Tags: croatan national forest
Higher fees are likely at seven National Forest recreation sites in North Carolina, the National Forest Service said in a news release this morning.
The proposed increases are for:
* Cedar Point Campground in the Croatan National Forest. Fees would increase from $12 to $20 per night for single campsites. The electrical surcharge would increase from $5 to $7.
Campsite fees at Cedar Point have not increased in 15 years, while operation and maintenance costs have risen, the Forest Service says.
* Arrowhead Campground in the Uwharrie National Forest. Fees for single campsites would increase from $12 to $18 per night and from $24 to $36 at double sites. The electrical surcharge would increase from $3 to $7 per night.
High visitation has increased maintenance costs, the Forest Service says. Additional revenue will help pay for the costs of campground hosts, as well as maintaining and operating water, sewage and other facilities.
* Canebrake Horse Camp in the Uwharrie. Fees for single and double campsites, which are $12 and $24, respectively, would be $18 and $36, the same as at Arrowhead Campground. All sites have free electrical hookups, but an electrical surcharge of $7 would be instituted.
High visitation has increased maintenance costs. Additional revenue will help pay for the costs of campground hosts, as well as maintaining and operating water, sewage and other facilities.
* Sliding Rock Recreation Area in the Pisgah National Forest. Daily admission would increase from $1 to $2. Annual passes would remain at $25.
"Additional revenue is required to operate this extremely popular site, which often receives 1,000 or more people a day," the Forest Service says. Fees will pay for expanded hours for lifeguards and maintenance of the site.
Shooting ranges in the Nantahala National Forest would see fee increases that would, in part, standardize rates. Also with the new fees, an annual pass would allow shooters to use all three ranges in the Nantahala. The fees are needed to address maintenance needs and other costs associated with increased visitation, the Forest Service says.
* Dirty John Shooting Range daily fees would increase from $3 per vehicle to $3 per person. Annual fees would increase from $7 per vehicle to $25 per person.
* Moss Knob Shooting Range fees would be instituted at $3 per person for daily passes and $25 per person for an annual pass. This is the only new fee across the four national forests, the Forest Service says.
* Panther Top Shooting Range daily fees would increase from $2 to $3 per person. Annual fee would remain $25 per person.
If approved, the increased fees would be implemented over a two-year span.
The Forest Service will accept comments through February, at email@example.com.
Campsite fees at Cedar Point Campground in the Croatan National Forest, below, are to increase from $12 to $20 per night for single campsites. Charges for electricity will increase as well, according to the proposal. Click on the photo for more information about Cedar Point.
They were closed Friday in anticipation of Hurricane Sandy, which made landfall in New Jersey Monday night.
In the Croatan, which is south of New Bern, "There was little-to-no damage to campgrounds or day-use areas in the national forest," a Forest Service news release says.
On the Outer Banks, the National Park Service says in an alert on its webpages for Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Fort Raleigh National Historic Site and Wright Brothers National Memorial they hope to reopen the parks Wednesday after completing damage assessments.
In the Smokies, Newfound Gap Road (U.S. 441), Clingmans Dome Road, Cataloochee Entrance Road and Old N.C. 284 between Big Creek and Cataloochee are closed because of snow and ice.
@BLUE_RDGE_PKWY said this morning, "Snow, ice, and high winds in all parts of the Parkway this morning... many closed gates... travel not recommended."
Weather-related closing are not uncommon in the mountains this time of year, so be sure to check with the parks if you have plans to visit.
It's important to know that the 45-site campground near New Bern is listed with Recreation.gov under its local name, Flanners Beach Campground. A search for "Neuse River Campground" returns a long list of sites with "river" in the name, but not what you're looking for.
A news release from the National Forest Service says that "Campers will be unable to reserve sites 1, 10, 11, 15, 19, 29 and 31 at the campground, as the sites will remain first-come, first-serve." However, Recreation.gov says the campground has 41 sites (22 with electricity, 19 without) and lists them all as available for reservation. (The National Forest website for North Carolina says there are 45 campsites at Neuse River Campground.)
Regardless, if any site is vacant when a camper shows up they can have it for three days, the news release says. Reservations should be made three days in advance, and if a reservable site occupied by a walk-in camper for three days has been reserved after the third day, the camper on it will have to move.
