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A number of warmer March days have helped bring a number of campers out to the Lewis & Clark Recreation Area earlier than usual, the Yankton (S.D.) Daily Press & Dakotan reported.

Park District Supervisor Shane Bertch said the park has already seen a large influx of visitors.

“This last weekend, we had 20 camping units in the park,” Bertch said. “We had three camping cabins rented.”

Bertch said the park has already opened up one of its comfort stations to campers.

“We have a bathroom open already at Lewis & Clark,” he said. “As we go on here, we open more as the demand increases and the weather cooperates. Then we open the rest.”

He added this action usually isn’t taken until later in the spring.

“This is the earliest we’ve ever opened a bathroom. Usually, we open our first bathrooms the first week in April, so we’re a little bit ahead of schedule.”

Bertch said an earlier start to the season is bound to help with the park’s numbers.

“The bulk of our campers are definitely during the season — May through September — but our shoulder season is where we can expand a little bit when we get more people into the park as far as camping,” he said. “It’ll probably help our numbers a little bit.”

He added that reservations for the summer are being taken up quickly.

“Reservations are strong,” he said. “Right now, they’re taking reservations for Father’s Day weekend and they’re booking up fast.”

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