Hikers to pay backcountry fees in Smokies in 2013 - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Hikers to pay backcountry fees in Smokies in 2013

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GATLINBURG, Tenn. (AP) - The Great Smoky Mountains National Park now has approval from the National Park Service to charge backcountry camping fees.

Park officials plan to take reservations and charge each person $4 per night to use any of more than 80 backcountry campsites and 15 trail shelters. The backcountry sites are reachable only by hiking or on horseback. The fees will begin in 2013.

Morgan Sommerville of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy said his group had opposed the fees, but would work with the park to make through-hiking as seamless as possible for people using the famed footpath through the Appalachians.

The reservation system is still to be determined.

 

Information from: The Knoxville News Sentinel, http://www.knoxnews.com

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