Want to go to the campgrounds for the Fourth? Most are all booked up -- and have been for a while. (WRDW-TV / June 30, 2011)
News 12 First at Five / Thursday, June 30, 2011
CLARKS HILL LAKE, Ga. -- Independence Day weekend is always a good time for families to hit the road. This year, AAA expects more people to celebrate the holiday weekend by staying closer to home, even though prices are starting to fall at the pump. One popular spot close to our home to hang out for the Fourth is the lake.
"We got here yesterday morning about 8 o'clock," Robert Adams said.
He and his family are spending their holiday weekend at Mistletoe State Park, but they almost didn't make it.
"We [had reservations] at Plum Branch, and they changed the lots so we decided not to go over there," Adams said.
Even though the Adams family is early in terms of getting to the lake for the weekend, they were late in making reservations. There are no vacancies at Mistletoe State Park, and there haven't been for a few months.
"We had a handful of reservations about two or three months ago," said Mistletoe State Park Manager Dan Schay. "Those have quickly booked up."
The Adams got one of the last spots left when they switched their reservations two months ago.
"I called every state park and Corps of Engineers, and this was the only [park] that had any lots," Leona Adams explained.
Rangers say they're still getting calls from people trying to make reservations for the weekend. Some of them are surprised the parks are full, but rangers say the parks are always full. The only thing people who missed out on reservations can do now is plan for next year.
"We'll start next month," Schay said. "You can book up 11 months before you want your reservations, so starting next August we'll be booking for 2012."
Booking 11 months before the Fourth sounds like a long time, but you have to act fast if you want a spot.
"I would definitely say into the fall and certainly into the winter is when we start getting most of our reservations," Schay said.
The Adams aren't worried about next year yet. They're just happy this year's plans didn't fall through.
"If you guys weren't able to get this, what would you do?" News 12 asked.
"Couldn't go camping," Robert answered.
"So where would you spend the Fourth?" we asked.
"Have to stay at home I guess," Robert joked.
Wildwood Park is also booked solid. They've been booked for a few months, too.
If you want to spend July 4, 2012, there, you can't make reservations until January. If you want to spend Independence Day at any state park, you can reserve a lot in August.
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