Campers to pay same rates at Kandiyohi County parks in 2023 – West Central Tribune


WILLMAR — Kandiyohi County decided not to increase camping rates at the county parks for next year. The County Board approved the 2023 park fees and policy at its Dec. 1 board meeting.

County Administrator Larry Kleindl said the number of campers was down last year over highs in 2020 and 2021. Reasons for that could be a return to pre-COVID normals, high gas prices and even the increase in camper fees the county approved for 2022. Even though camping rates were down this year, county revenue was up due to the higher rates.

Those wanting to camp in 2023 can make their camping reservations online starting at 10 a.m. Jan. 24 at

Reservations can only be made online.

Camping, both RV and tent, is available at Big Kandiyohi Lake West, Big Kandiyohi Lake East, Diamond Lake, Green Lake and Games Lake county parks. Games Lake also includes several camper cabins.

The fees and policy were discussed at the annual park meeting with park managers and two county commissioners.

“It is an opportunity to kind of go through and review how the year went,” Kleindl said. “Park managers have an opportunity to give updates on how the camping season went.”

The water slide at Games Lake County Park is a perfect place play on a warm afternoon, as shown in this file photo. Campers interested in Games Lake or any of the other Kandiyohi County park campgrounds may make reservations online starting Saturday.Rand Middleton / Tribune file photo
Kandiyohi County is asking parents to keep an eye on their children while camping at the county parks. New language was added to the park policy for 2023, approved by the County Board on Dec. 1, 2022.

West Central Tribune file photo

There were only minor changes made to the park policy.

One of those changes involves juvenile visitors who are camping at the parks. After a child was almost hit when they were driving a toy vehicle on the road, the county contemplated banning motorized toys such as Power Wheels. Instead the policy now says that all minor children, no matter their age, must be supervised at all times. This is to try and make sure children and teenagers don’t get hurt but also that they aren’t doing anything destructive or disorderly while at the park.

“If you are a parent you are responsible for your kids,” Kleindl said.

The board did ask if the new language was too vague, but it was decided at the park meeting that it was better to require parents keep an eye on their kids than to start banning different activities and toys.

“Everyone wants them to have fun,” said Commissioner Duane Anderson.

The new policy also gives park managers some backup if they have to approach parents about misbehaving children. If the disruptive behavior continues, the park managers can require the family to leave the park.

“This gives the managers a tool to work with, and that is what we are trying to do,” Kleindl said.

The county has also clarified that no kind of fireworks, whether legal in Minnesota or otherwise, are allowed at county parks. This was added to the part of the policy that forbids explosives and firearms.

In addition to approving the park fees and policy, the board also gave their approval for fun events to continue taking place at Big Kandi East park. This will include the Minnesota Fallen Heroes Memorial from June 29 to July 9, a July 29 event for Lake Lillian Fun Days and the Fall Family Festival on Sept. 2.

Big Kandi Park East Dog Days of Summer Get-Together 006.jpg
Pets and pedestrians browse the vendors on site during the Big Kandi Park East Dog Days of Summer Get-Together at Kandiyohi County Park East near Lake Lillian on Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022. Events have been authorized to continue at the park in 2023.

Macy Moore / West Central Tribune file photo


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