Dows Trekking & Camping along Highway #191

August 8, 2013 by · Comments Off on Dows Trekking & Camping along Highway #191 

Fred and Suzi Dow, authors and publishers of, have devoted nearly 20 years to visiting, personally researching and providing the public with free, detailed information about 175 national forests and grasslands and more than 2,400 personally surveyed campgrounds. (Photo/Suzi Dow)

An Arizona couple who have toured and documented almost every national forest campground in the nation recently passed through the Moab, Utah, area on yet another of their working vacations.

“It’s a tough life,” joked Suzi Dow after spending a day surveying campgrounds on the La Sal Mountain range, where they spotted, among other things, a cowgirl on horseback moving a herd of cattle. Dow and her husband Fred live in Bisbee, Ariz., but have spent a significant amount of time on the road since they first began the project 19 years ago.

As the Moab Times-Independent reported, back in 1994, during a visit to Virginia, the Dows had trouble finding any information online about the Jefferson National Forest campground where they ended up staying. That experience prompted them to develop a website that would provide detailed and comprehensive information on all of the country’s National Forest campgrounds, Suzi Dow said. Their website,, created with the blessing of the U.S. Forest Service, is now filled with hundreds of reviews and thousands of photographs.

Suzi Dow noted that she and Fred reached their goal a couple of years ago of visiting every one of the 155 national forests and 20 national grasslands in the country, along with virtually every campground located therein (more than 2,400 in all). She said they are now in the process of revisiting some of the sites in order to update the information on their website. They also regularly receive tips from fellow campers regarding updates and corrections, she said.

The Dows’ current trip, which they bill as “the road less traveled,” is to follow the nearly 1,600-mile route of U.S. 191 from southern Arizona all the way up to the Canadian border. Along the way, they’ll pass through Arizona, Utah, Wyoming, and Montana. The trip, which started in mid-July, will take them through six national forests, four national monuments, three national parks and six state parks, Suzi Dow said, adding that when side trips are taken into account, this summer’s adventure will cover more than 2,000 miles.

Suzi Dow said they chose the U.S. 191 route at the suggestion of a reader.

U.S. Highway 191 stretches from the Mexican border to Canada. Map courtesy of Wikipedia.

“This is not a major commercial roadway but a route of two lanes better suited to motorcycle traffic than big 18-wheel trucks,” Suzi Dow said. “There are few roads that can claim a traveler will be able to experience vast stretches of open landscape one day and climb mountains that catch clouds the next.”

Fred Dow said the scenic qualities along U.S. 191 might surprise travelers.

“There are places where wind and rain have carved unbelievable formations and people have lived among those structures since before Columbus reached the New World’s shores,” he said. “Highway 191 is a humble road (that) no one thinks is worthy of a Scenic Byway designation. It is often overlooked by travelers, but we think it has so many possibilities.”

The Dows spent five days in Moab in late July, staying in their 31-foot motorhome in a local RV park in town at night, then traveling to various target campgrounds during the daytime and documenting them.

Click here to read the entire article.

Montana Campgrounds Fighting Pine Beetle

June 19, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

Aerial view showing the heavily wooded areas in and around the campgrounds on Lake Como in the Bitterroot National Forest in Montana where the U.S. Forest Service is spraying to fend off mountain pine beetles. Photo courtesy of Google Earth

Click here to watch a video on the following story courtesy of KEPI-TV, Missoula, Mont.

The U.S. Forest Service is spraying mature pine trees with insecticide at Lake Como campgrounds on the Bitterroot National Forest, north of Darby, Mont. It’s an effort to prevent mountain pine beetles kills.

The service sprayed Carbaryl on these same trees two years ago, and they remain healthy. The chemical is almost 100% effective. But it wears off after a couple years.

About 1,200 trees at Como and 600 in other campgrounds are getting a second dos

Spray crews aim their spray nozzles as high as they can, and brush all the way down till the trunk is soaked.

Lodgepole and ponderosa pines are a mountain pine beetles favorite food.

