Effective June 1st, price increases for camping in the year round Wilderness Road Campground at Cumberland Gap National Historical Park will take effect. Camping rates for sites without electricity will increase from $12.00 to $14.00, and sites with electricity will increase from $17.00 to $20.00. Sites will be one half price for those having an Interagency Senior or Access Pass. Group campsites will increase from $30.00 to $35.00. This is the only campground in the park that allows vehicle access and which provides bathroom and shower facilities.
Woods shares an exhaustive list of major improvements made over the past ten years to the 160 site campground which is enjoyed annually by an average of 103,395 visitors. "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. The new system includes 4000 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. The campground contact station has been retrofitted into a camp store managed by park partner Eastern National. The campground amphitheater has also been renovated to allow for multi-media and music programs. New picnic tables, fire rings, and improved signage have been added to individual sites. Accessibility has been improved at specific sites throughout the campground. Bulletin cases, wayside exhibits, and improved signage have been added to enhance visitors' experiences and to alert them to other recreational opportunities within the park. Total cost of all these improvements is close to 1.5 million dollars."
While Superintendent Woods is very proud of these improvement, he directs his praise to park employees and volunteers who were so essential in the park receiving the 2012 Middlesboro Daily News "People's Choice Award for Camping" in the Tri-State area. A very elated Woods also references a recent letter written by park visitors hailing from Livingston, Texas:
"Hi Friends. We just left your fabulous facility after our 5th stay for the Dulcimer Gathering. The beauty of the campground was enhanced by your staff's attention to the washrooms and the amphitheater too. This is our favorite campground! Thank you."
For more information about Cumberland Gap National Historical Park and camping opportunities, please call (606) 248-2817 or visit www.nps.gov/cuga.