The state Department of Natural Resources is raising the daily entrance fees at three of Wisconsin’s most popular state parks.
Beginning February 15th, the cost to enter Devil’s Lake State Park on a daily pass for residents and non-residents will go up by $5, while daily rates for Peninsula and Willow River state parks will go up by $2. According to the DNR, that will made the daily admission fee at Devil’s Lake $13 for residents and $16 for non-residents. Peninsula and Willow River will go to $10 for residents and $13 for non-residents.
Several other parks will see prices go up or down, while the cost of camp sites will also see changes. Many of those increases or decreases will depend on factors like the time of year and type of campsite being requested. There will be no increase this year in the cost of annual state park vehicle passes.
State Parks director Ben Bergey says it’s all part of a new demand-based system for pricing, which was authorized in the state budget signed by the governor last fall. The new system is an effort to help address the millions of visitors the parks attract each year, while encouraging people to seek out some of the state’s more under-utilized parks. “This is going to help us manage some capacity issues at those properties, where a lot of people show up many many days of the year, and then help us encourage use of some of our lesser used properties as well,” he says.
Any additional revenues generated by the pricing changes will be used to improve all state parks.