North Country
4:55 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Campgrounds In White Mountain National Forest Told To Close

Folks who figured on spending Columbus Day weekend at campgrounds in The White Mountain National Forest won't be able to do so. The campgrounds will close Thursday.
Folks who figured on spending Columbus Day weekend at campgrounds in The White Mountain National Forest won't be able to do so. The campgrounds will close Thursday.
Credit Chris Jensen for NHPR

The operator of twenty-two campgrounds in The White Mountain National Forest has been told to close them.

“We are directed now to close the gates as of Thursday the 10th unless something happens in Congress,” said Kent Tower, the owner of Pro Sports of Campton.

Last week federal officials in Washington began notifying private businesses that operate campgrounds in national forests that they would have to close even though they provide water, sanitation and other services without help from federal employees.

Since then Tower has been waiting for his notice, which he got Monday.

That’s four days earlier than the normal, end-of-season closing.

But those four days include the important Columbus Day weekend for which Tower said he has at least 300 reservations.

“Somehow or other they are going to have to be told they can’t come,” he said.

While those privately run campgrounds are closed, tourism officials note the trails and roads in the White Mountain National Forest are open as are nearby restaurants, attractions and motels.