nonelectrified site.

Camping fees already vary between parks. With the changes proposed, a resident camper at Devil’s Lake and Peninsula would see prices rise from $30 to $37 on the weekend in the summer for a site with electric service — a 23% increase.