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Latest Briefs from RV Parks & Campgrounds

April 9, 2013 by · Comments Off on Latest Briefs from RV Parks & Campgrounds 

WASHINGTON

From KPTV-TV, Portland, Ore.:

A man is on the run after investigators said he stabbed a man with a sword.

It happened at the River City Trailer and RV Park in Longview the night of April 4.

Investigators said two men were arguing over the sword, when Kevin Mathis punched the victim in the face and took off with it.

Officers said the victim followed Mathis outside, where they said Mathis stabbed him multiple times with the sword then ran off.

The victim was taken to a nearby hospital to be treated for his wounds.

Police have not been able to find Mathis.

OHIO

From The Associated Press:

The state is offering campers a free night’s stay at Ohio’s state parks for one day this month. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources says visitors can camp for free at 54 campgrounds on April 18. The agency’s director says the free stay gives people a chance to explore new parts of the state and discover Ohio’s parks.

MAINE

From WMTW-TV, Portland:

Maine state parks officials are offering their First Time Campers raffle again this year as the camping season draws closer.

Forty-four Maine entrants will be randomly chosen to win a free weekend of camping this summer at one of 11 state park campgrounds. This raffle is open only to Maine families and individuals who have never before gone camping. Each winner will get the free use of camping equipment and be supported by park staff.

This year, one of those winners also will be the grand-prize recipient of a $1,000 gift certificate from the program’s major sponsor, L.L.Bean.

Raffle applications are available on line and at Maine State Parks. They will be accepted from Monday to May 31. The random drawing will be held on Tuesday, June 4.

MONTANA

From The Billings Gazette:

With the big-boy RVs stretching nearly 50 feet, many pulling trailers full of toys, turning and parking in campgrounds can be a problem.

People no longer back into campsites, they want drive-throughs. That change and the demand for more modern amenities helped create more work for Doug Mulvaney at Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA).

“Probably the biggest challenge in the industry in the last 15 to 20 years is addressing the size of the RVs being manufactured,” said Mulvaney, KOA’s manager of facilities development.

While working for the former Montana Power Co., Mulvaney handled underground electrical utilities. He uses that experience to help modernize some of KOA’s 550 campgrounds, many designed decades ago.

“The biggest thing I do, year in and out, is upgrading electric service, usually to 50 amps,” he said.

Campground owners also must respond to RV manufacturers moving the location of utility hookups on the RV. They may have to offer plug-ins on both sides or install front and back sewer hookups, Mulvaney said.

Redesigning curves to allow a wider turning radius for the big rigs and consolidating and angling camp sites for drive-through access are his other duties.

“There are several campground layouts where you kind of look at it and scratch your head,” Mulvaney said.

GEORGIA

From accessnorthga.com, Gainesville:

In a move to keep recreation operations within budget, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Friday (April 5) announced that four camping areas on Lake Lanier will lose some operating hours for the upcoming season.

The affected campgrounds are Bolding Mill, Van Pugh South, Duckett Mill and Sawnee, according to the corps. Those sites will be open from 12:00 p.m. Thursdays through 3:00 p.m. on Sundays beginning next week.

Corps officials said the extended holiday weekends, Memorial and Labor days, are the exceptions.

The cost cutting move also includes some service reduction at several Lanier facilities for things such as mowing, gate attendant hours and trash pick-up.

“These reductions are not related to sequestration but are required due to flat budgets and increased costs,” E. Patrick Robbins, spokesman for the corps’ Mobile district said.

The Bald Ridge and Old Federal campground open April 10. They’ll take reservations throughout the week as usual, according to the corps.

MICHIGAN

From National Parks Traveler:

Visitors to Isle Royale National Park now can have a roof over their heads while staying at the Windigo end of the island in Lake Superior.

“We call them the Windago ‘camper cabins,’ and they’re really cool,” said Kim Alexander, general manager of Isle Royale Resorts, the park’s lodging concessioner.

