The new camping rates would be in effect from April 15 to October 15 annually and would apply to back-country campsites and developed front-country campsites. The proposed rate increase would make park camping fees comparable with current rates of local privately-owned businesses. The increased rates would begin April 15, 2022.
Increased rates would apply to all back-country campgrounds. including those located at Big Tree, Grubb, Gooseneck, Bay Creek, Blue Spring, Rymers, Shawnee Creek, Two Rivers (backcountry site), Log Yard, Powder Mill, Sinking Creek, Cedar Grove, and Dee Murray. Additionally, camping fees would be established at the Jerktail, Broadfoot, and Clubhouse back-country camping areas. The campsites at Bachers and Baptizing Hole would be added to the fee structure at Blue Spring Campground. The current back-country camping fees have not been raised since 2008. A rate increase at the back-country campsites would help expand and enhance services for these areas. Rate adjustments would be implemented in the developed front-country campgrounds at Alley Spring, Big Spring, Two Rivers, Round Spring, and Pulltite.
The park would continue to provide free camping at primitive campsites which have minimal amenities. The campsites include Parker, Big Creek, Welch, Akers West, Banks, Lipps Hole, Boyd's Creek, Wide, Grassy, Bee Bluff, Twin Rocks, Sutton Creek, Martin Bluff, Martin Landing, Goose Bay, Roberts Field, Beal, Lost Man Ridge, Bluff View, Flat Rock, Buffington, Old Horse Camp, Roscoe, and Counts.
In 2004, Congress passed the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act which allows the Ozark National Scenic Riverways to keep approximately 96% of fees collected for operating and maintaining the park. This includes day-to-day costs for operating campgrounds, maintenance such as trash removal, and servicing restroom facilities, as well as longer-term improvements like upgrading restrooms and showers, constructing and maintaining trails, improving campgrounds, and providing programs for visitors.
"Under the current rate structure, the camping fees at Ozark Riverways are lower than local privately-owned campgrounds, and we do not want to undercut these local business owners," said Superintendent Jason Lott. "This rate change would enhance services to park campgrounds and be used for on-going improvements. Visitors today are seeking expanded amenities such as larger camping pads, full hook-ups, access to trails, and expanded trash service. Increasing fees would help us work toward fulfilling those expectations."
Please see attached Proposed Recreation Fee Increases for detailed changes.
Before implementing the proposed changes to camping and cave tour fees, the park is soliciting input from the public. The proposal will be open for public review and comment from October 15 to November 30, 2021, at https://parkplanning.nps.gov/parkHome.cfm?parkID=158
. Select "Proposed Camping Fee Increases" from the list of projects and then "Open For Comment" to submit your feedback. Comments will also be accepted through the mail to:
Superintendent - Proposed Camping Fee Increases
Ozark National Scenic Riverways
P. O. Box 490
Van Buren, Missouri 63965
Ozark National Scenic Riverways is seeking public comment from October 15 through November 30, 2021 on proposed changes to camping fees and cave tour fees for the Round Spring Cave. Fee revenue is used to enhance visitor experience, maintain and improve facilities and services in the park and ensure visitors can continue to use and enjoy these areas into the future.