Individual trees have already been selected and marked.

“These trees are 100 to 300 years old,” said forester Corinne Anderson. “They’re giant ponderosa pines.”

The beetles should be flying in a couple weeks, so the trees need to be sprayed before July 1.

If the beetles boar into a tree that’s been treated, they will ingest the Carbaryl and die.

Workers move quickly. They hope to get all 1,200 trees sprayed in two days. It’s a workout.

“It keeps the blood flowing and keeps the bugs off the trees,” said sprayer Garret Smith.

The region’s most popular recreation area is also a hot spot for pine beetles. Many trees on the ridge overlooking Lake Como have already been hit, and won’t survive.

Carbaryl is a common insecticide used in forests, range ground, commercial agriculture and home gardens.

This spray project costs $25,000.

“In addition to the Carbaryl we use a pheromone patch too,” said Forest Service planning officer Jerry Krueger. It tells the beetle to go away, there’s no vacancy in this tree.

There’s a third approach to managing the rec area. The Forest Service is thinning trees too.

“If you walk down the middle of this forest it’s just majestic,” said Anderson.

But critics said chemical sprays are never healthy, and pine beetles are ancient Montana natives just doing a job.

Silviculturist Jerry Krueger said that is true. “They’re part of the natural function of the forest ecology,” he said.

The beetles are cyclical. They may be at their peak in the Bitterroot. “Which is why we’re trying to be very diligent in taking care of these special places like Lake Como,” said Krueger.

Over the next two years, the Forest Service will monitor these trees to see how well they weather the beetle infestation.

Latest Briefs for RV Parks and Campgrounds

May 31, 2013 by · Comments Off on Latest Briefs for RV Parks and Campgrounds 


From the Statesman Journal, Salem:

The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department is celebrating State Parks Day on June 1 with free tent, RV and horse campsites and free day-use parking at state parks throughout Oregon.

State Parks Day is held on the first Saturday in June each year. It was established in 1998 by a joint resolution of the Oregon State Legislative Assembly.

“It’s a great way to thank Oregonians and visitors for their support of our state parks,” said OPRD Director Tim Wood. “A day of free parking and a night of free camping gives everyone a chance to enjoy the experience of being outdoors during the summer.”

From the Register-Guard, Eugene:

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Eugene district campgrounds are now open for extended weekends — but only for weekends — because of decreased staffing tied to projected federal budget cuts known as sequestration.

The campgrounds at Clay Creek, Whittaker Creek, Shotgun Creek and Sharps Creek will be open from 9 a.m. Friday to 2 p.m. Monday each week. The campsites in years past have typically been open every day during the summer camping season.

“We’ve had to shorten the hours to manage,” BLM Eugene district spokesman Michael Mascari said of the anticipated budget cuts.

Although the budget reductions — a mandatory $85 billion in across-the-board government spending cuts — have not yet taken effect, the BLM Eugene district is taking precautionary measures to prepare for the cuts, Mascari said.

“We know they’re coming,” he said.

The bureau’s campgrounds and recreation areas are dispersed in multiple directions: Clay Creek is south of Whittaker Creek; Whittaker Creek is west of Walton and south of Highway 126; Shotgun Creek is off Marcola Road; and Sharps Creek is southeast of Cottage Grove.


From The Associated Press:

U.S. Forest Service officials say falling trees pose an increasing threat to hikers, bikers, campers and others in the Black Hills National Forest of western South Dakota and northeastern Wyoming.

The reason is that pine trees killed by mountain pine beetles on hundreds of thousands of acres are decaying and becoming more likely to tumble.

Forest Service official Dave Slepnikoff says windy days are particularly dangerous. His advice is for people in the forest to be aware of their surroundings and look up from time to time.

The Forest Service has removed some potentially dangerous trees near campgrounds and other high-traffic areas.


From WHO-TV, Des Moines:

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) says it had to evacuate cabins at Pine Lake State Park near Eldora due to the rising Iowa River.

