Alberta is doubling the number of provincial campgrounds that can be booked through the one-year-old online reservation system, according to the Calgary Herald.

And starting March 8, a new toll-free phone reservation service will allow those who prefer to talk to a person to book their campsite over the phone at (877) 537-2757.

“The 25 new online campgrounds will give Albertans and visitors easier access to provincial campgrounds as we committed to with Alberta’s Plan for Parks,” said Cindy Ady, minister of tourism, parks and recreation.

In 2009, campers made nearly 50,000 online reservations.

Visitors can preview www.Reserve. AlbertaParks.ca to look for individual campsites on an interactive map, which show the campsite size and features such as nearby trails, firepit location and proximity to washrooms. The website provides a 360-degree panoramic view of each campsite and campground.

Online reservations at 50 provincial campgrounds — up from 25 last year — are available up to 90 days in advance at the website. Some key upcoming dates:

  • Online reservations start March 8 at 9 a.m. for the May long weekend.
  • Online reservations start April 1 for the July long weekend.
  • Online reservations start May 3 for the August long weekend.
  • Online reservations start June 5 for the September long weekend.

The new service doesn’t extend to all Alberta campgrounds. More than 20 provincial campgrounds not online will begin taking phone reservations at local campground offices on May 3. More than 140 other provincial campgrounds offer first-come first-served only campsites.