With springtime drawing near, another park is proposing an inrease in campground fees. At Cumberland Gap National Historical Park in Kentucky, a hike of not quite 15 percent in the fees charged at the Wilderness Road Campground is under consideration.
This is the only campground in the park that allows vehicle access and which provides bathroom and shower facilities. Camping rates for sites without electricity would increase from $12 to $14 and sites with electricity would increase from $17 to $20.
Sites would be half-price for those having an Interagency Senior or Access Pass. Group campsites would increase from $30 to $35.
A public meeting to seek public input and outline these increases is scheduled for Tuesday, February 26th from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the park's visitor center. Visitors can also provide comments via the park's web site, or send comments to Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, 91 Bartlett Park Road, Middlesboro, KY 40965. Comments are to be received by the park no later than March 15th, 2013.
Park Superintendent Mark Woods explains the camping price increases as the first since 2002. He further spells out that "a comparability study, involving local state parks and private organizations with similar operations was conducted and that price increases would bring Cumberland Gap more in line with the price structure of the local community and the businesses that are similar in nature to the park's. This price adjustment would remove any possibility of the park unintentionally undercutting local and regional businesses."
Superintendent Woods also notes the improvements made over the past ten years to the 160-site campground.
"In May 2012, we completed a six-month, $861,690 project which involved the installation of new water and wastewater systems within the campground. This was essential to improve the efficiency of park operations by reducing maintenance costs and costs related to deficiencies in the condition of the existing systems, provide a safe and healthy environment for both visitors and park staff, remove a potential source of surface water contamination and protect park natural and cultural resources and values," he said in a release. "The new system includes 4,000 linear feet of leach field trenches, four new septic tanks, new sewer pipe throughout, and eight new sanitary manholes. Six monitoring wells were also installed around the leach field. Flow meters were installed to more accurately monitor the water usage at each comfort station.
"Additional enhancements over the years include the upgrade of electrical sites to include 20-, 30-, and 50-amp service. The campground's three comfort stations have been completely renovated for improved accessibility and to also provide for families with children."