Authorities evacuated the four family cabins around 11:00 Wednesday night. The DNR says the move is just a precaution and as of now the park is still open.

Four other state parks are closed due to flooding: George Wythe State Park, Dolliver State Park, Walnut Woods State Park and Backbone State Park.

Springbrook State Park and Rock Creek State Park were both reopened Thursday (May 30).

The DNR says several weddings and graduation parties had to be moved last minute due to flooding.


From, Laurie:

Four state park swimming beaches have been temporarily closed for e. coli, according to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR). However, public beaches at Lake of the Ozarks have passed water quality tests this week and remain open.

The state park beaches at Finger Lakes located in Columbia, Harry S Truman located in Warsaw and Wakonda located in La Grange are closed following results of water samples taken Tuesday that indicated bacteria levels higher than those recommended for waters used for swimming. Earlier this week, the state park beach at Thousand Hills located in Kirksville closed due to flooding. The beach remains closed due to flooding as well as high bacteria levels.

The campground beach at Harry S Truman State Park remains open. Visitors to Harry S Truman State Park may stop by the office or fee booth to obtain a pass free of charge to swim at the campground beach. Once tests from the four state park beaches indicate the bacteria levels are within the standard suitable for swimming, the beaches will reopen.


From a news release:

Opening ceremonies for Plumas National Forest’s new equestrian campground facilities near Quincy will be held Saturday (June 1) at the Snake Lake Campground on the Mt. Hough Ranger District. Festivities begin at 1 p.m.

Amenities at the campground now include eight new campsites designed for equestrian users, eight corrals, nine family campsites, picnic tables, and campfire rings. Activities at the site include fishing, hiking, horseback riding, off-highway vehicle trail riding, and non-motorized boating.

The project was made possible by two grants from the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act of 2000 awarded to the Plumas County Chapter of High Mountain Riders in partnership with the Plumas National Forest.

From a news release:

Sunland RV Resorts is helping celebrate the 18th annual air show in El Cajon, Calif., with a Wings Over Gillespie Giveaway.

Guests staying at one of Sunland’s three East County properties during the air show, June 1-2, are automatically entered to win a pair of event tickets. One winner from Oak Creek RV Resort, Circle RV Resort and Vacationer RV Park will be picked at random and announced May 30, 2013.

The 18th Annual Wings Over Gillespie is slated to feature Silver Wings Wingwalking, the PBY Catalina, the C-53 “D-Day Doll,” and John Collver’s War Dog T6/SNJ aerial display. Wings Over Gillespie is presented by Air Group One, San Diego’s wing of the CAF, a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to the preservation of World War II aircrafts and the history of World War II aviation.





Early Camping Season in Idaho Natl. Lands

April 15, 2013 by · Comments Off on Early Camping Season in Idaho Natl. Lands 

The lack of snow at mid-elevations has apparently promoted the U.S. National Forest Service to open several of its campgrounds in Idaho earlier than normal, The Statesman, Boise, reported.

Here’s a list of campground and other recreation site opening dates:

  • April 18 – Third Fork Cabin (near Ola).
  • May 3 – Hot Springs (near Garden valley), Tie Creek, Silver Creek Campground, including Lodgepole Springs group site (may open prior to May 3. Best to call Silver Creek Plunge directly at (208) 739-3400).
  • May 10 – Hardscrable, Rattlesnake, Trail Creek, Boiling Springs, all along M.F. Payette River.
  • May 17 – Sagehen Reservoir area. Antelope and boat ramp, Antelope Annex, Cartwright Ridge, Sagehen Dam, Picnic Area, Sagehen Creek and boat ramp, Eastside, Hollywood. Depending on whether access to Sage Hen Complex is open. If not May 17, then May 23.
  • May 24 – Big Eddy, Canyon, Cold Springs, Swinging Bridge, all along N.F. Payette; Boiling Springs Cabin and Peace Valley Group Campground, along M.F. Payette.
  • June 28 – Deadwood Lookout.