Isle Royale draws a lot of backpackers to explore its wilderness, and outside of the Rock Harbor Lodge there really hadn’t been any place to get in out of the rain until these cabins were made available last year.

Armed with designs based on the Michigan camper cabins, park crews built two “camper cabins” with materials ferried out to the island. Not elaborate, the cabins, which rent for $50 a night, offer bunk beds and futons that combined can handle six people, said Alexander.

While the cabins are wired with electricity, there’s no plumbing; outside there’s an outhouse and a spigot for water. They also come with a small porch with chairs, a picnic table and a propane-fired BBQ grill.

Click here to read the entire story.

From MLive:

The newest way to camp at Muskegon State Park is in a cross between a tent and a teepee.

MLive reports ( http://bit.ly/11niyv0 ) that a yurt was built in January in the woods near the Winter Sports Complex. Park ranger Josh Fogel says yurts can be set up and taken down in a matter of hours. The one he helped build at the park will be a permanent structure rented by campers who want a different experience.

Fogel describes it as “a glorified tent,” with wood stove heat. Campers supply their own bedding, food and cookware.

Renting the yurt costs $60 a night with an $8 reservation fee.

FLORIDA

From The Palm Beach Post:

The endangered Florida panther and so-called controlled burns, which decrease the threat of wildfires to homes and wildlife, could be the biggest losers from federal budget cuts hitting national parks and preserves in South Florida, rangers and environmentalists say.

“Fire is the most important things for all the wildlife and the landscapes in South Florida,” said Brad Cornell, policy associate for the Collier County Audubon Society.

He said that a cutback in prescribed burning, a tool frequently used in parks and wildlife preserves to burn up underbrush, could threaten homes near parks and hurt wildlife whose habitat is not renewed regularly.

Click here to read the entire story.

 

 

 

 

 

Latest Briefs from RV Parks & Campgrounds

April 4, 2013 by · Comments Off on Latest Briefs from RV Parks & Campgrounds 

FLORIDA

From a news release:

The Fourth Annual Murbles Fest will be April 7 at Bay View Park in Pensacola, Fla.

Murray Kramer, founder and president of Kramer Kreations and creator of the Murbles game, announced that the tournament is limited to 32 players and registration will begin at noon with competition starting at 1 p.m. The entry fee is $10.

The event is BYOB (Bring Your Own Balls).

All contestants will receive a limited edition “MURBLE MAN” T-shirt and a cool bumper sticker. Trophies will be given to the first-, second- and third-place finishers.

For more information contact Kramer at (850) 458-5858.

MANITOBA

From CTV News:

It was a record-breaking opening day for campground bookings in provincial parks Monday.

Thousands of campsites were booked through the Manitoba Parks Reservation Service website since opening at 7:30 a.m. April 1.

By 2 p.m. Monday, more than 16,000 reservations had been made, an increase of 18% over the same time last year, said the province.

Most campgrounds will open on May 10. Northern campgrounds and lakeside campgrounds will open May 17, weather permitting.

Last year was a record-breaker for campground reservations as well. Provincial parks saw five million visitors in 2012, and a record 67,500 reservations were made, an increase of 5% over 2011.

INDIANA

From a news release:

The Crean Foundation recently contributed $60,000 toward the RV/MH Hall of Fame’s “Burn the Bank Note” Challenge. The donation was ear-marked to honor the memory of Fleetwood Enterprises founder John C. Crean.

According to Hall President Darryl Searer, the goal of the “Burn the Bank Note” challenge is to raise $150,000 in voluntary contributions by April 30 in order to qualify for the Robert “Boots” Ingram family’s $50,000 challenge grant that would pay off the Hall’s bank note to 1st Source Bank.

The Crean Foundation’s donation – along with other contributions – brings the total raised in excess of $120,000, leaving just under $30,000 to be raised before the April 30 deadline.

