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Current Briefs for RV Parks and Campgrounds

September 3, 2013 by · Comments Off on Current Briefs for RV Parks and Campgrounds 

The Cozy Pond Camping Resort near Webster, N.H., seeks to add additional sites. Map courtesy of the Concord Monitor

NEW HAMPSHIRE

From the Concord Monitor:

For the third year in a row, the owners of the Cozy Pond Camping Resort in Webster plan to expand.

Joe DiPrima, one of the owners, will go before the Webster zoning board Sept. 10 to seek and exception that will allow 14 new RV campsites. The 78-acre property currently has 93 campsites with 87 for Rvs and six for tents. That’s up from 69 campsites in 2011, DePrima’s first year operating the campground.

Click here to read the entire story.

WYOMING

From County10.com, Lander:

The Horse Creek Campground near Dubois was evacuated on Friday (Aug. 30) due to the Burrough Fire, which was discovered Friday morning by a Forest Service employee on their way to their worksite. The fire was burning on a ridge above Burroughs Creek 12 miles north of Dubois. The fire is believed to have started from a lightning strike from the night before.

VIRGINIA

From the Roanoke Star:

Explore Park in Roanoke County, the future of which has been in doubt since the living history attraction there closed some years ago, looks much brighter these days. Once proposed to be the site of a major destination attraction – a proposal pitched by a Florida developer – it now appears as if it will become a county park geared towards passive recreation.

There could be cabins, campgrounds, RV parks, zip lines etc. built on the 1,100-acre site, which has been operated on a shoestring by the Virginia Recreational Facilities Authority since Roanoke County ceased running the state-owned historical park. Roanoke County officials and the VRFA made that announcement recently at Explore Park, with the county planning to enter in to a 99-year, $1.00 per year lease agreement with the authority.

Operations for the park will be folded in to the Parks & Recreation Department budget.

Pete Eshelman, the director of outdoor branding for the Regional Partnership and the major force behind the roanokeoutside.com website, likes the “synergy behind [the plan]. Hopefully we’ll see the rebirth of Explore Park. It’s a tremendous outdoor asset.” Getting more people off the adjacent Blue Ridge Parkway, to give them a sense of what the valley has to offer recreation-wise, is a big plus according to Eshelman.

See more at: http://theroanokestar.com/2013/09/02/roanoke-countys-newest-park-will-take-shape-at-explore-park/#sthash.K9qADlv8.dpuf.

SOUTH CAROLINA

From The Associated Press:

The South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism is issuing the first guide to the state’s 47 state parks that has been published in 10 years.

Department director Duane Parrish says the new guide is going to be available Tuesday at key locations across the state. It is also available online for $2 with shipping and handling at http://www.southcarolinaparks.com/.

The guide comes with a $2 discount coupon for admission to a state park.

Guides are also available at the State House in Columbia and at retail and visitor’s centers at state parks.

The guide was made possible by donations from supporting contributions from Fuji Film Manufacturing USA in Greenwood, and BMW Manufacturing Co. in Greer.

CALIFORNIA

From the Daily Press, Victorville:

The two campgrounds in the Mojave National Preserve were temporarily closed due to last weekend’s flash floods, but visitors to the area with high-clearance vehicles are free to camp roadside.

Black Canyon Road, the major access route to Mid Hills and Hole-in-the-Wall campgrounds, remains closed for its entire length, including both paved and dirt sections, according to a National Park Service news release.

Most other park roads, however, are now open following grades and repairs, park officials said.

While the two campgrounds are currently inaccessible to most traffic, park officials say visitors with appropriate vehicles should feel free to explore roadside campsites.

Roadside camping is allowed in areas that have been traditionally used for that purpose, according to the news release.

There are no picnic tables or toilets at these campsites and visitors must practice Leave No Trace camping methods, which includes packing out all trash and burying human waste, the news release states.

The campsites are located along dirt roads, so only those visitors who have high-clearance vehicles should consider this option.

“The monsoonal moisture that brought rains last weekend continues to influence local weather patterns,” the news release states. “Visitors should be aware of approaching storms and act accordingly.”

“Rangers advise campers not to set up in dry stream beds, as rain waters can turn them into gushing torrents. Additionally, motorists are advised not to cross flood waters on roadways.

 

Irene May Have Changed Flooding Along NH River

October 18, 2011 by · Comments Off on Irene May Have Changed Flooding Along NH River 

The fire chief in Conway, N.H., says weekend flooding at campgrounds near the Saco River may have been an after-effect of Irene.

Steve Solomon told WMWV-FM, Newton, Mass., some campers were evacuated Saturday (Oct. 15) from the Eastern Slope camping area off Route 16 and from a beach camping area behind the Conway Valley Inn. No one was hurt.