Current RV Park & Campground Briefs

March 21, 2013 by · Comments Off on Current RV Park & Campground Briefs 


From The Columbus Dispatch:

It’s not often you get something for free, but the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) is offering a free night of camping at 54 state park campgrounds on April 18.

ODNR Director James Zehringer said it is “an excellent opportunity for families to explore new parts of Ohio and find out what is available within our state parks system.”

Campers can reserve a free day by calling toll-free (866) 644-6727.

Free camping won’t be available at Jackson Lake State Park and Strouds Run State Park, which are privately operated campgrounds.

Check here for more information.


From a U.S. Forest Service news release:

The Beardsley Campground in the Stanislaus National Forest near Sonora, Calif., will be improved and a new 19-site campground will be built this year, according to a news release.

Beginning in April and continuing through May 2014, construction and area closures will be scheduled to avoid heavy impact to most forest visitors during the 2013 recreation season.

Beardsley Campground renovations include reconfigured and defined campsites and spurs, access to potable water and a trail to the lake. Other improvements include rebuilding and extending the Beardsley boat launch by 250 feet, replacing the existing courtesy docks with a new dock in the center of the ramp; improving the Beardsley Day Use Area by creating an accessible parking spur and moving closer to accessibility standards with better access from the day-use area to the ramp and parking lot, constructing new restrooms and picnic sites to meet accessibility standards and building an interpretive platform and trail.

Construction of the new Black Oak Flat Campground is scheduled to begin May 1 and be completed by Oct. 1. The new campground will be adjacent to Beardsley Road off of State Hwy. 108 with two of the spaces designated for small groups and spur lengths that accommodate trailers.


From The Cape Cod Times:

The Trustees of Reservations, a land trust and conservation organization, closed this week on its purchase of the Dunes’ Edge Campground near Privincetown after four years of planning and cooperation with state and town officials, nonprofits and former owner Miriam Collinson, the trust announced in a printed release.

The 100-site campground at 386 and 390 Route 6 will be open for camping during the summer season, starting May 1, and be open for off-season recreation and paths to the Cape Cod National Seashore.

The town will hold a conservation restriction on the property, which protects it from development in perpetuity. An affirmative vote at the 2012 spring annual town meeting allowed use of $1 million to purchase the restriction for the 17-acre property. A ribbon-cutting ceremony is planned for May 4.

For more information, visit


From a news release:

On Jan. 24 the New York State Senate passed Legislative Resolution J165-2013, honoring Janine Paddock on the occasion of her induction in the Campground Owners of New York (CONY) Hall of Fame.

Janine, co-owner with her husband Gil of Deer River Campsite in Malone, N.Y., was inducted into CONY’s Hall of Fame at a special ceremony on Nov. 3 during CONY’s 49th Annual Exposition for the Outdoor Hospitality Industry held in Lake George, N.Y.

The resolution can be found online at


Forest Service to Offer Free Entry 4 Times in 2013

January 8, 2013 by · Comments Off on Forest Service to Offer Free Entry 4 Times in 2013 

The U.S. Forest Service joins other federal agencies in offering fee-free days on public lands in 2013, beginning Jan. 21 in conjunction with Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

That day marks the first of four fee-free days the Forest Service is offering the public in 2013.

“Your national forests and grasslands are a bargain any day of the year, but even more so on fee-free days,” said U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell. “Whether you stay for a few hours or a few days, your public lands are some of the best travel bargains in the nation.”

Traditionally, fees are not charged on 98% of national forests and grasslands, and approximately two-thirds of developed recreation sites in national forests and grasslands can be used for free. This includes opportunities such as camping and picnicking.

The Forest Service operates approximately 17,000 developed recreation sites nationwide. Of those, approximately 6,000 require recreation fees, which are used to provide visitor services, repairs and replacements, and facilities maintenance.

