TN STATE PARK RESERVATIONS

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TN STATE PARK RESERVATIONS

Post  chuck on Fri Dec 14, 2012 8:46 am

Looks like a reservation system is coming to TN STATE PARKS. This was posted on one of the park's facebook page:

Attention campers! Big changes are happening to the campground registration system. Sales and occupancy taxes are now being charged. Checking in is now a computerized process, so you must check in at the park office. On days that the office is closed, please see a Park Ranger. We are transitioning to a reservation system that will be available on-line in the coming months. Please be patient with us as we transition from the first come/first served system to the reservation system.

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Re: TN STATE PARK RESERVATIONS

Post  Life is Good on Fri Dec 14, 2012 10:09 am

I think this will help people that has to drive a long way to get to a State Park to camp. I dont go to some State Parks just for the reason I dont want to drive 2 or more hours on a Friday evening just to find out they are full, so I am for the reservation system, I know it has both good and bad things about it but nothing is ever perfect.
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Re: TN STATE PARK RESERVATIONS

Post  chuck on Fri Dec 14, 2012 10:26 am

I agree.. I usually just visit the SPs within 30 mins of home.. but there are others I might try.. when the reservation system is in place.

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Re: TN STATE PARK RESERVATIONS

Post  SouthWestyKim on Fri Dec 14, 2012 1:58 pm

Sales and occupancy taxes????? Price just went up last year 2 dollars didn't it? I dont mind paying more but I would like to see some improvements for in the increase, Like new firerings that arent rusting apart, tables that are warped and wrecked, an actual ranger that patrols the grounds who controls the riffraff living in parks, not just a civilian collecting fees. I dont mind a reservation system but I think each park should leave a few spots open for non reservation...to me thats only fair, if you want to take a chance finding a spot take a chance or make a reservation. Im curious to see what the "fees and taxes" they mention are going to be for the same unimproved campsites. Not everyone has a credit card or a way to electronically reserve, the parks for the people were intended for ALL the people not just the ones with credit cards and computers to electronically reserve a site.
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Re: TN STATE PARK RESERVATIONS

Post  chuck on Fri Dec 14, 2012 2:05 pm

I read on another SP website that they will take reservations by:
internet
phone
and in person

I would say you would be able to call and then send a check for the reservation. Seems like most people would at least have a debit card.

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Re: TN STATE PARK RESERVATIONS

Post  Life is Good on Fri Dec 14, 2012 2:48 pm

I would think they would keep some open for people to get first come first served, I know GA. State Parks keeps about half of theirs open for people to just show up and get a site and the other half are reserved, but in GA. you can not reserve a exact site you just reserve a site type. Then when you get there they will tell you what sites you have to choose from and you go pick out which one you want.
It will be interesting to see how Tennessee will do theirs, I know I have reserved at Fall Creek Falls before and they let me pick the exact site I wanted to stay in. I also know Fall Creek Falls does not reserve ALL of their sites they keep some open for people to just show up and get a site.
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Re: TN STATE PARK RESERVATIONS

Post  merrykalia on Fri Dec 14, 2012 10:41 pm

I am going to assume (and it's an assumption) that they will be operating somewhat like VIrginia does with their parks. You can reserve by internet, phone or in person. You DO NOT need to reserve using a credit card if it is enough in advance that you can mail a check OR you can pay in person at the park if you just show up and they have sites available.

The sites in VA are non-specific, but you choose the type site you want (W/E, W/E/S or TENT).

At Natural Tunnel, you choose which of the 2 different campgrounds you want to stay in. If you show up after the office closes, there is an HONOR CAMPER envelope that you can fill out for a one night stay. It's only for 1 night ONLY. If you want to stay longer, you must go to the office and reserve another night.

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Re: TN STATE PARK RESERVATIONS

Post  chuck on Sat Dec 15, 2012 11:24 am

Not sure exactly what Tennessee will do.. we will have to wait and see. I like KY.. they are part of the "ReserveAmerica" system. You can pick the site you want.. and for most parks.. you can see a picture or two of the site. Ky has put a lot of effort into the reservation system (taking all those photos).. I doubt Tennessee will do the same.

The "Recreation.gov" reservation system is similar. Some Nat Parks and Nat Recreation Areas (Like Bandy Creek @ Big South Fork) use this system.

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Re: TN STATE PARK RESERVATIONS

Post  Darcamper on Sun Dec 16, 2012 10:25 pm

I wonder how it will effect those that do last minute camping or don't know about the new reservation system!

It is always best for us to call the parks to see if they are any sites available. It will be good to reserve instead of hoping there will be a site when we get there!

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Re: TN STATE PARK RESERVATIONS

Post  chuck on Mon Dec 24, 2012 2:22 pm

I spoke with the rangers and the office receptionist at COVE LAKE SP yesterday.. They actually will take reservations now.. in person or by phone.

Sometime after the first of the year campers will be able to reserve sites online. She also told me that (at least at COVE LAKE) they will hold sites 1 - 8 open for people who might just "show up". And.. when you make your reservation you can ask for a specific site. So if you are familiar with the state park.. you could reserve your favorite spot. Also.. down the road a bit.. they hope to have pictures and descriptions of every campsite, at every state park.. online.

I think this will be so much better.. It will make it possible for us to plan Volunteer Camper events at state parks.. because we can reserve sites together.

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Re: TN STATE PARK RESERVATIONS

Post  Richard on Mon Dec 24, 2012 3:02 pm

This is great news. I do not mind traveling to camp with you guys from cove lake to roan mountain to Harrison bay, but it will be better knowing that I have a site reserved. Woo hoo! It sure was Disapointing to the kids when we got turned away at full state parks several times over the years.
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Re: TN STATE PARK RESERVATIONS

Post  chuck on Mon Dec 24, 2012 6:03 pm

Richard wrote:This is great news. I do not mind traveling to camp with you guys from cove lake to roan mountain to Harrison bay, but it will be better knowing that I have a site reserved. Woo hoo! It sure was Disapointing to the kids when we got turned away at full state parks several times over the years.