Other recent contributions include a $10,000 donation by Lyle D. & Nellie R. Reed Charitable Foundation to honor the memory of Clarence Fore, founder of Foretravel; $2,000 by Ace Fogdall RV to honor the memory of its founders Ace & Florence Fogdall; $1,000 by Michael A Schneider, MAS Associates; and numerous other contribution of less than $1,000.

Gifts may be made by mail, in person at the Hall, by phone at 800-378-8694, or through the Hall’s secure website, a www.rvmhhalloffame.org.

NORTH CAROLINA

From BlueRidgeNow.com:

The U.S. Forest Service National Forests in North Carolina announced Monday that numerous campgrounds and recreation sites in the Nantahala and Pisgah national forests are now open for the 2013 season.

MAINE

From The Associated Press:

Maine state parks officials are starting to accept applications for a raffle for first-time campers.

Forty-four Maine entrants will be randomly chosen to win a free weekend of camping this summer at one of eleven state park campgrounds. The raffle is open only to Maine families and individuals who have never before gone camping. Each winner will get the free use of camping equipment and be supported by park staff.

This year, one of those winners also will be the grand-prize recipient of a $1,000 gift certificate from the program’s major sponsor, L.L.Bean.

Raffle applications are available on line and at Maine state parks. They will be accepted until May 31. The random drawing will be held on June 4.

From the St. John Valley Times:

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced Tuesday (April 2) that the winner of its annual Jeffrey Butland Award for 2013 is the Derosier family, owners of Lakeview Restaurant & Camping Resort near St. Agatha.

Lakeview Restaurant & Camping Resort was founded in the early 1980s by the late Carol and Richard Derosier as a small diner, which has since been expanded into a 275-seat restaurant with a staff of 50. In 1995 the Derosier family expanded the business to include a 75-site campground, allowing them to further diversify their business.

Carol lost her battle with cancer on Monday; Dick passed away on Feb. 18, 2012.

Currently, Jennifer Derosier Daigle, Carol and Dick’s daughter, and her husband Jason own and manage the restaurant and campground. The company received technical assistance from the SBA-funded Small Business Development Center at Northern Maine Development Commission, which nominated the family for this award.

The Derosier family will receive this award for the state of Maine and the New England Regional Award. The family will be honored at a luncheon on June 4 at the Spectacular Event Center in Bangor.

OKLAHOMA

From KRMG Radio, Tulsa:

The effects of sequestration are beginning to be felt in Oklahoma this time; it’s outdoor recreation that will feel the pinch.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Tulsa District has delayed the official season opening of Corps-operated recreation areas along the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System until at least May.

KRMG news visited with Col. Mike Teague from the Tulsa Corp of engineers Tulsa office., who laid out plans for the parks and other areas affected.

Click here to read the entire story.

BRITISH COLUMBIA

From Radio 1130, Vancouver:

The deadline is here, but the Manning Park Resort is still without a buyer. That means apart from the campgrounds and trails, all of Manning Park’s operations will be closed until further notice.

The Bowra Group took over Manning when it went into receivership, but says the resort is no longer a moneymaker.

The advisory group is still hopeful someone will purchase the 40-year-old resort, which would allow it to re-open.

It looks like 15 full time employees will lose their jobs.

CALIFORNIA

From KPBS Radio, Sacramento:

A bill intended to prevent a repeat of last year’s California state parks scandal has passed an Assembly committee.

The measure would require department heads at state agencies to sign financial reports under penalty of perjury. It would also require that those reports be posted on agency websites within five days.

Republican Assembly Member Beth Gaines said her bill would ensure that abuses of government funds aren’t hidden or overlooked in the future.

“These actions will provide oversight and help regain the public’s trust that their money is used for its intended purposes,” Gaines said.

Some Democrats raised concerns about the bill’s provision to suspend agency heads without pay if financial reports under their responsibility aren’t submitted within 30 days.

The measure passed on a 7-2 vote, with two Democrats dissenting and two others abstaining. The bill faces a second committee hearing before reaching the Assembly floor.