Solomon had said the river has changed because of Irene. He said after the storm passed in August, the river bed is now full of gravel and it has carved new courses around Conway that will change future flooding.

Storm Damage at Pa. State Parks at Least $3M-$4M

October 4, 2011 by · Comments Off on Storm Damage at Pa. State Parks at Least $3M-$4M 

A one-two punch from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee caused at least $3 million to $4 million in damages to public infrastructure at state parks and forests, with facilities in Northeast Pennsylvania being particularly hard hit, according to Richard Allan, secretary of the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

The Scranton Times-Tribune reported that Promised Land State Park in Pike County and Worlds End State Park in Sullivan County sustained significant damage to roads and bridges, said Ellen Ferretti, deputy DCNR secretary for parks and forests.

“It was like a one-two punch,” she added.

Damage assessments are continuing.

As part of the public disaster assistance under the presidential major disaster declaration, federal aid will cover 75% of the costs to fix park infrastructure, said Allan.

The damages occurred as DCNR emphasizes a “back to basics” approach in managing 125 dams, 126 wastewater plants, 3,000 miles of road, 798 bridges and 4,000 buildings in the state parks and forests, Allan told the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee.

During the flooding, about 50 DCNR employees assisted with state relief efforts on tasks ranging from manning water pumps to readying emergency shelter. The Bureau of Topographic and Geologic Survey provided aerial images to help officials determine the impact of flooding on the landscape.

Irene Cleanup in Northeast Tedious But Steady

September 6, 2011 by · Comments Off on Irene Cleanup in Northeast Tedious But Steady 

One week after tropical storm Irene plowed her way through Maine, Sebago Lake State Park looks a little different than it used to.

The park reopened on Friday (Sept. 2) after crews from across the state cleared a majority of fallen trees and debris in the campgrounds. But there’s still a lot of work to be done, WCSH-TV, Portland, reported.

Songo Beach still has wood chip piles down the water line and cut up tree trunks lying where shadows used to be cast. Andy Haskell, the park manager, says there is much more sunshine in the park than there used to be.

“This may not be quite as pretty as it was before the storm, but it was open,” Haskell said. “And actually, campers are helping out a lot too, because we didn’t get a chance to rake every site, so they’re raking and cleaning up sites and leaving it better than what they found it.”

State crews have worked for over 1,000 hours over the past week to clean up the park.

Meanwhile, on Thursday (Sept. 1), a closure order was issued for all of the Green Mountain National Forest (GMNF), vydigger.org reported.

This closure was put in place to protect the public from hazards associated with damage from the recent storm. The closure will allow Forest Service personnel to have time to assess forest roads, trails, bridges, facilities and campgrounds over the holiday weekend. The GMNF and surrounding communities received widespread damage to roads, bridges and other infrastructure on Aug. 28.

In an effort to get the forest re-opened as quickly as possible, GMNF Forest Supervisor, Colleen Madrid has ordered additional personnel and resources from other eastern states.

The Maine Forest Service Incident Management Team (IMT), under the command of Regional Forest Ranger, Bill Hamilton, arrived on Sept. 1 to assist with recovery operations. The IMT will be using their experience managing all-risk incidents to coordinate the storm damage assessments and evaluate the risk of injury to Forest Service employees and future visitors.

In addition to the IMT, two separate 20-person wildfire crews have arrived from Massachusetts and West Virginia. These crews will be working to clear roads and remove brush in the coming days and weeks. Additional Forest Service Law Enforcement Officers will also be on the ground to support public safety efforts.

Campers Make Best of Post-Irene Environment

September 6, 2011 by · Comments Off on Campers Make Best of Post-Irene Environment 

Click here to watch a video, courtesy of Your News Now, Albany, N.Y.

Cold showers, no phones, no lights – but for Christian Giraldo and his family, in six years of coming to So-Hi Campground near Accord, N.Y., this is the best yet.

“They’re always on their iPods and they don’t want to talk to them, but this time since they can’t charge it, we keep talking, we tell ghost stories, we roast marshmallows together,” Christian Giraldo, from Yonkers, told Your News Now, Albany.

Irene wrecked the campground with downed trees and flooding, but the worst is no phone service or electric, which Central Hudson expects to get working by today. That’s too late for hundreds of holiday cancellations.

“It’s fun here but I don’t like it without no power because when we go to sleep, like when I get up to go to the bathroom sometimes, I can’t see where I’m going, I crash into the walls,” said 10-year-old Raven Banks from Port Ewen.

