Buffalo National River increasing fees in March

Buffalo National River is set to increase fees in several developed campgrounds starting March 15th. The park has not raised fees since 2013.As a part of the fee proposal, park officials compared the prices per site and amenities offered at individual park campgrounds to several private and government run campgrounds in the area. The park also held a 30-day public comment period in August to allow members of the public a chance to voice their opinion.In response to the comparability study and public comments, the park has decided to raise fees at the following campgrounds:

• Buffalo Point Campground: Sites with water, electric, flush restrooms and showers from $22 to $30 a night for up to six people

• Steel Creek, Kyle's Landing, Ozark, Tyler Bend Campground (all sites), and walk-in tent sites at Buffalo Point Campground (with water and flush restrooms, showers at Tyler Bend and Buffalo Point): from $12 and $16 to $20 a night for up to six people (up to four stock animals per site at Steel Creek Horse Camp)

• Carver and Rush campgrounds: Primitive sites (with water, without flush restrooms) from $12 to $16 a night for up to six people. Originally proposed to increase to $20 a night per site, due to public comment, the park decided to reduce the increase and set the price at $16 a night per site.

• Buffalo Point and Tyler Bend group sites: The fee structure has been revised for group campsites to a flat rate of $50 per group per night (up to 25 people per site) from $3 per person. This represents an increase for some groups and a decrease for others, based on past use.

There will be no changes at:

• Erbie (including five group sites), Woolum, South Maumee and Spring Creek will continue to allow free camping where no amenities are provided. Wonderful camping opportunities exist at the park’s free campgrounds where designated sites with a fire ring, picnic table, and vault restroom are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

• Pavilions fees will remain:

$25 for the Ozark Pavilion for the day

$50 for the Tyler Bend Pavilion and Buffalo Point Pavilions for the day

Starting March 15th the park is going to allow half of the tent and horse campsites at Steel Creek Campground (13 walk-in sites, six drive-in horse sites) and half of the walk-in tent and drive-in sites at Tyler Bend Campground (12 drive-ins, five walk-ins) to be reserved in advance on the Recreation.gov website. All sites that are not reserved for any given night will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservations must be made at least five days in advance within a six-month window.

Buffalo National River provides a 50 percent discount on campsite fees for Interagency Senior and Access pass cardholders. These cards may be obtained at park headquarters in Harrison, Steel Creek Ranger Station, Tyler Bend Visitor Center or Buffalo Point Ranger Station or online at store.usgs.gov USGS. For more information about the Interagency Senior or Access pass call the Tyler Bend Visitor Center at 870-439-2502.

Camping fees collected in the park are used to fund projects like stabilizing the Buffalo Point launch area to make pedestrian river access safer and more convenient. This project is scheduled for 2019 and will enhance the visitor experience. Fee money is also used to pay for increasing utility expenses within the campgrounds.

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