 

 

 

Maine Parks to Tap Timber as Revenue Stream

April 1, 2013 by · Comments Off on Maine Parks to Tap Timber as Revenue Stream 

A proposed change in state law would allow logging in Maine state parks and historic sites, with the money from timber sales going back into the state park system, The Free Press, Rockland, reported.

A public hearing on the proposed change, which is part of the governor’s proposed budget for the next two years, was held on March 26, in Augusta.

Almost 3 million people visit Maine state parks and historic sites a year, spending millions to do so, but most of the 48 Maine state parks and historic sites have been chronically underfunded for years. Other New England states face similar problems and some, like New Hampshire, expanded private business ventures within state parks to increase revenue.

Maintenance and rebuilding of Maine state park roads, camping facilities and buildings has been put off for so long, in some cases, that park managers have learned to be creative to get things done. Some have tapped into volunteer labor and sought donated materials to reconstruct park facilities.

Park Manager Bill Elliot of Camden Hills State Park is one of them. Elliot reconstructed a backcountry overnight camping lodge in the heart of the popular park using pocket change and donated lumber. To keep costs down, he milled some lumber from state park trees.

There is nothing new about that. Maine state law authorizes cutting trees from state parks and historic sites for a variety of reasons: to provide lumber for in-park use, reduce insect infestation, reduce fire risk, improve wildlife habitat, create more recreational opportunities and improve the scenery. Some parks provide firewood to campers that comes from culled trees.

A change in that approach began earlier this decade when a handful of Maine state parks were designated to manage their lands for timber, as well as recreation. The goal was to demonstrate responsible forest management to the public while making some money to put back into the parks to improve them for their primary use: recreation.

The new proposal goes beyond educational forestry. If approved, it would allow timber harvests on state parks and historic sites with the primary goal to make money for the park system. To do so, state parks and historic sites would have to develop a forestry plan that includess managing for recreation and wildlife as well as timber. The forestry plan would be overseen by a state forester and open to a public comment period. That kind of oversight would be new for many state parks, where decisions have traditionally been left up to park managers.

Opponents to the proposed change, including the Maine Audubon Society and the Natural Resources Council of Maine, testified at the public hearing, saying the shift in priorities from nature-based recreation to resource extraction was unnecessary and at odds with why people go to state parks. Opponents noted that 550,000 acres of state-owned lands known as Maine Public Lands are already managed for timber harvests and the state parks and historic sites – about 80,000 acres – should remain primarily as nature reserves.

 

The Latest RV Park and Campground Briefs

January 30, 2013 by · Comments Off on The Latest RV Park and Campground Briefs 

2013 Connecticut campground guide cover.

CONNECTICUT

From the Connecticut Campground Owners Association:

The 2013 Connecticut Camping Guide has been published.

For a copy of the guide, call (860) 521-4704, visit www.campconn.com or e-mail info@campconn.com.

NEVADA

From The Las Vegas Sun:

Reno Assemblyman David Bobzien says state parks will need investment from the Nevada Legislature during the upcoming session because there’s no precedent to suggest parks can be self-sustaining.

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources outlined its budget plan for state parks Tuesday (Jan. 29) during a hearing before legislative money committees. About a third of the total $24 million budget proposal comes from the state general fund.

The budget submitted by Gov. Brian Sandoval calls for $7,000 to restore a State Parks Training Academy centered on staff training in customer service and teamwork. Additional items include restoration of a maintenance position in southern Nevada, a push for expanding sales outlets and exploring sponsorship arrangements.

NEW JERSEY

From a news release:

The governor’s office announced Friday (Jan. 25)  that Island Beach State Park, one of the most popular destinations in the New Jersey State Park System, is now partially reopened for walking, sport fishing and four-wheel driving after cleanup from damages caused by Superstorm Sandy.

Public access to Island Beach State Park is now possible with the recent reopening of Route 35 in Seaside Park. Entry to the park during this initial reopening phase is free.