The 2013 fee-free days the Forest Service will participate in are:

  • Jan. 21, Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • June 8, National Get Outdoors Day
  • Sept. 28, National Public Lands Day
  • Nov. 9-11, Veterans Day Weekend

The Latest RV Park and Campground Briefs

January 4, 2013 by · Comments Off on The Latest RV Park and Campground Briefs 


 From The Morning Journal, Lorain:

The Great Lakes Recreational Vehicle Association’s Ohio RV Supershow, billed as America’s largest indoor recreational vehicle show and January’s major respite from Northeast Ohio winters, celebrates 37 years of showcasing the newest RVs all under one roof Jan. 9-13 at the at the I-X Center in Cleveland.

RV enthusiasts and casual lovers of road travel can check out more than 600 of the newest RVs at the show.

“The Ohio RV Supershow is the largest indoor RV Show of its kind in the country,” said Bruce Wolfson, president of the Great Lakes RV Association.

Attendees can gather RV-related information at the Campground and RV Supplier Area, which is filled with brochures and other materials on more than 100 campgrounds, sporting vacation areas and RV clubs and organizations from Pennsylvania, New York, Kentucky, Michigan, West Virginia and Florida.

Back by popular demand at the Ohio RV Supershow is the chance for attendees to win 15 days of free camping in Ohio, sponsored by Winners will be picked every hour each day of the show.


From The Rockport Pilot:

The Fulton Town Council held a public hearing concerning an RV Park at 1508 Lone Star Road and then discussed rezoning the property for business.

During the meeting, Randall Rowe, owner of the 4.2699 acres on Lone Star Road, said he plans to place 21 RV sites at the property. “These sites will be a little bigger than other RV sites,” said Rowe. “Our site will presently be primarily for Winter Texans.” He added he might add mobile home rentals “three or four years” in the future.

The council took no action pending review by the Planning and Zoning Committee.

From the Jacksonville Progress:

Apparently, the Lake Jacksonville campgrounds are the new rock ‘n’ roll – with fans willing to wait overnight for tickets and everything.

At least, that’s how it seemed Wednesday (Jan. 2), when more than 300 people arrived to make Lake Jacksonville campground reservations for 2013.

The lot of them spent more than $7,500 to secure reservations for July 4 and Memorial Day, in the process completely maxing those days out.

“Some of them stayed all night,” said Will Cole, public works director for the city. “They were there when we first opened the door.”

It was a first-come, first-serve proposition, City Manager Mo Raissi said, with crowds of people flocking around the city’s Public Works Building at 1220 S. Bolton St. on Wednesday to secure their reservations.

But calling didn’t get them any further ahead in line than those who arrived in person, Cole said. City officials took the “first-come, first-served,” policy quite seriously. Anyone who called to make their reservation was forced to wait until everyone who was in line at the time of the call had been helped.

Cole said there is a core group of residents who are quite experienced at waiting and pouncing when the reservations become available each Jan. 2. But the amount of people vying for reservations does continue to increase each year, he added.

At one point the credit card machine at the public works facility went out and had to be repaired – but not because of overuse, officials said.


From The Ada News:

County commissioners may have to scale down plans on 20 new RV hookups for visitors to the Agri-Plex.

After a second-round of bids ran higher than originally expected, the commissioners put the agenda item on hold Monday (Dec. 31).

“We may have to build just half as many of the RV hookups as we’d planned,” said Agri-Plex Manager Junior Grissom. “They’re really expensive.”



Suit Seeks Ruling on Concessionaire Regs

September 14, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

U.S. Forest Service Chief  Tom Tidwell

The U.S. Forest Service’s campground concessionaire program started 30 years ago as an experiment.

Short-staffed, the agency slowly began turning over the operations, maintenance and management of campgrounds and trailheads across the country to private contractors, who in turn got to keep the fees.

Today, it is an industry.

And as of this week, it is an industry under attack, the Camp Verde, Ariz., Bugle reported.

On Sept. 11, six individual parties filed suit in a Washington, D.C., federal court, challenging fees charged by concessionaires that are not allowed in Forest Service operated sites, as well as the rationale under which the Forest Service allows them to charge the fees.

