While the United States Federal Shutdown remains in effect and has, unfortunately, ruined many National Park camping plans, don't forget that your state parks and local or community parks are still open.
An unintended consequence of the Federal Shutdown is that fewer people are visiting state and local parks, even though those parks are still open and are not affected by the closure of national parks and other federal public lands.
"Most people don't know the difference between a national park and a state park. They think they're all the same," said California Parks Company CEO, John Koeberer, which operates concessions in both national and state parks. "It's the national parks that have been affected by the federal shutdown, but at Angel Island, a state park, we've seen a big drop in visits." Koeberer said calls to parks and campgrounds that his company operates have increased, with most people concerned whether they can still visit, regardless of whether the park is affected by the federal shutdown or not.
"Angel Island is in San Francisco Bay, near Alcatraz. So, there's a lot of confusion. Everything is operating as usual on Angel Island, except there aren't as many people there to hike, rent bikes, ride Segways or tour the island, while on Alcatraz Island all its tours have been stopped because of the shutdown." said Koeberer. "The shutdown is hurting people, parks and businesses not just on the federal lands, but off them, as well."
Where are you camping despite the government shutdown and National Park closures? Tell us your favorite places to get outdoors in the comments below.
About Camping readers voted for their favorite State Parks last year and these five came out on top: Best State Parks in the U.S.
Photo: Montana de oro State Park in California | © Monica Prelle