Government Shutdown Giving State Parks A Bump

(Memphis) As Shelby County students are out of school for fall break, families around the nation are putting the brakes on their vacation because of the government shutdown.

All national parks are closed until Congress reaches a deal on the budget.

Outdoor advocates say camping numbers are up over the past year because it’s typically a cheaper alternative for vacation.

The government shutdown is making it harder for families to do that by closing national parks and leaving state parks, like T.O. Fuller in Memphis, as the only option.

Memphis’s closest national parks are Shiloh and Natchez Trace.

T.O. Fuller park rangers says they haven’t necessarily seen a bump in interest because of the closures, but they see it as an opportunity.

Lee Herberger and his friends like what they’re seeing.

“This is a very nice campground. Very nice,” said Herberger.

Herberger is visiting T.O. Fuller from Illinois and say the government shutdown is causing confusion for campers like him.

“We were wondering if they were going to be open. So we called here first. Because some people said ‘oh, the state parks are closed,’ but that isn’t the case,” said Herberger.

Campers say this confusion could end up costing some people their vacation.

“There’s a lot of confusion out there. A lot of people think the state parks are closed too, but they’re not, it’s just the national parks only,” said Herberger.

Though T.O. Fuller rangers say they haven’t seen an increase, nearby Shelby Forest says they have seen a jump in campers now that national parks are not an option.

Find parks in Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee.

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