Neuse River/Flanners Beach is a full-service family campground (showers, flush toilets, etc., renovated in 2011). It is mainly an RV campground; tents are allowed and would do fine in the sandy soil, but there are no tent pads. It also has hiking and mountain biking trails and allows swimming in the river.
Work begins in the Croatan National Forest this week to repair road surfaces, drainage structures and ditches that have been damaged by severe weather over the last couple of years, the U.S. Forest Service said last week.
Some roads will close as soon as this Wednesday, September 5, and may remained closed into December.
Pettiford Creek Road (National Forest Service Road 206) will remain closed for about a year for work that includes replacement of a major drainage structure.
Affected roads include:
* Millis Road (NFSR 128), closed from September 5 to October 3.
* Morton Field Road (NFSR 129), Belangia Road (NFSR 163) and Haywood Landing Road (NFSR 146), closed temporarily between September and December.
* Riceground Branch Road (NFSR 3014), closed from mid-late October through November.
These roads will be closed "periodically":
* Great Lake Road (NFSR 126)
* Hunters Creek Road (NFSR 144)
* Neds Creek Road (NFSR 616)
* Farrior Farm Road (NFSR 121-A)
* Middle Little Road (NFSR 121-2)
* Brown Road (NFSR 121-D)
* Pine Grove Road (NFSR 156)
The repairs will cost an estimated $823,000, the Forest Service says in its news release. The money comes from the Federal Highway Administration’s Emergency Relief for Federally Owned Roads program.
The Forest Service said shortly after Hurricane Irene struck August 27 that 60 percent of roads in the 160,000-acre forest were blocked by fallen trees. Since then, only Cedar Point Recreation Area, the Oyster Point campground and the Dixon's Landing canoe launch and campground reopened on September 8.
Goose Creek State Park has reopened on its regular fall schedule of 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., the state Division of Parks and Recreation said on the park's website this morning. Campgrounds and some trails remain closed due to unsafe conditions caused by Hurricane Irene.
We've previously reported the National Forest alert that says only three recreation sites in the Croatan have reopened since the late-August hurricane, and about numerous downed trees in the campground at Goose Creek.
The FMST says in an email sent yesterday that "boardwalk, bridges and hundreds of trees were uprooted" along the 20-mile Neusiok, which is Section 36 of the MST.
"The damage is extensive enough that FMST volunteers are estimating that the trail may not reopen until next spring," the group says on its website.
The storm also caused breaches in five places in Section 38 of the MST, the Outer Banks from Ocracoke to Jockey's Ridge State Park. Temporary bridges over the breaches are expected to be in place by early October.
The Cedar Point Recreation Area near Swansboro, which includes a family campground, the Tideland National Recreation Trail, a picnic area and a fishing pier, has reopened, as has Oyster Point Campground near Newport. The Dixon's Landing canoe launch south of Maysville, which allows primitive camping, has reopened as well.
Other Croatan Day Use Areas remain closed, including the Neuse River Recreation Area.
The Forest Service said shortly after Hurricane Irene struck August 27 that 60 percent of roads in the 160,000-acre forest were blocked by fallen trees.
We spent some time in the Croatan National Forest the week before Hurricane Irene hit, and have added pages to Carolina Outdoors Guide about some of the forest's day use sites and campgrounds that we hope you'll check out.
Recreation sites within the forest remain closed, with about 60 percent of roads blocked by downed trees as of Tuesday, and we sure hope there's not too much damage.
We were particularly impressed with Cedar Point Recreation Area on the White Oak River across from Swansboro, with its Tideland National Recreation Trail (below) and the campground with its green-grass lawns. We were disappointed with the small RV campsites at Neuse River Campground.
The National Forest Service says approximately 60 percent of roads in Croatan National Forest "are impassable due to down trees" in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene.
All recreation sites will remain closed to the public until hazardous trees are removed and repairs are made, the news release says.
We covered additional parks damage and closings below.
In case we have to tell you, coastal parks are closed in anticipation of Hurricane Irene, including Cape Hatteras and Cape Lookout National Seashores, the five National Wildlife Refuges, all day use sites and campgrounds in the Croatan National Forest, and campgrounds at the eight state parks in the coastal region.
State parks remained open for day use as of Wednesday (when the news release was, umm, released) but were to close on short notice as conditions warranted.
Here's where to get National Weather Service watches, warnings or advisories for North Carolina.