“This is a business and we’re supposed to be busy and helping people and getting everybody into the camping mood and it’s empty,” said Jennifer Chun, daughter of the So-Hi Campground owner.

So-Hi Campground normally sells out all of its over 100 campsites for Labor Day weekend, but this year only ten are filled.

“This place should be jammed, bumper to bumper people, not enough parking spots, there’s nothing. People next door left, people over there left,” said Carolyn Debellis, who has been camping at So-Hi for 21 years.

The few that remain, are enjoying the stars, the quiet, and the last weekend before the start of school – the traditional way.

“People bring RVs and refrigerators, but this is like old school camping. We have tents and we have fire and food. That’s all we have, and family,” said Christian Giraldo.

Damaged Campground at Half Capacity Still Open

September 2, 2011 by · Comments Off on Damaged Campground at Half Capacity Still Open 

Click here to watch a video on the following story, courtesy of Your News Now, Albany, N.Y.

Chris Cove, owner of the Oakland Valley Campground near Cuddebackville, N.Y., takes a television reporter on a ride through her campground, damaged by last weekend’s Tropical Storm Irene.

“There’s tree damage here. As I go past you’ll see a crushed picnic table,” said Cove.

From her pickup truck, Cove surveys the damage to the campground she and her husband have owned for the past dozen years. Tropical Storm Irene did a number on their 53-acre property located in the southern part of the state where New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania meet.

“This is actually the best part of the campground down here on the river area. The trailers are fine,” said Cove.

Up ahead though, it’s a different story. The nearby Neversink River and its surging waters have completely washed out a road. In its place is now a bumpy trail of stones.

“We will not be allowing anybody down here at all,” said Cove.

This campsite will be open for business during Labor Day Weekend, the second biggest camping weekend of the entire summer, but only at about 50% of its capacity. Campers who had sites booked along the river for the weekend must now be moved.

“We are just reassigning their sleeping accommodations. They just can’t be on the sites they were originally assigned. But that’s as best as we can do for them, but they’re all very happy they are still able to come camping, and the campground was not closed,” said Cove.

Not closed, but not fully open either.

“It’ll take us the rest of the season and into next spring before we’re ready to open up the river area again. We’re not going to rush it. We’re just going to take our time,” said Cove.

DEC officials advise area campers and hikers to also take their time negotiating trails made unsafe by flooding, washout and fallen debris.

Abel Mountain Campground: ‘Everything’s Gone’

September 2, 2011 by · Comments Off on Abel Mountain Campground: ‘Everything’s Gone’ 

Vermont flood scenes courtesy of WCAX-TV

Paul Rae normally calls Abel Mountain Campground along the third branch of the White River near Braintree, Vt., his little piece of paradise. Now, it’s anything but. The campground was destroyed by floodwaters, WCAX-TV, South Burlington, reported.

“We’re done at this point. Everything’s gone,” he said. “That pavilion building here — that’s the roof over there.”

Fortunately, Rae prepared for the storm. He started evacuating the campground before the rains hit; 65 trailers, dozens of picnic tables and hundreds of people were moved to higher ground.

But all that remains now is a sandy beach. Bicycles, an old flag and a toppled camper litter the grounds. The pool — now a supersized puddle. A huge crater in the ground was actually once a road about 300 feet away from the river. Now, it’s a fish pond.

Fortunately, few private campgrounds suffered this kind of damage in Vermont. The same holds true for the state park system.

“The spring floods really had a much bigger effect,” said Craig Whipple of Vermont state parks.

Only one of the 38 parks, Camp Plymouth, was damaged. Although three others — Gifford Woods, Coolidge, and Silver Lake state parks — are closed.

“You can’t get there because the roads are washed out,” Whipple explained.

Vermont’s new reputation is worse than the actual damage. As word of the devastation spreads, park phones are ringing off the hook.

“We have had a lot of cancellations,” Whipple said.

But they are problems that pale in comparison to Paul Rae’s. Seven years of hard work is now washed away.

“It’s our livelihood. It’s everything,” he said.

A campground that was much more than just a campground.

Priceless memories and another life suddenly altered by a storm for the record books.

Campers with reservations at state parks that are closed this weekend have the option of rebooking their trip or getting a full refund.

Editor’s Note: The campground’s website has this message:

Our Campground was destroyed by the flooding on Sunday, Aug 28. We are closed for an undetermined amount of time. New Information will be posted here as we have it. Thanks to all for your support through this nightmare we are currently living.

Karen, Paul, Hannah & Sara

We have had many people asking how they can help….unfortunately, the devastation is beyond man-power. We are asking anyone that is willing to please contact our governor and/or legislators to express your concern for businesses devasted by the hurricane and urge them to provide assistance and/or encourage FEMA to step in. We will not survive without assistance financially.

