GFP News - February 7, 2013

  • State Park Camping Reservation System New in 2013
  • Buffalo Roundup to be Featured on ABC's Born to Explore with Richard Wiese

State Park Camping Reservation System New in 2013

PIERRE, S.D. -- Visitors planning camping trips to South Dakota state parks and recreation areas will notice changes when reserving campsites this year.

The Department of Game, Fish and Parks has implemented a new reservation system, and state park officials are asking campers to be patient while the final touches are put on the reservation website.

"The new website is still a work in progress, and we will have all of the features that campers are used to, up and running soon," said state Parks and Recreation Director Doug Hofer.

In the meantime, campers wishing to book more than one campsite at a time are asked to reserve them through the call center at 1-800-710-2267.

The website will also be adding a campsite availability calendar and customer logins.

Reservations for camping in most state parks can be made within 90 days of arrival dates. The first day to make reservations for the annual Open House Weekend is Feb. 16 for a May 17 arrival. During Open House Weekend, no park entrance fees are charged, but camping fees still apply.

Reservations for Memorial Day weekend can be made beginning Feb. 23 for a May 24 arrival. Reservations can be made one year in advance for campsites at Custer State Park and for lodges in all state parks and recreation areas.

Reservations can be made 24 hours a day both online at www.campsd.com or by calling 1-800-710-2267.

Campsites become available at 7 a.m. on the first day of the 90-day window. There is a $7.70 per site non-refundable reservation fee, which does not apply to South Dakota residents.

The full 90-day window calendar can be found online at www.gfp.sd.gov.

-GFP-

Buffalo Roundup to be Featured on ABC's Born to Explorewith Richard Wiese

CUSTER STATE PARK, S.D. -- Custer State Park's 47th Annual Buffalo Roundup will be featured on the television program Born to Explore with Richard Wiese.

The program will be aired Saturday, Feb. 16, on most ABC stations as part of Litton's Weekend Adventure. The 2012 Emmy® nominated program filmed on location in South Dakota last September.

Born to Explore is an educational program that takes viewers around the world to join in the adventure with host Richard Wiese. The show offers an educational approach to the earth's wildlife and its unique cultures, from Australia to Iceland to Morocco to Uganda.

"As an explorer, I have traveled around the world to share the beauty, wildlife and cultures of each continent," said Richard Wiese. "At Custer State Park, we experienced the thrill of the buffalo roundup and got a taste of the American West and its thriving cowboy culture. The hospitality of South Dakotans and the magnificence of Custer State Park made for a most memorable adventure."

Wiese continued, "To see over 1,000 head of buffalo being driven across the rolling prairies by cowboys and cowgirls on horseback is a sight all should experience at least once in their life time."

"Custer State Park is the only place in America where the pubic is invited to witness an event like our buffalo roundup, which unfolds in front of them," said Craig Pugsley, visitor services coordinator at Custer State Park. "Last September, about 14,000 guests from all over the world came to experience this world-class event."

The 2013 Buffalo Roundup will be held on Friday Sept. 27. For more information on this year's event, contact Custer State Park at 605-255-4515 or visit www.custerstatepark.com

"The Buffalo Roundup and Arts Festival are great events that bring visitors to South Dakota during the all important shoulder season, which helps build our tourism industry and South Dakota's economy," said Jim Hagen, secretary of the South Dakota Department of Tourism. "Programs like Born to Explore with Richard Wiese, which air on major TV networks, showcase South Dakota and encourage more visitors to make South Dakota their vacation destination."

-GFP-