SHAWNEE COUNTY (KSNT) – For many, Memorial Day weekend is the official start of summer. Soon enough, Lake Shawnee will be able to accommodate even more visitors, and they’ll be doing it in style.

If you plan on going to Lake Shawnee in the near future, you may experience some construction.
That’s because Shawnee County Parks and Recreation is adding 43 new camping sites. Thirteen of those will be “pull through” sites to fully accommodate today’s newer and larger RVs.

“People are doing what’s called glamping,” Mike McLaughlin with Shawnee County Parks and Rec said. “If they’re not camping in more cabin-like settings, they’re camping in very nice larger RVs, larger than used to exist and ones that draw more electricity. So, we needed to upgrade our campground just to keep up with the modern-day type of RV.”

The $2.4 million project is funding by the Shawnee County ARPA project. Along with the new camping sites, there will be other upgrades like onsite electrical ports and onsite sewage disposal. These upgrades are part of the reason why one Wisconsin family says they come back to Lake Shawnee every year.

“Every year we come back. We see all the new renovations between the running paths, the ball diamonds, the lake access, the campgrounds they’re doing right now,” Lake Shawnee visitor Adam Price said. “So, we enjoy it. we look forward to coming back and enjoying the improvements.”

Although there are many lakes to enjoy in Wisconsin, Price says coming home for Memorial Day weekend just feels more special.

“We live up in Wisconsin halfway between Milwaukee and Green Bay,” Price said. “And, so, we take a trip back to Topeka where I was born and raised to enjoy the lake, the campground and spend time with family.”

Price and his family won’t be the only ones visiting Lake Shawnee this Memorial Day weekend. McLaughlin said many others will too, and because of the construction, he says they expect it to be extra crowded.

“Memorial Day weekend will be a little bit crowded this year because we have part of the campground blocked off for the construction of all these new spaces,” McLaughlin said. “We will get people in all the rest of the way around. It will be full. People are anxious to get out here for summer.”

Although part of the campground is blocked off for construction, there are still tent camping sites available. McLaughlin says that the project should be fully completed by the fall, but if the weather cooperates, they could have it done this summer