ST. PAUL  (AP) - The Minnesota state parks campsite reservation system will be down for two months for an upgrade just after Christmas.

The system will be unavailable Dec. 27-Feb. 29, so the Department of Natural Resources is encouraging people to make their reservations for 2012 before the current system shuts down at 8 p.m. Dec. 26.

Parks director Courtland Nelson says it'll create a short-term inconvenience, but that customers will like the new reservation system that should be fully operational March 1.

The DNR says the new system will make it easier to plan overnight outings to state parks and recreation areas. It will feature interactive maps and show where to find available overnight lodging at a glance.

Overnight stays at Minnesota state parks and recreation areas exceeded 985,000 this year.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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