Island Beach State Park sustained considerable damage when Sandy hit New Jersey on Oct. 29. In addition to the loss of electric and gas utilities, dunes were breached at certain beach access paths along the nearly 10-mile length of the park, leaving piles of sand as tall as seven feet high along portions of Shore Road, the main artery through the park.

MAINE

From seacoastonline.com:

Maine’s state park reservation system for the 2013 camping season opens this week.

On Friday (Feb. 1), the Division of Parks and Public Lands will accept reservations only for Sebago Lake State Park, and only for a minimum of four nights.

Then on Feb. 4, the reservations system opens at 9 a.m. for all state park campgrounds.

Parks and Public Lands Director Will Harris said the Sebago Lake Campground is one of the most popular in the state, and campers tend to stay there longer than at other state parks.

Campers have four ways to make reservations: Online at www.CampWithMe.com; by calling in-state at (800) 332-1501; by mailing reservations or by making them in person in Augusta.

INDIANA

From National Parks Traveler:

Is a reliable water source at the Dunewood Campground in Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore worth $3 a night to you? If so, then you probably won’t mind the lakeshore’s proposed increase in camping fees at the campground.

The proposed fee increase is intended to offset the cost of a municipal waterline that was installed in 2012 and which goes into service this year. The municipal water will improve the quality and reliability of the water supply compared to the previous well system and increases the capacity of hydrants to provide fire protection, according to a lakeshore release. The increased camping fee will cover the costs of paying the water company for the water used by the campground.

The proposed $3 increase will boost the cost of a campsite to $18 per night at the Dunewood Campground. Even with this increase, the cost is below the range of $19 – $29.50 charged at comparable campgrounds in Indiana, Michigan and Illinois, the release said.

The National Park Service is also seeking authority to charge a new fee of $10 per person for the annual Century of Progress Historic Homes tour and for other historic homes tours as may be offered. The Century of Progress tour is exceptionally popular with all 800 available tour slots being reserved within days of the announcement each year.

While partner groups, Indiana Landmarks and the Dunes National Park Association, have assisted with these tours by collecting fees for a shuttle service, the park has not been able to recover the other costs associated with this special event. The fee is comparable or lower than other historic properties that have similar limited public access.

 

Maine Sets Record for State Park Pass Sales

December 17, 2012 by · Comments Off on Maine Sets Record for State Park Pass Sales 

Maine’s state parks division says it sold more park passes in 2012 than any year in the history of the 77-year-old state park system.

For the year, the Division of Parks and Public Lands says it sold 10,763 vehicle passes and 1,354 individual passes good for day use at most of the state’s parks and historical sites, WMTW-TV, Auburn, reported.

Officials say 2013 park passes are now available for purchase online. They cost $35 for an individual pass, which allows access only to the pass holder, or $70 for a vehicle pass, which allows entry to the parks for all p

 

Maine State Park Campgrounds See 7% Hike

October 15, 2012 by · Comments Off on Maine State Park Campgrounds See 7% Hike 

This year Maine’s 12 state park   campgrounds saw a 7% increase in  camping visitors, from 219,019 to 234,843, even while overall park attendance rose just 3.9% (from 2,238,120 to 2,326,159).

After reaching a 20-year high mark in 2002 with 249,500 campers at state parks, attendance dropped below 230,000 for seven years, the Portland Press Herald reported.

Then in 2010 during the 75th anniversary celebration of the Maine state park system, the remote and sometimes wild state parks drew campers back, and 244,000 filled tent sites and RV spots from Freeport to Dover-Foxcroft.

And after a drop last year to 219,019, attendance soared again this year, with 234,843 roughing it in the woods.

Certainly the recent upsurge in camping visitors could be due to the sensational dry and sunny summer. But state officials think it could be something more.

