With the first official day of summer fast approaching, a couple of southeast campgrounds are gearing up for the busy season.
Woodlawn Regional Park and Boundary Dam are two attractive options for local campers in the Estevan area, and parks manager Maureen Doast said they've already had a good influx of people camping.
"We have had a good number of seasonal campers enter the campground," Doast said. "But we've been pretty busy, more so at Woodlawn than Boundary Dam here for short term camping, but we're fully expecting it to pick up at both places here in July and August once the kids are freed from school for the summer."
One province to the east, flooding has closed several Manitoba campgrounds. But Doast said she hasn't seen any more Manitobans than usual.
"I've seen a few Manitoba plates in the park...I don't know that there's a high influx. That may increase or we may see a higher number than normal," she said. "We've already had a few people from the U.S. as well with the border crossing being a little easier than last summer."
Doast said that while she usually sees a good contingent of local campers, that number might even increase this year due to ballooning gas prices and people opting not to travel longer distances to camp.
"I definitely think with COVID travel restrictions people stayed close to home, and that increased our camping (during the last two summers). And I think this year with the price of fuel it definitely will have an impact on people's plans and they may tend to stay closer to home," she said.
The new camping season has also brought a new challenge to the Boundary Dam campground.
"We don't have a lot of beach this year actually, just with the water level being so high," Doast said. "Last year it was a problem with it being so low. People were having some issues launching their boats and things like that. And we put up some signs because the drop off at the beach was closer to shore. But those signs that we put up were pretty much under water this year, so the water level is really high out there."
Doast added that at any given time, there are usually around 150 people between both camp sites, and that they're on track for that number again this year.