Buffalo National River is pleased to announce that the Erbie Campground—located off Hwy 7 between Jasper and Harrison—has reopened after being closed for nearly two years due to budget and staffing shortages. Campers will find some changes at Erbie, however. The individual sites (which accommodate up to six people per site) on the upper terrace will be open. The five group sites (which accommodate up to 25 people per site) will be open. Flush toilets and water spigots will be disabled and campers must bring their own water.
“This has been a real balancing act,” explained Teri Gage, the park’s Concessions Management Specialist. “While the end of sequestration has provided some relief, funding and staffing is still limited and it’s a struggle to restore all facilities to full operation. The new operating plan strives to balance fiscal realities with visitor expectations. The decision to reduce the size of the campground and disable the water system—which is very costly and labor intensive to maintain—is much more sustainable, both economically and environmentally.”
From October 1, 2014, through mid-March 2015, all camping at Erbie will be first-come, first-served, and no fees will be charged. Beginning mid-March 2015, camping fees will resume and the group sites will be available by reservation through the National Recreation Reservation Service at http://www.recreation.gov.
All campgrounds at Buffalo National River will remain open to visitors throughout the winter months, however, visitors should expect reduced amenities. As in years past, camping fees are not collected from mid-November through mid-March. Additional information can be obtained on the park website at http://www.nps.gov/buff or by calling the Tyler Bend Visitor Center at (870) 439-2502.