“Camping is such a bargain during difficult economic times. It’s a combination of gas prices and extraordinary rates. Where else can you pay $15 to $20 a night to camp beside the ocean?” said Jeanne Curran, spokeswoman at the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry.

Add to that Maine’s state parks have gotten some serious TLC of late by way of a $2.7 million bond in 2007 and a $500,000 bond in 2010 that led to far-reaching upgrades, including the construction of 10 new restrooms and bath houses, and eight new playgrounds. And Curran said the ethic at state parks has changed in recent years.

“We have made a real effort to make them year-round with fall activities and winter activities. Camping is May through September but we have events all year long,” she said.

 

MECOA Partners with Maine State Parks

June 2, 2011 by · Comments Off on MECOA Partners with Maine State Parks 

From June 1 to 25, campers who stay at any Maine campground that is a member of the Maine Campgrounds Owners Association (MECOA) will be able to visit any Maine state park or historic site for day-use at no cost, Camden’s Herald Gazette reported.

The special promotion is being offered by the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands (BPL), under the Maine Department of Conservation, and MECOA in recognition of the proclamation made by Gov. Paul LePage that June is “Great Outdoors Month,” according to BPL officials.

“We are pleased to partner with other campground owners to provide more opportunities for outdoors recreation at our state parks,” Will Harris, BPL director, said. “This should be good for both of our organizations, but most importantly, it’s good for the recreating public.”

Earlier this spring, Gov. LePage proclaimed June 2011 as “Great Outdoors Month,” which will be highlighted by National Get Outdoors Day on Saturday, June 11. The month is designated to recognize the opportunities for American families to experience traditional and non-traditional types of outdoor activities and to encourage healthy, active outdoor fun.

BPL is a member of MECOA, which represents about 200 campgrounds, including the 12 Maine state park campgrounds, around Maine.

For the first four weeks of the month, campers at any of the MECOA campgrounds will be able to get a “Great Outdoors Month State Park Visitor Pass” that will give them a free, day-use visit to any of Maine’s 48 state parks and historic sites.

“All they need to do is present the pass at the park or historic site’s visitor booth for free admission, and they will get to enjoy some of the best that Maine has to offer,” Harris said. “That means ocean-front and lakeside beaches, fascinating historic locales, and beautiful, scenic places great for picnicking, hiking, swimming — all kinds of fun.”

The pass is valid only when signed by a MECOA member campground agent. It is for use by one vehicle and its occupants during a stay at a MECOA member campground from June 1-25.

This benefit also pertains to all campers at Maine’s 12 state campgrounds, Harris said. Anyone camping at a Maine state park campground during the same period is eligible to visit another state park or historic site, day-use facility at no additional cost during the dates they are camping. State campground campers must show their camping permit or rear view mirror hang tag to the park staff at the day-use facility as verification of their eligibility to have the day use fee waived.

Maine State Parks Renew 1st-Time Campers Program

April 19, 2011 by · Comments Off on Maine State Parks Renew 1st-Time Campers Program 

In anticipation of this year’s camping season, the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands (BPL), under the Maine Department of Conservation, again is offering its First-Time Campers raffle program to Maine residents who want to try their hand at camping, the Village Soup Belfast reported.

Now in its fourth year, the First-Time Campers program will randomly select 44 Maine families to win a free weekend of camping this summer at one of 11 Maine state park campgrounds. The raffle is open only to Maine families who have never before gone camping. Each selected family will get the free use of camping equipment, receive gifts from sponsors and be supported throughout the weekend by park staff.

This year, the number of selected families has been increased, according to BPL officials. One of those families also will be the grand-prize recipient of a $1,000 gift certificate from the program’s major sponsor, L.L.Bean.

“In our fourth year, we are really pleased with the response Mainers have given this program,” Will Harris, BPL director, said. “We’re glad we can expand it. This program exemplifies the best of what Maine has to offer its citizens for recreation. We hope they take advantage of it for years to come, because it teaches them how to have fun outdoors.”