I agree Richard.. and I told the rangers.. I feel like I will be able to visit more state park CGs now.. without wishin' and hopin' I can get a campsite.

It will be cheaper to do VC get-togethers too.. roughly $21-$25 per night versus $35-$45 per night at commercial CGs.

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Re: TN STATE PARK RESERVATIONS

Post  Richard on Tue Dec 25, 2012 2:46 pm

I like cheap!
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Re: TN STATE PARK RESERVATIONS

Post  Richard on Thu Dec 27, 2012 4:38 pm

I just read the reservation announcement on Roan Mountain's webpage. It sure felt good to read it for myself.
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Re: TN STATE PARK RESERVATIONS

Post  chuck on Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:19 pm

Richard wrote:I just read the reservation announcement on Roan Mountain's webpage. It sure felt good to read it for myself.

what??? you didn't believe me??? LOL

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Re: TN STATE PARK RESERVATIONS

Post  Richard on Fri Dec 28, 2012 9:23 pm

I believed you Chuck, I've gone back and read it several times. It just make me feel good to know it's there.
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Post  jb_simerly on Sun Dec 30, 2012 12:48 pm

I have mixed feelings about this issue, i too have been turned away because they were full. But i am also the kind i decide today i am going camping tomorrow. And i wander if that will hurt my chances of getting a spot even more
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Re: TN STATE PARK RESERVATIONS

Post  chuck on Sun Dec 30, 2012 12:59 pm

Hey jb... I posted this earlier in the thread:

chuck wrote:I spoke with the rangers and the office receptionist at COVE LAKE SP yesterday.. They actually will take reservations now.. in person or by phone.

Sometime after the first of the year campers will be able to reserve sites online. She also told me that (at least at COVE LAKE) they will hold sites 1 - 8 open for people who might just "show up".

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Post  jb_simerly on Sun Dec 30, 2012 1:01 pm

yea but in roan mountain 8 sites will go quick lol
ill have to figure out what roan mountain is doing there is quite a few sites up there but the bottom is where every one wants to get and there is probably only 40-50 sites down there. but the upside is i will be more likely to go to different campgrounds now. and i can call and see if there is sites available before i leave it is only about 30 min from home.
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Re: TN STATE PARK RESERVATIONS

Post  chuck on Wed Jan 09, 2013 4:34 pm

I reserved a campsite today.. on the phone. The "online" system will probably be available by the end of January. It went well.. the clerk was a little slow, but that's ok.. she was figuring out the procedure too.

I received an emailed receipt in just a few minutes.. it shows total charged for site, taxes, etc. Also shows cancellation policy.
According to my receipt:
A full refund (minus $3.00 reservation fee) is given for cancellations made prior to one day before reserved date. If you cancel within 24 hrs of the date.. you lose one night fee and the $3. I think that's fair. I have reserved a lot of hotel rooms.. and that's usually the way they do it too.

by the way.. if you qualify for any discounts.. like state employee, senior citizen. disabled, etc.. they can give you that discount on the reservation too.

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Re: TN STATE PARK RESERVATIONS

Post  Darcamper on Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:45 pm

If a person doesn't know about the reservation system and goes and sets up their camper, now what?

What would you do when you arrived at your camp site and someone is there setup?

I do hope the state parks will have signs up to let people know to go to the office first.

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Re: TN STATE PARK RESERVATIONS

Post  SouthWestyKim on Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:31 am

I dont remember seeing offices at some state parks...like douglass dam..Im not sure what you would do if your campsite is occupied, or all sites are ocuppied..good question. Can you reserve a special site thru the reservation system, or you just pick any available site when you drive in...? Im sure their will be new signs stating this is a reservation campground as you enter .
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Re: TN STATE PARK RESERVATIONS

Post  chuck on Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:15 am

SouthWestyKim wrote:I dont remember seeing offices at some state parks...like douglass dam..Im not sure what you would do if your campsite is occupied, or all sites are ocuppied..good question. Can you reserve a special site thru the reservation system, or you just pick any available site when you drive in...? Im sure their will be new signs stating this is a reservation campground as you enter .
There are probably gonna be a few problems for the parks to get ironed out. And yes.. you can pick the specific site you want. Thats why I drove up to COVE LAKE last weekend (and NORRIS).. I got one of their CG maps.. then went around and looked at the sites and circled the ones I liked best. I want to look at the sites at INDIAN MT too.. since I will be camping, mostly, at these three parks.

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Re: TN STATE PARK RESERVATIONS

Post  chuck on Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:31 am

Darcamper wrote:If a person doesn't know about the reservation system and goes and sets up their camper, now what?

What would you do when you arrived at your camp site and someone is there setup?

I do hope the state parks will have signs up to let people know to go to the office first.
Darlene.. this was posted on the COVE LAKE facebook page.. I would guess all state parks will operate the same:
No tents and/or campers will be allowed to be dropped off ahead of time (like for a holiday weekend) to "hold" sites. If you drop off a camper and leave without having a reservation- your camper will be towed at YOUR expense (and you will not have a campsite when you return)
So please spread the word- make reservations!!!


I guess if I pulled in and found someone on my reserved site.. I would show them my reservation receipt.. if that didnt work.. find a ranger. I could see this maybe being a problem, especially, on busy holiday weekends.

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Re: TN STATE PARK RESERVATIONS

Post  chuck on Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:31 pm

and.. I think Douglas Dam is a TVA campground.. not a state park.

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