More Stories from Maryland and Hurricane Irene

August 31, 2011 by · Comments Off on More Stories from Maryland and Hurricane Irene 

Editor’s Note: Here are two more stories from campground owners from Maryland, which was hit by Hurricane Irene over the weekend. Both are members of the Maryland Association of Campgrounds.

From Russ & Jill Yates, Owners, Holiday Park in Greensboro, Md. (eastern shore):

Hurricane Irene packed a huge punch. We have numerous trees down. The river came up 3-6 feet and flooded half of the campground. Many rigs were damaged. Picnic tables and decking, along with a lot of campers personal items, are everywhere. There’s a possiblity of electric problems (now and/or in the future) — the transformers and meters were under water. Tons of sand has been displaced. Some of the roads were cut up pretty badly. In general, Irene made a BIG mess of things. The good news is everyone is safe, we survived and are still open for business (in the part of the campground not affected). I just hope the crew stays safe with all the cleanup that’s still left to do.

From Brian Goddard, Manager, Capitol KOA Campground in Millersville, Md. (western shore, near Annapolis):

Brian called in to let me know that his power went out around 8 a.m. on Sunday, and as of 1 p.m. on Tuesday, was not back on. When reports of Irene anticipated track was announced, they lost most of their campers to the far Western shore campgrounds When the Ocean City campgrounds were evacuated, those folks came to him. He was full Friday and Saturday nights, but once the power went out Sunday, many people left. For those who stayed, he charged tent camping fees!

Connecticut Reopening Parks in Irene’s Wake

August 31, 2011 by · Comments Off on Connecticut Reopening Parks in Irene’s Wake 

After safety inspections and cleanups in Irene’s wake, the state of Connecticut has started reopening its parks and campgrounds, but all state swimming areas remain closed as a precaution, said Dwayne Gardner, spokesman for the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP).

Campgrounds that have opened include the Austin Hawes Campground in Barkhamsted and those at Housatonic Meadows State Park in Cornwall and Sharon, Macedonia Brook State Park in Kent, Black Rock State Park in Thomaston and Lake Waramaug State Park in Kent, the Hartford Courant reported.

Twenty-three state parks also have reopened, including Dinosaur State Park in Rocky Hill, Hammonasset Beach State Park in Madison, Fort Trumbull State Park in New London and Bigelow Hollow State Park in Union.

Many state parks remained closed because of lack of power, DEEP Commissioner Daniel C. Esty said.

Gardner said the DEEP is concerned about water quality and high water levels at state beaches following the storm.

“Although we recognize that residents and visitors are anxious to return to our state recreation areas, our number one priority remains the safety of those enjoying state parks, beaches and campgrounds,” Esty said. “DEEP staff are working diligently to inspect of all our properties and do the work necessary to reopen them to visitors.”

Parks and campgrounds will continue to reopen on a case-by-case basis, the DEEP said.

Irene’s Floodwaters Close 16 New Hampshire Campgrounds

August 31, 2011 by · Comments Off on Irene’s Floodwaters Close 16 New Hampshire Campgrounds 

Click here to watch a sometimes choppy video courtesy of the New England Cable News about the following story.

Sixteen of the 23 campgrounds in the White Mountain National Forest are closed in the aftermath of Irene.

The rush of water that came through the Campton Group Campground near Lincoln, N.H., has left the popular spot nearly unrecognizable and unusable, New England Cable News reported.

“It’s a group camp,” says Pemigewasset District Ranger Molly Fuller. “Families come here, large families can camp here and they’re going to have to change their plans.”

State and private recreation areas are affected too – not just because of damage to the sites but because of damage to the roads that lead to them. Route 49 from Campton to Waterville Valley, Route 302 in Bartlett, and the Kancamaugs highway are all in shambles. The bridge into Loon Mountain Resort is damaged just weeks ahead of the Highland Games which attract tens of thousands of visitors.

“It’s actually not the worst time,” says Loon’s Molly Mahar. “It could be right before ski season, so we’re assessing things now and we’ll take it one day at a time.”

It might be the worst time for the forest service, which is scrambling to cancel reservations for the upcoming Labor Day weekend and still hoping people will keep their plans to come to the region.

“We do encourage a lot of caution and even waiting until the weekend to come and recreate,” says the Forest Service’s Tiffany Banna.

“The rocks were slippery and there were really high water levels. There’s a couple of trees across the way,” says Crystal Chocherk who’s ahead of the holiday crowd. Even though the hiking trails are tough and the scenic roads are blocked, she’d tell other vacationers “to come… it’s fun.”

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