“We really want to get people out to enjoy Maine’s parks, so they get to experience what the state of Maine has to offer,” said Park Manager Andy Haskell of Sebago Lake State Park, who this year is organizing the BPL program. “We really want people to leave the technology, computers, and TVs behind and get out and enjoy nature. There’s so much benefit to camping. It’s about making family memories, and it’s also good for the soul.”

The program, part of BPL’s “Take It Outside” initiative, is designed to encourage Maine families to experience the fun and rewards of summer camping at Maine state park campgrounds. This year, the program is sponsored by L.L.Bean, Kittery Trading Post, Coleman, Hannaford, Oakhurst Dairy, Wicked Joe Coffee and Poland Springs.

Each year since its inception in 2008, the program has grown not only in the number of families who enter the raffle, but also, fortunately, in the number of lucky families who are selected for the free weekend of camping at a state park campground of their choice. Haskell pointed out the number of selected families has increased from 32 in 2008 to 44 for this year.

“This is such a popular program,” Haskell said. “I’m really glad we can expand it to as many people as possible.”

The park manager said the First-Time Camper program clearly is successful, as many of the families later make reservations at the state park campgrounds. They also become familiar with the state parks and return for day use.

Haskell said he has worked each of the past four years with First-Time Camper families, and “they very much appreciate the help and guidance we provide.”

“The families are helped, and they come to see that they can do this,” he said, about the camping experience. “They know we are there to help them and to give them confidence to do it themselves.”

One family last year made return reservations within a month after their First-Time Campers weekend, Haskell said. He also recalled a single mom and her son who won a weekend of camping.

“Without this program, she never would have tried this, and she discovered that campers help each other,” Haskell said. “They met other campers who also helped them out. The program made it so she said, ‘I will do this again.’ ”

Raffle applications are available online and at Maine state parks. They will be accepted from April 1 through May 31. The recipient families will be chosen in a random drawing on June 3, with the families notified the week of June 6. There will be four weekends of camping from which the lucky winners can choose, from July 15-16 to Aug. 5-6.

The state park campgrounds include: Bradbury Mountain, Pownal; Rangeley Lake, Rangeley; Aroostook, Presque Isle; Camden Hills, Camden; Sebago Lake, Naples; Mt. Blue, Weld; Cobscook Bay, Edmunds Township; Lamoine, Ellsworth; Peaks-Kenny, Dover-Foxcroft; Lily Bay, Beaver Cove; and Lake St. George, Liberty

Each family will receive camping equipment they can use for the weekend, plus four sleeping bags which they can keep. They also receive gift certificates and food items for the weekend from program sponsors.

Activities and programs will be held at each participating state park campground, Haskell said. Park staff help the families set up camp and learn basic camping techniques. “We also make a point of checking on the First-Time Campers and offer help throughout the weekend,” the park manager said.

“There’s no question we intend it to be a life-changing experience for our First-Time Campers,” Haskell said. “It gives them another avenue so when they’re thinking about outdoor recreation, they know they can go camping.”

For more information about the First-Time Campers program or to get an application, call Andy Haskell, park manager, Sebago Lake State Park, at: (207) 693-6231 or go online to take-it-outside.com.

For more information about Maine state parks and historic sites, go online at parksandlands.com.

Camping Up 1% in ’09 at Maine’s 12 State Parks

January 7, 2010 by · Comments Off on Camping Up 1% in ’09 at Maine’s 12 State Parks 

75thLogoMaine officials are saying 2009 was an up year for attendance at the state’s parks despite the poor economy and last summer’s rainy weather, according to the Nashua (N.H.) Telegraph.

According to the Bureau of Parks and Lands, the number of visits to state parks increased nearly 8% from 2008.

The occupancy rate at the state’s 12 state campgrounds was up by 1%, while day use visits showed an increase of 8.3%.

In all, there were more than 2.3 million visits to the state’s 47 state parks and historic sites.

Maine ste parks celebrate their 75th anniversary this year.

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