Beginning January 1, 2023, Congaree National Park will be raising all of its campground nightly reservation fees by $5. In total, the park has 20 front-country campsites at two campgrounds – Longleaf and Bluff. The park sees roughly 150,000 visitors per year, particularly in the early fall and late spring when temperatures are more moderate and the bugs aren’t quite as present.
Ahead of the next busy season, the national park has decided to increase the nightly cost of staying at one of its minimalist campsites. According to Congaree National Park’s release, the purpose of the change is to “cover the cost of Congaree National Park’s use of the national reservation service contract that is hosted at www.recreation.gov.”
“Recreation.gov charges contractor line item (CLIN) costs, ranging from $6-8 per reservation made through either the online reservation system or call center,” the park explained. “Currently the park assumes these costs, which are deducted from the fees collected for campsite reservations. By recovering these CLIN costs, the park will be able to reinvest these funds into enhancing visitor services and improving facilities at Congaree.”
Here’s what campers can expect to pay at Bluff and Longleaf Campgrounds next year:
2022 Nightly Fee
$5 per night
$10 per night
$20 per night
2023 Nightly Fee
$10 per night
$15 per night
$25 per night
In addition to the reservation system costs, Congaree National Park reported that the higher costs would also help fund pertinent park projects. This includes the “design, building, and installation of a new desk in the Harry Hampton Visitor Center and the clearing of encroaching vegetation from around the picnic shelter.”
Acadia National Park Considers Raising Its Own Visitor Fees
Meanwhile, on the East Coast, Acadia National Park is considering raising its entrance fees for 2023. Similar to Congaree National Park, Acadia officials hope to generate additional funds for projects, such as repairs to campground bathrooms and gatehouses, removal of hazardous trees and replacement of damaged gates.
Just as important, Acadia National Park will be looking to improve public transportation.
“The increased fee revenue will allow Acadia to expand service for the Island Explorer bus system, which is critical to addressing congestion and parking challenges throughout the park,” the national park explained in a release.
The potential entrance fee increase is as follows:
Entrance Pass Type
Personal Vehicle (7-day)
2023 Proposed Fee
Before Acadia officials decide to make this change, though, they are also asking for public input on the matter. As such, they’ve created a forum where visitors can voice their opinions and concerns. Folks can add to the conversation by clicking here.