Va. N. P. Campground Closes For Winter

January 20, 2014 by   - () Comments Off on Va. N. P. Campground Closes For Winter

For the first time in more than 25 years, Prince William Forest Park’s Oak Ridge campground is quiet this winter, Prince William Today reported.

The park announced in November that Oak Ridge campground and the Chopawamsic backcountry — normally open all year — are closed this winter, as the national parks try to save money in the wake of federal budget cuts.

In a news release announcing the closure, Prince William Forest Park Superintendent Vidal Martinez said that because of decreases in the federal operating budget, he had to come up with ways to “reduce costs while limiting the impact upon park visitors.”

The 100-site Oak Ridge campground will be closed through Feb. 28, a time when the number of campers in the park traditionally drops. The park’s Turkey Run Ridge group campground and the Prince William Forest RV campground, operated by an outside company, are open on their normal schedule, but the Oak Ridge campground closure limits the camping options in the park.

“We are disappointed that individual visitors will not be able to experience winter camping at Prince William Forest Park,” Martinez said in the news release. “Winter visitation and use of Oak Ridge and Chopawamsic Backcountry are at their lowest point during these months. I regret that this does impact some visitors, but the more popular times of the year will still be available for visitors to enjoy.”

The winter campground is a sign of troubled times for many national parks.

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