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Published March 21, 2012, 05:04 PM

Campers Take Advantage of Warmer Temperatures

EAST GRAND FORKS, MN (WDAZ-TV) - Some campers are already taking advantage of the warmer temperatures at local campgrounds.

EAST GRAND FORKS, MN (WDAZ-TV) - Some campers are already taking advantage of the warmer temperatures at local campgrounds.

With the lack of snow and no threat of flooding, many campgrounds are looking at opening earlier than usual this year.

One family decided to take a trip out to Turtle River State Park to grill, sit around the campfire and enjoy the sun.

Mike Towers and his dalmatian puppy Tanker decided they weren't going to let this unseasonably warm weather pass them by.

"The weather's been different you know, 70 degrees is just crazy right now," Towers said.

Whether it's grilling lunch, making s'mores or cuddling with the dog, Towers didn't want to miss some early camping with grandma.

"She wanted to do a test run on her camper and I wanted to tent so we kind of teamed up last night, last minute," Towers said.

Warmer weather has more people making reservations and digging out their tents and camping gear a little earlier this year.

"People wanting to bring trailers and RV's out already has increased tremendously over years past," Turtle River State Park Assistant Manager Joseph Allen said.

"The other day when Clinton came to town, I had a few campers come in, no motels to stay in," Grand Forks Campground owner Al Shane said.

"Everybody's anxious to get camping because they lost weeks last year with the shutdown and a flood delay of two weeks," Red River State REcreation Area Manager Catherine Johnson said.

Both Red River State Recreation Area and Turtle River State Park hope to open with full services by the end of April or early May, but people can tent camp in Turtle River right now. The Grand Forks Campground will open as early as next week.

"It looks like everybody is getting in the camping mode because we're starting to get quite a few reservations," Shane said.

With the sun shining, temperatures rising and campgrounds opening...outdoor lovers like Towers are making the best of it.

"It's just fun to get out and do something different and it's just crazy we can get out this early," Towers said.

You can call Grand Forks campground at 701-772-6108 or log onto mndnr.gov/reservations for Red River State Recreation Area and www.parkrec.nd.gov for Turtle River State Park.