Posts Tagged ‘campsites’

Land Between The Lakes KentuckyCampgrounds in Land Between the Lakes and other federally funded parks and wildlife refuges are closed. Signs and barricades are nearly everywhere through LBL.

Hillman Ferry and Wranglers Campgrounds and Clarks River Refuge are just a few facilities closed because of the government shutdown.

Most campers left their campsites, some stayed behind, and others are still in limbo.  One man was unable to camp and unable to get his camping equipment.

One small pad lock had a profound impact on a local man who said all he wanted was to go on vacation. Instead his stuff was trapped beyond the gate at Hillman Ferry and he said for days local law enforcement was no help, neither were the people who still live on the campground despite the fact the campground is closed.

Tom Daughhetee wants to buy a brand new camper but there’s a problem.

“It’s hard for a salesman to make a trade when they can’t see what you’ve got,” Daughhette said.

Daughhetee’s camper, truck, golf cart, and supplies were stuck at Hillman Ferry Campground.

He left two weeks ago, returned this weekend to get his property after hearing of the shutdown, but people still living within LBL wouldn’t give him the key to the gate.

“I understand the campground’s closed, we’re not asking for that, we’re just asking to get our property back,” Daughhetee said.

The instructions and number left on this door gave him hope, but he said the person on the phone was less than helpful.

So Tuesday he called, again.

We caught up with one man still living on the campground who said he and three others had permission to stay.

Daughhetee said it’s frustrating, because it’s impossible to ‘trade up’ when you can’t get your hands on your ‘trade in’.

Late Tuesday afternoon, a park ranger called Daughhetee to make arrangements to pick up his property.

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Campsite at a Tennessee State Park

Campsite at a Tennessee State Park

Tennessee state parks on Wednesday (March 20) unveiled its new customer-friendly campground reservation system, offering visitors the ability to reserve campsites at 35 state parks up to one year in advance of their planned stay.

Reservations can be made online, by visiting the park’s office or by calling an individual park during regular business hours.

“Traditionally, campers have had to rely on obtaining their favorite camping spot on a first-come, first-served basis,” said Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) Commissioner Bob Martineau. “With the new reservation service, visitors will be offered more ease and convenience when it comes to their park stay.”

To check availability and reserve campsites online or via phone, for a complete list of available campgrounds and phone numbers or visit the online site directly at Campers can select the state park they wish to visit, arrival/departure dates, and their preferred campsite. Visitors may reserve up to five sites per reservation.

The online system features a campground map, offering photos and prices for each individual campsite. Tennessee state parks’ campsites are very popular, so campers are encouraged to check availability through the new online system or by calling the park before departing on a trip.

“Campers who enjoy using state park campsites have requested an advance reservations system for many years, as well as online capabilities,” said TDEC Deputy Commissioner Brock Hill. “The implementation of this great, new system is just one of the many ways we are providing additional or upgraded services to our customers. We wanted to make it easier for our visitors to make their plans, while adding an additional layer of customer-focused service for our guests.”

Tennessee state parks implemented the program using a phased approached, beginning in late 2012 to ensure the appropriate training could take place and any issues or concerns could be addressed before formally launching the new reservation system. Over the course of the last several months, state parks have been gradually added to the roster.

The new campground reservation system joins several new initiatives launched by TDEC over the last two years for park visitors on the go, including the Tennessee State Parks 75th Anniversary microsite, a Geographic Information System (GIS)-based recreation “finder,” and the new Tennessee State Parks Pocket Ranger mobile phone application.

Hill added that online reservations for inns and some cabins have been available for visitors for several years, but adding the campground system was one that required a bit more effort in terms of program design and operations.

After a competitive bidding process, Arizona-based Rev’d Up Inc. was selected to build and host the new campground reservation system and will continue overseeing the project as part of a five-year contract. A minimal $3 reservation fee (per campsite reserved) was added as part of the overall implementation and will help offset costs of the new system.

“Charging fees for campsites is really an industry standard and are either identified as an actual reservation fee or the fee is absorbed in the overall costs of a particular campsite,” said Mr. Hill. “Camping at Tennessee State Parks is still a bargain with prices for traditional campgrounds ranging from $14 for sites without electrical or water hookups to $25 for full hookups.”

Tennessee’s 54 state parks and 82 state natural areas offer diverse natural, recreational and cultural experiences for individuals, families or business and professional groups. State park features range from pristine natural areas to 18-hole championship golf courses. For a free brochure about Tennessee State Parks, call toll free at 888 867-2757. For upcoming events at Tennessee State Parks, please visit the state parks website at

Arkansas state parks are gearing up for a busy holiday weekend. But this time around, there are some changes because of our recent storms.

Park Superintendent Richard Boyes says that this week’s storms makes this weekend the first time all season that campfires are now allowed at

Lake Catherine State Park

Lake Catherine State Park

. Campfires are also now allowed Lake DeGray, Lake Ouchita and Wooley Hollow State Parks.

Boyes also says the stormy weather cancelled camping reservations during a weekend that’s usually booked a year out. State park and tourism officials also confirmed the rise in camping cancellations; many they say from out of state guests leading up to the storm.

So that means there could be some extra sites if you reserve soon. And Boyes says that the weekend’s shaping up to a good one.

“We don’t anticipate any problems as far as the weather goes; if it stays like this the rest of the weekend, it will be beautiful and we’ll have a lot of folks,” Boyes said.

As a final reminder, if you want to call for a reservation, Superintendent Boyes at Lake Catherine says to call by 8 a.m. the day before to see if there are any campsites.

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