Specifically, the suit challenges the fees charged to individuals who are entering campgrounds, day-use areas or trailheads operated by concessionaires, solely to park a vehicle or access public lands.

It also challenges the method by which fees were imposed at some of the concessionaire operated day-use areas, contending the Forest Service never went through a mandatory public involvement process or properly noticed the fees in local newspapers or the Federal Register.

The case targets five specific sites in three Western states, but if the plaintiffs prevail it would impact campgrounds and other concessionaire-operated sites across the country. Nationwide, nearly half of all Forest Service campgrounds are operated by private companies.

The plaintiffs in the case are affiliated with the Western Slope No-Fee Coalition, the same organization that supported a successful challenge to the Red Rock Pass Program.

The group is basing its challenge of the concessionaires’ practices, which also includes refusing to honor federally issued passes for seniors and the disabled, on the same law that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled forbids the government from charging fees simply to access public lands.

The Recreational Enhancement Act (REA) specifically prohibits the Forest Service from charging fees “solely for parking,” or “for general access.” The law also states that the provisions apply to any “third party.”

The Forest Service’s concessionaire policies have recently been under congressional scrutiny.

When questioned during a Forest Service budget hearing in March, Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell told Congress that the practices of the concessionaires are authorized under the Granger-Thye Act, a law enacted in 1950 that allows for private use of public lands.

Tidwell said that because the fee program is authorized under an act other than the Recreational Enhancement Act, private concessionaires are exempt from REA’s provisions.

“The concession program relies on the exemption for economic viability,” Tidwell told the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

It is a justification that Kitty Benzar, spokesperson for the Western No-Fee Coalition, says is wrong.

“We think it’s completely wrong. The relevant language in the Granger-Thye Act does not trump all restrictions on fees contained in the Recreational Enhancement Act.

“The way you settle something when there is a difference of opinion about what the law says is you take it to court. Doing it is not my favorite thing to do. It’s going to be lengthy and difficult, but it’s the only way to find out if their interpretation of the law is correct or ours is.”

The Forest Service had no comment as they have not had time to review the complaint. By law they have 60 days to respond.


The Latest RV Park and Campground Briefs

September 13, 2012 by · Comments Off on The Latest RV Park and Campground Briefs 

Site plan for redevelopment of 390 acres in Winston-Salem, N.C. Graphic by Cassandra Sherrill.


From the Winston-Salem Journal:

A proposed tent campground in a 390-acre area in Winston-Salem raised some eyebrows during a public hearing on Tuesday (Sept. 11).

City officials said people who live in the area don’t want campers there, and some city council members said that the impact on the environment would be too great if camping were allowed.

Otherwise, most people liked what they saw in the long-range plans for Winston Lake and an old quarry.

Although no timetables or money came with the plans on Tuesday, members of the council’s community development and general government committee said both areas could become attractions that draw people to visit Winston-Salem from other places.

The Winston Lake plan envisions a system of greenways and paths that loop around and cross the 390-acre property, linking together the existing golf course with other park facilities.

Those other attractions would include a splash park at the corner of Waterworks and Winston Lake Road.

The Vulcan Quarry site, which is not open to the public, is envisioned as a scenic area and tourist attraction. The quarry itself, now filled with water, would be circled by a train that ran from a “Quarry Village,” which could include a farmer’s market, restaurant, gift shop and museum.

The quarry is on a 200-acre property.


From the Redding Record-Searchlight:

Due to safety concerns with the Bagley Fire, U.S. Forest Service officials have closed down the shoreline of Iron Canyon Reservoir near Big Bend, as well as numerous forest roads and trails.

The Bagley Fire is burning more than 46,000 acres west of Big Bend and northeast of Lake Shasta.

Several campgrounds have been closed, including Deadlun Campground at Iron Canyon Reservoir. Hawkins Landing Campground and the boat ramp at Iron Canyon are open, but the shoreline around the lake is closed.

Madrone Campground off Fender’s Ferry Road is closed, as well as Chirpchatter and Ash Camp campgrounds.

