Replace the Big Oak Flat Welcome Center Complex
The Big Oak Flat entrance serves about one million visitors annually, with the welcome center serving over 50,000 annually. Big Oak Flat welcome center complex (formerly called the Visitor Contact Station) provides a public restroom, information, campground reservations, wilderness permits, bear canister rentals, and retail sales. It also currently serves as the district law enforcement office. The project will improve visitor orientation and safety, reduce lines, and upgrade accessibility and utilities.
The purpose of the action is to replace the existing welcome center complex at the Big Oak Flat entrance to improve visitor experience and operational efficiency. Action is needed because the existing facilities do not meet visitor demands, and NPS staff struggle to provide quality public service due to inadequately sized and ineffectively organized facilities.
The project will improve visitor experience, address deferred maintenance, improve safety, and increase operational efficiency at the Big Oak Flat Welcome Center Complex. The selected action will:
• Construct a new welcome center to unify visitor services to replace the existing facilities
• Construct a new adequately sized comfort station to replace the aging, undersized one
• Construct a plaza with informational panels between the welcome center & comfort station
• Reconfigure the parking lot and construct a small staff parking area to improve safety
• Install a sewer to connect the welcome center to the Hodgdon community septic system
• Decommission the aging septic system currently serving the welcome center complex
• Provide the option for the addition of a water tank and access road at a later date
The National Park Service plans to improve visitor services, address deferred maintenance, improve safety, and increase operational efficiency at the Big Oak Flat welcome center complex. The finding of no significant impact for the project has been released (click the "Document List" link on the left side of the screen to view the document). The National Park Service plans to begin implementation of the project in the early months of 2020.