BARABOO, Wis. - Visitors can stay more plugged in at one of the state's biggest and busiest parks this summer.
The state Department of Natural Resources added electricity to 24 new campsites at Devil's Lake State Park and upgraded electrical service at 129 existing sites, responding to demand and replacing old technology.
"Most of the boxes, those electrical services, dated back to the 1980s," said Ryder Will, the assistant park manager. "They were getting to the point that they weren't as reliable for our customers."
For traditional campers, a majority of the park's campsites remain free of electricity. Reservations for sites with electrical outlets are now available as work wrapped up last week, just in time for the park's busy summer season.
Tom Kramer originally thought the electrical service wouldn't be available for his annual trip from Mount Prospect, Ill.
But after finding out crews had finished, Kramer said he was happy he didn't have to go "off the grid" like he did pitching a tent with his kids 25 years ago.20396088
"We've paid our dues," he said. "We have a refrigerator now and we have a heater, which was very useful this morning because it was very cold."
The work is part of a statewide project, adding electricity at several campgrounds. Construction continues at Peninsula State Park in Door County, according to the DNR's website.
Dirt remains where crews dug into the ground at Devil's Lake State Park, although the seed should take hold soon, Will said.
The feedback so far has mostly centered around the dirt, although complaints have been few, he said.
"It was a bit of a headache because there was a lot of dug-up dirt and disturbance to the sites, but we tried to do as much in the offseason as we could," Will said.
One section of the park, the Ice Age campground, remains mostly electricity-free.
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