The Pacific Crest Trail is closed from the intersection of Interstate 5 and Soda Creek Road to the intersection of forest roads 38N10 and 39N05 at Bartle Gap.

Most of Fender’s Ferry Road is closed, from just north of the Pit River to near the McCloud River bridge.


From the Nanaimo News Bulletin:

B.C. Living has counted the thousands of votes for its first B.C.’s Best Peoples Choice Awards, and Living Forest Oceanside Campground and RV in Nanaimo took top spot for privately owned campground, in the best campsite category.

Only Pacific Rim National Park and Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park, received more votes.

The award takes its place alongside several others for the Nanaimo campground, after being named by USA Today as one of the 10 Most Beautiful Places to Camp in British Columbia.

Living Forest was also named Best Local Campground in the 2012 Nanaimo News Bulletin’s Best of the City; won Reader’s Choice Award medals for five years running from RV West magazine, and was one of two British Columbia campgrounds named in Today’s Parent magazine’s Top 25 Campgrounds in Canada in 2010.


Season Extended at 3 Vermont Campgrounds

September 4, 2012 by · Comments Off on Season Extended at 3 Vermont Campgrounds 

U.S. Forest Service officials in Vermont announced that the camping season has been extended for Vermonters and visitors at three popular campgrounds on the Green Mountain National Forest (GMNF). Chittenden Brook, Moosalamoo and Silver Lake campgrounds will remain open through the Columbus Day Weekend in the Rochester and Middlebury Ranger District.

These campgrounds will close for the season on Tuesday, Oct. 9. Forest Service employees cited the change as a way to provide the public with more opportunity to camp during the busy fall foliage season. Traditionally, these campgrounds on the GMNF have been open from Memorial Day through Labor Day, according to a news release.

“The past year has been anything but traditional here in the Rochester area,” said Chris Mattrick, acting district ranger on the Rochester and Middlebury Ranger District. “By extending the camping season, we hope not only to provide people with the ability to get out on the GMNF to enjoy one of the most beautiful times of the year, but also to attract visitors that will contribute to the local economy while they are in town,” added Mattrick.

  • The Chittenden Brook Campground was not re-opened this year until early August as the access road leading to the campground was heavily damaged by washouts from Tropical Storm Irene. The Chittenden Brook Campground offers seventeen camp sites which are appropriate for small to moderate sized campers and tent camping. There are no electric hook ups, sewer or water provided at the campground. Chittenden Brook Campground is located at the end of Forest Road 45 (Chittenden Brook Road) and accessed from Route 73 in Rochester.
  • The Moosalamoo Campground is part of the nearly 16,000-acre Moosalamoo National Recreation Area located in Goshen. The campground can be accessed from Forest Road 32 (Goshen / Ripton Road) in Goshen. This campground offers 19 different campsites which are suitable for recreational vehicles and tenting. There are no electric hook ups, sewer or water provided at the campground.
  • Silver Lake Campground is a hike-in campground located on Silver Lake. This campground offers 15 campsites with a limited supply of water available to campers. Access to this campground is achieved via a short hike (0.6 miles) on the Goshen Trail from a parking lot located off of Forest Road 27 (Silver Lake Road) in Goshen or via a moderate uphill hike (1.6 miles) on the Silver Lake Trail from the Silver Lake parking area on Route 53 in Salisbury. No electric hook ups, sewer or drinking water is available.

“This is a special time of year for our residents, our visitors, our forests and those of us that work to manage our public lands,” said Mattrick. “We have a lot of people that want to spend time on the forest during the fall. Now people will have another month or so to enjoy the morning, the afternoon, and some fall forest camping for the night,” he concluded.

Forest officials expect that there will be an influx of local and visitor traffic in the coming weeks; motorists are encouraged to be mindful of where they park and to use extra caution when they are driving and recreating on the forest. The public is also encouraged to wear bright clothing and to be vigilant during Vermont’s various hunting seasons.

Next Page »