Campgrounds Welcome July 4th Campers
The 4th of July weekend is usually the busiest weekend of the season at many of the nation's RV parks and campgrounds. Following are stories from the nation's media reporting the start of this busy time.
From the Contra Costa Times:
Reserve America, which handles reservations for 158 campgrounds at federal, state and private parks in Southern California, said 92% were booked as of Monday.
While most seaside campgrounds were full, there were vacancies at parks "in the inland areas," said Gary Evans, general manager of camping for Active Network-Outdoors, Reserve America's parent company.
This year's bookings are on par with numbers seen last year, he said.
According to the Automobile Club of Southern California, 2.9 million Southern Californians will hop in the car and travel this weekend.
That's a small dip from last year, when 2.97 million area residents traveled at least 50 miles from home, but still a big showing given that last year's numbers reflected an 8.6% increase over 2009.
Like the recent Memorial Day weekend, the top five destinations for Southern California residents are expected to be San Diego, Las Vegas, San Francisco, the Central Coast and Disneyland.
Falling gas prices are also helping to spur travel, the Auto Club said. The average price in Los Angeles County fell Monday to $3.85, the 51st decline in 52 days.
The average price was 6.7 cents less than one week ago and 22.9 cents lower than a month ago but 74.4 cents more than a year ago, according to figures from the Auto Club and the Oil Price Information Service.
"Gas prices are going down, and word is that they are going to continue to go down," Auto Club spokeswoman Marie Montgomery said.
From the Associated Press:
All but one of the 43 campgrounds operated by the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) are open for the Fourth of July weekend and most are expected to be filled to capacity.
The only one closed is Ausable Point on Lake Champlain. It's still being cleaned up and repaired of damage caused by record high lake levels. A few boat launches on Lake Champlain aren't fully functional yet, but they're open.
DEC advises backcountry campers that trailhead parking lots and interior campsites in the Eastern High Peaks typically fill to capacity by Friday evening on the holiday weekend. Trails are muddy, water levels are higher than usual due to recent rains, and pesky mosquitoes, black flies, deer flies and no-see-ums are plentiful.
From the Associated Press:
West Virginia campers have a new option this Fourth of July weekend: Little Beaver State Park.
State parks chief Ken Caplinger says 30 of the 46 planned campsites at the Raleigh County park are opening today (July 1). He predicts it will become one of the most successful campgrounds in the state park system.
Park superintendent Erik Evans says the 30 sites will have water and electricity. The remaining 16 sites, when completed, will just have water.
Little Beaver State Park has been operating as a 562-acre day use park.
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources late Thursday (June 30) announced the campgrounds at Illini State Park in La Salle County will open for the Fourth of July weekend.
The campgrounds at the park will be open from noon on Friday through the morning of July 5, at which time the campgrounds will again be closed pending the completion of more permanent repairs to the park's wastewater treatment system. A failure in that system has forced the shutdown of the campgrounds, shower building, restroom building and park concession building during the last two months.
The campgrounds' dump station is being pumped out and monitored this weekend to allow the campgrounds to be opened for the holiday weekend. Shower building, restroom and concession facilities will remain closed, according to a press release.
It is expected that a contractor will begin work on more permanent repairs to the wastewater system in July, during which time facilities at the park affected by the wastewater system shutdown will remain closed.
Illini State Park remains open for picnics and hiking — and the park's boat ramp remains open. Vault toilet privies are available in all areas of the park.
From the Great Falls Tribune:
In spite of the damage done to U.S. Forest Service roads and campgrounds during the wet spring, many campgrounds are open in the Lewis and Clark National Forest for those who want to escape urban Fourth of July festivities this weekend.
Lewis and Clark National Forest employees have worked tirelessly over the past few weeks to assess, repair and reopen roads, trails and campgrounds that sustained damage during the recent spring flooding, according to a news release.
Historically, Fourth of July weekends are among the busiest for the Lewis and Clark National Forest, and the Forest Service felt it was "vital to open as many roads and campgrounds as possible for the weekend," the release states.
Click here to see the entire list of campgrounds.
From KMVT-TV, Twin Falls, Idaho:
Lots of campgrounds were closed a month ago for Memorial Day due to high snow packs. Those remained closed are the Sawtooth National Forest campgrounds for the 4th of July weekend and Howell Canyon above Pomerelle and Kelly Flats in the Fairfield ranger district.
However, forest service personnel say that things are still pretty muddy in some of the camping areas that are now open. Public affairs officer Julie Thomas said “the roads and trails are still wet. And if they are, please stay off of them. It just causes such damage, and it's really not worth your time to go up them and get stuck.”